Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez have issued a consolidated executive order creating a joint task force against African swine fever (ASF).
The directive aims to harmonize the policies of both the province and the city in prohibiting the entry of the sources of infection caused by the dreaded hog disease.
Negros Occidental, which has a P6-billion hog industry, is an ASF-free province.
“Our main port here is Bredco, which is part of Bacolod. It’s very important that it should be guarded.”
“Our main port here is Bredco, which is part of Bacolod. It’s very important that it should be guarded. That is where the role of the city comes into play. (So) we decided to come up with a joint (order),” Lacson stressed.
Both Lacson and Benitez sit as task force co-chairpersons while the provincial veterinarian and the city veterinarian are concurrently designated to head the task force secretariat.
On Oct. 14, Lacson ordered a ban on the entry of all pigs, pork, pork products, and other related items from the Islands of Panay and Guimaras, including the provinces of Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Aklan, and Guimaras, after suspected ASF cases were reported in Oton, Iloilo on Oct. 13.
“We’re so near to the ASF incident so we have to do our best.”
“We had to react and come up with that order right away. We will fight to really protect (the province). We’re so near to the ASF incident so we have to do our best,” the governor said.
According to the executive order, the joint task force will initiate preventive measures such as the conduct of rigid and stringent screening and inspection of incoming shipments of live animals and pork products from places outside the province; holding checkpoints to intercept and control the movement of live animals, pork, pork products, and other related items entering the province and the city; and confiscation and condemnation of undocumented shipment of live animals and animal products into the province and the city.
Aside from that, there will also be the conduct of mandatory and regular disinfection of transport carriers upon arrival at ports of entry and ensuring proper disposal of food wastes from sea vessels; and reporting of any cases of unusual mortalities among pigs to ensure a prompt and immediate response.