Ordinance creating ASF Task Force hurdles 1st reading

THE Bacolod City Council approved on first reading the proposed ordinance creating Bacolod City African Swine Fever (ASF) Task Force to check the entry or the bringing into the city for whatever purpose or the trading thereof of any live pig, boar semen, pig, and pork products including food items containing pork originating from, manufactured and/or process in Luzon and in countries affected with ASF and other areas as maybe declared by the city mayor upon recommendation of the city veterinary office.

The ordinance was authored by Councilor Wilson Gamboa Jr., chairperson of the city council committee on human rights.

Gamboa said Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, empowers Local Government Units to exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.

He said Section 458 (5) (xii) of the Local Government Code authorizes the Sanggunian Panglunsod to approve measures and adopt quarantine regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases within its territorial jurisdiction.

Section 4 of the proposed ordinance stated that the carrying, transport, shipment, distribution, storing, trading, marketing, and sale of live pigs, boar semen, pork and pork products including but not limited to canned goods and food items containing pork originating from manufactured and/ or processed in Luzon and in countries affected with African Swine Fever and in areas as maybe declared by the City Mayor, upon recommendation of the City Veterinarian Office, or the Department of Agriculture, and the World Organization for Animal Health ( OIE) are hereby prohibited in the City of Bacolod.

Section 5 of the proposed ordinance also stated that the ASF Task Force shall take the lead in the implementation and enforcement of this Ordinance and other ASF prevention and control measures to apprehend any violator and /or seize any prohibited items during the conduct of inspection of incoming hog transport carriers, refrigerated/closed/ container/ wing vans or vehicles or similar nature in ports and checkpoints and cargoes containing pork and pork products entering the City via seacraft or aircraft.

The ASF Task Force will be tasked to pursue, whenever necessary, continuous inspection and apprehension of suspected prohibited items in cargo carriers, storage facilities , supermarkets, wet markets and other similar establishments within the territorial jurisdiction of Bacolod City.

Gamboa said all seized confiscated items shall immediately thereafter be disposed of by incineration or burying in accordance with RA 9003, otherwise known as the “ Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000” and PD 856 otherwise known as the “Code on Sanitation of the Philippines” and other pertinent laws, rules and regulations and issuance. The items confiscated shall be disposed of in landfill or in areas identified by the City of Bacolod. (MAP)


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