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Siquijor to supply live hogs to Negros Oriental amid high pork prices

DUMAGUETE: The provincial government of Siquijor will supply live hogs to Negros Oriental and help it recover from a perceived shortage of pork and pigs in the local markets. Jaymar Vilos, designated information officer of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) of Negros Oriental, told the Philippine News Agency on Monday that the commitment made by Siquijor would address the high prices of pork. 'Hopefully, the prices of pork in Negros Oriental will go down once Siquijor start sending live hogs here as the island-province has excess supply, although the number of pig heads is still undetermined,' Vilos said in mixed English and Cebuano. Provincial veterinarian Dr. Melody Vilan and her counterpart in Siquijor, Dr. Jhea Maginsay, had initial discussion on the issue and are awaiting the completion of requirements before they proceed with the shipment of live hogs, he said. The move comes days after Gov. Manuel Sagarbarria issued an executive order on Feb. 21 lifting the ban on live hogs and pork by-products from other provinces, especially those affected by the African swine fever (ASF), provided they comply with the requirements, he added. Suppliers of live hogs and pork by-products have specific requirements to complete, such as certifications from the PVO, Bureau of Animal Industry, and local government units that they are ASF-free, negative tests of ASF, as well as shipping permits and registered vehicles, among others. Meanwhile, Vilos said at least four individuals were already issued certificates of acceptance from the PVO here for their inbound shipment of pork by-products. So far, their office has not yet received any application to bring live hogs to the province, he said. Hog suppliers and consumers here have been urging concerned government agencies to help bring down the prices of pork, which reportedly jumped from a little over PHP200 a kilo late last year to almost PHP400 a kilo today. Residents also complain of unusually high prices of "lechon" or roast whole pig, which they said has almost doubled in recent months. No government agency or office has released the actual price monitoring data for pork and lechon, they said. Those in the business of selling live hogs and pork say the ASF that had affected some towns and cities in Negros Oriental resulted in the diminishing supply of pigs. Prior to the lifting of the ban, local hog suppliers were not allowed to ship out or bring in live pigs from ASF-affected provinces. Vilos said they will intensity their information dissemination to pig suppliers so they will be aware of the lifting of the ban and can now bring in live hogs. Source: Philippines News Agency

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