Benitez backs pork ban in Negros Occ.

Benitez backs pork ban in Negros Occ.

Victorias City Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez is supporting the continued ban on the entry of hogs and pork products in Negros Occidental from areas considered as red zones for African swine fever (ASF).

“We should take this slowly to fully recover from ASF because if you allow everything once again, ASF cases may recur,” Benitez said Wednesday, February 28.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Monday, February 26, issued an executive order banning the entry of hogs and pork products into the province from ASF-red zones, including its capital city Bacolod.

Bacolod City, meanwhile, through an executive order of Mayor Alfredo Benitez, lifted the ban allowing the entry of hogs and pork products.

Victorias City has been free from ASF in the past two months, however, the city is not yet certified as ASF-free, Benitez also said.

He said the provincial government distributed P2,000 cash assistance to 96 affected hog raisers in the city.

Aside from that, the city government registered almost all of its hog raisers to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) as well as the city's own crop insurance program.

Benitez further said Victorias was the first local government to announce that it was affected by ASF.

Aside from the insurance coverage, Benitez said through the city's dispersal project, the affected backyard raisers are given alternatives for their lost livelihood such as chickens, goats, and even rabbits.

"We can grow again slowly but we also have to find alternatives while the ban is in still in effect," Benitez further emphasized.*

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