HAM has become part of every Filipino table during holiday season, particularly Christmas and New Year.
Traditionally, Noche Buena and Media Noche will never be complete for the many without serving ham and other food like grilled pork belly and roasted pig (lechon) believing that it means prosperity.
Amid the impending surge in demand and the ongoing temporary ban of its entry to Negros Occidental, specifically those from Luzon, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has assured enough supply of these goods.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said they have conducted a review for locally sourced processed ham and pork products to ensure sufficiency of the supply.
Decena said this is in preparation to the expected influx of demand of ham and other pork products in the province.
"Two local processors in Negros Occidental namely L.L.Z. Frozen Foods and Victorias Foods Corp. could meet the local demand," he said, adding that "Negrenses can still have happy pork treats in celebrating this holiday season."
The PVO reported that local food producers are capable of processing five tons a day of ham as well as bacon, sausages, hotdog, tocino, chorizo, embutido, patties and other processed pork products.
They can actually increase their production if the banning will be extended, it said, adding that aside from supply, the products are also of high quality.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier issued Executive Order (EO) No. 19-40 Series of 2019 temporarily banning pork products coming from Luzon.
Taking effect starting September 18, the 90-day ban was implemented days after the DA confirmed positive cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Luzon, particularly in farms of Rizal and Bulacan.
It covers live pigs, pork, pork products and by-products from Luzon whether fresh, processed or canned which can carry the ASF virus.
Since the implementation of the ban, the Provincial Task Force on ASF has already intercepted a total of almost 1,300 kilograms of pork products including ham and other processed goods.
Bulk of the volume, about 777 kilograms, were seized at the Bacolod Real Estate Developoment Corp. (Bredco) Port last Wednesday, September 25.
On September 21, around 27 kilograms of pork asado siopao from Luzon were also confiscated by members of the task force at the Bacolod - Silay Airport in Silay City.
These are on top of at least 473 kilograms of assorted pork products intercepted at the airport from September 24 to 26.
Despite the ban, the PVO continues its effort to make sure that there is sufficient supply of pork products especially ham.
"Negrenses are capable of meeting the local demand," Decena said, adding that the PVO also continues the effort on promoting and supporting local livelihood and economy, respectively.*
Contributed Photo: PVO personnel headed by Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena (third from left) during their visit at Victorias Foods Corp. in Victorias City recently.