Pinoy ‘balikbayans’ and those from other parts of the country are urged not to bring in pork meat and processed pork meat products as local hog raisers lobbied for stricter measures to prevent their entry into the city.

After a bulletin by the Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of African Swine Flu (ASF) in the Philippines on Monday, the Hog Farmers Association of Davao Inc (HOGFADI) immediately released its recommendations for stricter measures to prevent pork meats, particularly those coming from areas and countries positive with ASF from entering Davao City.

Eduardo So, HOGFADI president, told media on Wednesday’s Habi at Kape media forum that they have provided recommendations such as conducting thorough inspections in the city’s seaports and airports to prevent the entry of pork meats from Luzon and ASF infected countries to the ASF-Task Force (ASF-TF) from entering the city for the crafting of the resolution.

“Katong mga balikbayans ayaw namo pagdala ug karne,” he said.

The local government recently formed the ASF-TF through Executive Order No. 37 signed by Acting Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte. The EO seeks to protect the city from the swine flu fever, a severe viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs.

The ASF-TF is comprised of the regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA 11), City Council, City Veterinarian, and other concerned groups.

So is optimistic that HOGFADI’s resolution will be passed soon as they have the commitment of the council. HOGFADI is composed of some 18 companies.

“Because without the resolution we cannot move. Isa pa we have international flights. Kailangan thorough inspections. We have direct flight from China and China is positive of ASF. I am not against Chinese because I am Chinese pero we have to check like Maling. Luzon was declared positive of ASF and we have meats also from Luzon. We are not against Luzon but we have to protect,” he said.

So disclosed that they are trying to get the involvement of all the agencies such as the Bureau of Customs to prevent these pork meats from entering Davao. According to him, when Luzon was declared positive with ASF four days ago, they already noticed the decline of the sales of live hogs in the region and the entire Mindanao.

“We already felt the impact such as slowing down of sales of live hogs. We have monitoring from General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, makikita talaga na humina. Medyo may impact talaga. We try to prevent the entry of infected pork meat from Luzon also. Let’s prevent it from entering here, ” he said while assuring that Visayas and Mindanao are still free from ASF. He said ASF only affects the hogs and there is no effects on humans.

Since ASF outbreak was declared in Luzon, local hog raisers also noticed that consumers are slowing down from buying pork meats.

“What we wanted to tell to the consumers, ASF does not affect humans. Walang epek to sa tao, sa baboy lang,” So said. He urged backyard raisers to stop swill feeding and use feeds to hogs amidst ASF scare.

To raise awareness about ASF, the group is now conducting seminars and information campaign in various barangays in the region.