THE Department of Agriculture Central Visayas (DA 7) has assured consumers of enough meat supply in the region until the Christmas season when demand peaks.

“Our data show that we have 186 percent sufficiency of meat supply in the region, and Cebu with 151 percent sufficiency level. We even have a surplus of 87 percent, which we have supplied to Luzon,” DA 7 Director Salvador Diputado said.

Diputado said the region, particularly Bohol and Negros Oriental, have been supplying live hogs to Luzon at a monthly average of at least 10,000 heads.

He said the supply of hogs in Cebu has already improved.

“With that indication, we may have again surpassed the balance. We’ve already reached the level of surplus,” Diputado said.

Central Visayas Pork Producers’ Coop president Jonathan Young said meat supply is abundant until the Christmas season.

“We started supplying to the National Capital Region but only a small volume this August since it was placed under enhanced community quarantine. We are unsure if our shipments will increase next month,” said Young.

ASF waning

Meanwhile, the ASF cases in the country are already waning as blood samples of suspected hogs that tested positive are down to 147 as of August 2021, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

He said, “The ASF incidence is down to only 24 barangays in 16 cities and municipalities.”

Since 2019, the ASF has affected hog farms in 2,981 barangays, in 579 cities and municipalities, mostly in Luzon, according to the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry.

In February 2021, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia imposed a six-month moratorium on the export of live hogs to other areas in the country.

Executive Order (EO) 8, which was issued on Jan. 29, 2021, prohibits live hogs from being sold outside of Cebu Province despite the shortage of pork products due to the ASF outbreak.

EO 8 expired on July 31.

Another EO was issued on Aug. 3, allowing the selling of live hogs outside of the province, subject to documentary requirements from the provincial veterinary office to ensure the region’s ASF-free status. (JOB)