BANNED. Lechon meat and pork chicharon that came from Iloilo were confiscated and shipped back, respectively upon arrival at Bredco port in Bacolod City earlier this week. Starting Oct. 14, 2022, Negros Occidental banned live pigs and pork products from Panay Island and Guimaras, following a reported incidence of African swine fever in Oton, Iloilo. (Photos courtesy of Negros Occidental Provincial Veterinary Office)

BACOLOD CITY – Quarantine inspectors in Negros Occidental shipped backed PHP151,195 worth of pork products to the neighboring Iloilo province after these items have been banned here starting Oct. 14, following a reported incidence of African swine fever (ASF) in Oton, Iloilo.

The items were part of the PHP165,025 in total pork products seized in various ports of entry from Oct. 15 to 19, data from the Provincial ASF Task Force on Friday showed.

At the Bredco Port in this city alone, PHP155,845 worth of items were apprehended, of which PHP151,195 were returned to the point of origin, while PHP4,650 were confiscated and condemned as part of the quarantine procedures.

The food products seized included ground meat, bacon, hotdog, marinated pork, molo balls, siopao, siomai, lumpia, lechon, chicharon and assorted pork parts.

Dr. Placeda Lemana, office-in-charge of the Provincial Veterinary Office, had earlier said the shippers have agreed to let their products be shipped back.

“When the ban started, our quarantine inspectors raised alert on the pork products arriving from Iloilo,” she added.

Meanwhile, the remaining PHP9,180 worth of pork products, including longganisa, chorizo, and siomai, which came from Manila and Cebu, were confiscated at the Bacolod-Silay Airport, Escalante Port and San Carlos Port.

On Oct. 14, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson directed members of the Provincial ASF Task Force to impose a ban on the entry of all pigs, pork, pork products, and other related items from the islands of Panay and Guimaras, including the provinces of Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Aklan, and Guimaras.

Negros Occidental, which has a PHP6-billion swine industry, is an ASF-free province.

Task force members have been ordered to conduct rigid and stringent screening and inspection of incoming shipments of live animals and pork products from Panay and Guimaras; hold checkpoints to intercept and control the movement of live animals, pork, pork products, and other related items entering the province; and confiscate and condemn undocumented shipment of live animals and animal products into the province.

Negros Occidental’s ban on live pigs and pork products coming from Luzon, Mindanao, and Eastern Visayas, which all have confirmed cases of the swine disease, also continues. (PNA)