AT LEAST 180 pork and chicken lechons will be showcased today at the “Lechonaad,” one of the activities during the opening of this year's Panaad sa Negros Festival at Barangay Mansilingan in Bacolod City.

The annual “parade of lechon” initiated by the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) is aimed at showcasing the strong animal industry of Negros Occidental, especially its swine and poultry sectors.

Alpha Grace Tupas, project development officer of PVO, said the 86 heads of pigs are sourced from the members of Association of Hog Raisers in Negros Occidental (Ahrano).

The about 100 pieces of lechon manok, meanwhile, are provided by the members of Association of Broiler Integrators in Negros Occidental, Tupas said.

“The Lechonaad has been a regular event during Panaad sa Negros Festival. For this year, we added lechon manok to also highlight our growing poultry industry,” she added.

Based on the 2016 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data released in March last year, Negros Occidental topped the country's production of backyard swine at 448,657 heads.

In terms of native chicken, the province also ranked first with almost 5.13 million heads, it added.

PVO records showed that the province's average annual production of dressed chicken by commercial growers is pegged at about 24 million plus four million, or 10 percent, colored chicken, totaling to almost 28 million heads.

The production trend is increasing as local growers are also increasing, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena had said.

Moreover, the “Lechonaad” follows the opening of the Livestock and Dairy Fair at the Panaad grounds.

For this year, PVO will also carry the 2017 theme “Producing Livestock, Providing Livelihood and Improving Lives.”

PVO will again award the best-dressed lechon.

After the parade, festival revelers along with Provincial Government officials and local animal raisers will partake the lechons.