CEBU CITY, Sept. 24 (PIA) -- Even prior to reports of cases of African Swine Fever in some parts of Luzon, the national and local governments in Central Visayas have been enforcing preventive measures against the entry of ASF in the region.
Although ASF does not affect humans, it has the potential to cripple the multi-billion hog industry in the region, prompting authorities to intensify efforts in ensuring that pork and pork products from ASF-hit areas do not make its way here.
During a forum hosted recently by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-7), representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA-7), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS-7), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Visayas, and Cebu Provincial Veterinarian shared updates on the initiatives and actions of the government in keeping the area safe from ASF.
Cebu Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy said that since Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued a series of executive orders (EO) on ASF preventive measures, they have conducted a series of monitoring in LGUs on their compliance to the governor's EOs.
Vincoy said they have teams supporting the municipal ASF task forcse aside from the quarantine team that they augmented on the ground.
She added that the Provincial ASF Task Force has already confiscated canned goods and other pork products banned by the EO.
Cebu is the largest pork-producing province in Central Visayas with a value of more than P10 billion.
In 2018, it contributes 4.3 percent in the country's total volume of pork products, making it the 4th top pork producer in the country.
Vincoy appealed to the public for their full cooperation and urged the different stakeholders to participate in complying with the requirements set by the EO.
"What we do in ASF Task Force is for the good of everyone," Vincoy said.
Meanwhile, Atty. Anabelle de Veyra, Director II of FDA Visayas Cluster, reiterated the responsibilities of the food business operators (FBOs) as part of the Food Safety Act of 2013.
She said that under the law, FBOs shall not place unsafe food in the market such as ASF-infect pork products.
Other responsibilities of FBOs are ensuring that all the food they serve should be safe, observing good factory practice life with emphasis on hygiene and sanitation, and cooperating with authorities to help control and reduce risks.
"In the event na magkaroon siya (FBO) ng problema sa kanyang negosyo, it is his duty to report, cooperate with government like voluntary product recall," de Veyra said.
"If they will observe this, we will guarantee the safety, purity, quality, and efficacy of all products that are sold in the market," she added. (fan/pia7)