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Cebu intensifies anti-ASF measures
By: Mylen Manto | Published Tuesday, January 26, 2021
The Cebu Provincial Government will implement additional measures to ensure Cebu’s hog industry remains protected against the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus. (Junjie Mendoza)

The Province of Cebu remains free from the African Swine Fever (ASF) and continues to stay vigilant even before the Department of Agriculture (DA) heightened the alert against the virus.

To further protect the Province’s P11-billion hog industry, the Capitol will impose additional measures as 39 provinces in the Philippines have been affected by ASF.

Only accredited truckers from Cebu are allowed to transport live hogs to other provinces up to Matnog port in Sorsogon, the southernmost province in Luzon, through their respective drop-off points in the said provinces.

However, returning trucks will have to take a downtime period of seven days before hauling the next batch of pigs for delivery. During this time, trucks must be cleaned and disinfected.

The Office of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will issue the accreditation to the truckers delivering hogs outside Cebu. This will ensure the compliance with the mandatory downtime period.

Trucks returning to Cebu after delivering live hogs and pork products to areas not affected by ASF will not required to do the downtime period.

All trucks from Luzon, Mindanao and Region 8 will be not allowed to enter Cebu. 

The additional measures were agreed upon by Garcia and representatives of the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Cebu Port Authority (CPA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy of the Provincial Veterinary Office, and the local governments of Daanbantayan, Carmen, Danao, Bogo, and Tudela in a meeting Friday, January 22.

The governor is set to issue an executive order outlining these measures aimed to prevent the ASF virus from entering the Province through truck movement.

Other additional measures include mandatory disinfection of outgoing and returning trucks, livestock transport carrier, reefer vans; submission of Disinfection Clearance issued by Veterinary Quarantine from the Port of Origin; submission of Route Plan at the border prior to shipment; and submission of regulatory documents (Veterinary Health Certificate, Shipping permit).

Vincoy reported that the Provincial ASF Task Force continued to be vigilant even at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic since cargo remain unhampered. 

Disinfection were in place in ports considering transmission can be through non-living objects such as shoes, clothes, vehicles and others due to the high environmental resistance of the ASF virus. 

Based on latest reports, the newly affected areas include Barangays Abuyog, Paz, and Javier in Leyte.

DA Region 8 said they were able to control the spread of the virus after they killed 1,168 live hogs within the 500-meter radius from the hot zone as of January 22, 2021.

However, Garcia emphasized the need to stay vigilant as the ASF is “deadly.”

Prioritize Cebu first

While local hog suppliers are allowed to deliver outside the Province, Garcia urged them to prioritize Cebu first. If there is excess, then they can sell to other provinces.

This concern came after a price hike on pork and live hogs were recorded in Cebu.

One of the meat vendors in Tabunok Public Market, who attended the meeting, told the governor that pork prices have gone up to P170 from P105-P110. 

Cebu has been supplying live hogs and pork-related products to Luzon after most of the areas there have been affected by the ASF.

Roland Tambago, former CeViPPCo president and now member, assured the governor that the protein products they supply to Luzon are only excess of the supplies they have allotted for Cebu.

Garcia will meet the members of CeVIPPCo to discuss about pork supply and prices.

She will also meet with the representatives of seaports and airports to ensure that live hogs and pork products coming from infected areas will not enter the Province. (Mylen Manto)