CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has issued an immediate temporary ban on the entry of live hogs, sows, piglets, boar semen, and pork-related products from Bohol Province for a period of 60 days.

In an executive order signed on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, Garcia ordered the ban until Oct. 7, 2023 due to confirmed cases of African swine fever (ASF) in a village in Pilar town, Bohol.

Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative President (CeViPPCo) president Jonathan Young told SunStar Cebu the ban has no impact on Cebu’s hog industry.

He said Cebu province currently has an oversupply of hogs due to an imposed ban by other local government units (LGUs) on the entry of hogs, pork meat, and related products from Cebu.

However, Bohol Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado told SunStar Cebu, Tuesday, during the the official launching of the Central Visayas Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2023 - 2028 at the Mezzo Hotel, Cebu City, that the ASF cases in Bohol had been contained.

Aumentado said strict biosecurity measures to stop the spread of the ASF to other towns and cities in the province had been implemented. These include blocking the entry and exit of hogs from Barangay San Vicente, Pilar town. The ASF was detected in the said village last July.

Aumentado said results of blood samples collected from all hog farms within the 500 meter radius from the center of the infection turned out negative. Only the blood samples within the 100 meter radius yielded positive results.

With these results, Aumentado assured that Bohol’s P6-billion hog industry is still safe from the highly contagious and deadly hog-borne disease.

He has high hopes that the situation will return to normal.

“Until now, we are still trying to contain it until the time will come or after 15 days with no new infections, then we will consider Bohol safer (from ASF),” Aumentado said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Aumentado said they were puzzled about the ASF occurrence in Pilar, a town located far inland, away from the coastal borders of the province.

The detection of the ASF in Pilar was unexpected as most of the places where the ASF had been detected were at coastal areas prone to illegal smuggling of hogs from other areas.

Opening up borders

Asked about the possibility of collaboration with Cebu province for the free trade of hogs, pork, and related products between the two provinces, Aumentado said he is open to the possibility.

However, their priority for now is to keep the ASF from spreading across different towns and cities of Bohol, he said.

Aumentado has issued Executive Order 11 in March 2023, banning the entry of pork products such as chicharon, Cebu longganisa, chorizo, lechon, raw pork, live pig, and frozen semen from Cebu to Bohol.

The Provincial Government of Bohol also passed an ordinance in Sept. 22, 2022, prohibiting the entry of live pig, pork, pork products, and frozen semen from ASF-affected areas providing penalties for violators.