Guv wants ban on Pampanga meat products lifted

PAMPANGA. The Provincial Government of Pampanga and all LGUs have put up quarantine checkpoints in strategic areas, like in Minalin town, to monitor the entry of hogs affected by African Swine Fever. The Department of Agriculture said ASF is not harmful to humans and that pork is safe to eat. (Chris Navarro)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Dennis Pineda on Tuesday, October 15, vouched for the safety of processed meat products from Pampanga, as he urged local officials in the country to lift the ban on products coming from the province.

Pineda led the Lechon Festival with local stakeholders on Tuesday at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in a bid to temper fears on the African Swine Fever (ASF).

"Ito po ay ginawa natin para ipakita sa mga kababayan natin dito sa Pampanga at sa mga kababayan natin sa ibang probinsiya na ang baboy o produkto na galing sa Pampanga ay safe kainin," Pineda said.

(We did this so we could show to our people here and to the rest of our fellowmen in the different provinces that hogs or pork products coming from Pampanga are safe to eat.)

He also asked some concerned stakeholders and government agencies, such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, and Department of Agriculture to extend help in effectively implementing his appeal to also aid hog raisers and meat processors in coping with their incurred losses caused by the fear and threat of ASF.

"Gusto ko pong ipaabot sa inyo lahat po ng processed food halos imported po yung mga produktong binibili nilang baboy. Puro kumpleto po yung permit coming from the country na wala pong ASF," the governor said.

(I just want to inform you all that most of the processed food are imported, especially the pork products. The permits coming from countries without ASF are complete.)

"Kaya nakikiusap po ako, umaapela sa inyo na sana po yung mga processed food naming, eh, sana po papasukin niyo sa mga iba't-ibang probinsiya. Kasi po malaking kawalan po sa hanapbuhay kung ito po ay pipigilan natin," he added.

(That's why I appeal to you that our processed food would be allowed to enter the different provinces. Because it's a huge loss if it's going to be banned.)

Meanwhile, the Pampanga Swine Producers Association vowed its full cooperation to the government in solving the issues and concerns regarding ASF, and to continually prioritize the interest of the consumers.

"We join the national and local governments in allaying fears among the public and further assuring them that pork and pork products are generally safe and that ASF has no effect on human health," said Toto Gonzales, PSPA representative.

"We actively encourage the general public to continue enjoying pork as part of their normal daily food consumption, even as our Association assures the public that we have enough stocks and supplies of pork both for general public and for food processing," he added.

Gonzales also appealed to the press and media "to be more circumspect, objective, and balanced in reporting news" in order to avoid fear among consumers which could consequently affect food security and production.

Prudencio S. Garcia, Pampanga Association of Meat Processor (Pampro) president, was also present during the festival.

He also expressed support by informing the public that pork in Pampanga is safe for consumption.

The festival is dubbed as "Karneng Baboy sa Pampanga ay Ligtas, Kumain at Mag-enjoy!" and it was participated by meat processors, such as Mekeni, Roel's Food Co., Purefoods, among others.


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