By FROILAN GALLARDO
and NITZ ARANCON
with SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
CITY hall yesterday imposed a ban on hogs, pork and pork-based products from outside northern Mindanao to protect the region’s swine industry from the African Swine Fever.
Executive Order 172, signed by Mayor Oscar Moreno, also discouraged owners from feeding their hogs with leftovers from restaurants and similar establishments.
The Cagayan de Oro ban applies to bacon, hams, pork tocino, pork langgonisa and chorizo, pork hotdogs and sausages, pork meat loaf, pork mechado, chicharon, pork siopao and siomai, and frozen boar semen.
Moreno also issued Executive Order 169 that created the “Anti-African Swine Fever Task Force” in the city, composed of 30 officials from various government offices.
A third executive order (EO 171) directed the task force to establish a working plan to prevent the entry ASF in the city.
“Ako silang gitahasan nga maghimo silag mga plano, strategy ug ilang i-submit sa ako. Then I will implement it aron masiguro nato, nga wala gayoy ASF nga makasulod dinhi atong syudad,” Moreno said.
Moreno’s executive orders are similar to a ban imposed in Misamis Oriental by Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano in the province as early as Sept. 11. But Emano repeated his order yesterday — this time, expanding the coverage. It now applies to hogs and pork not only from Rizal and Bulacan provinces but from any area in Luzon.
Provincial veterinarian Benjamin Resma said the new order amended Emano’s previous executive order.
“Dili nata magpasulod tanan produkto sa baboy gikan sa Luzon,” Resma said.
Resma said Emano was no longer sure that the agriculture department was on top of the situation.
City hall spokesperson Maricel Rivera said Moreno signed the order because of recommendations for a ban from the Department of Agriculture and the Northern Mindanao Hog Producers’ Association.
Rivera said the order was ready Sept. 25 but Moreno signed it only yesterday.
“We made a lot of consultations but the hog owners. The DA in Region 10 made a strong appeal for the ban,” she said.
Rivera said the ban is temporary and does not include hogs produced in northern Mindanao which is estimated to be 196,000 metric tons annually.
She said pork and pork products produced locally can still be sold in local groceries and restaurants.
Juliet Araos, DA spokesperson for Region 10’s African Swine Fever Task Force, said they have not detected any hog that got sick in Cagayan de Oro and northern Mindanao.
“It is more of prevention. We want to protect our hogs from being infected,” Araos said.
Northern Mindanao, along with Calabarzon and Central Luzon, are the country’s top hog-producing regions this year.
The three region accounts for 47.84 percent of the country’s total hog production of 649.68 thousand metric tons in 2017.
Araos said despite strict pork entry ban, agriculture technicians are wary that the highly contagious disease in the port of entries at the Mindanao International Container Terminal (Tagoloan), Laguindingan Airport (Laguindingan) — which are both located in Misamis Oriental — and the Macabalan port in Cagayan de Oro.
“There is still a chance that the viral disease can get through despite our strict monitoring,” Araos said.