MALACAÑANG on Thursday, October 17, said the Department of Agriculture (DA) would be the best agency to decide on the lifting of the ban imposed on processed meat products from Luzon.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement, after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered local government officials to lift the ban on processed meat products that have secured certification from the Food and Drug Administration.
Panelo said Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año should talk to Agriculture Secretary William Dar about his directive to LGUs.
"Siguro dapat ang magde-decide doon, Secretary of Agriculture. 'Di ba siya 'yung... Teritoryo niya. Baka suggestion lang naman 'yung kay DILG Secretary (Perhaps, the Secretary of Agriculture should be the one to decide. It's his territory. The DILG Secretary maybe just gave a suggestion)," Panelo told Palace reporters.
"Silang dalawa ang mag-uusap doon (The two should talk about it)," he added.
The DILG said local officials should consider the import of processed meat products that "meet certain conditions" imposed by the DA.
This comes amid the implementation of measures against the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), a disease that is deadly to pigs but not to humans.
Earlier, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. recorded a loss of around P40 billion following the ASF scare. (NASE/SunStar Philippines)