PNA file photo

LAOAG CITY – Residents of the province of Ilocos Norte are assured of enough pork supply for the Christmas holidays as hog raisers slowly recover from African swine fever.

In an interview Sunday, provincial veterinarian Dr. Loida Valenzuela said the province has more than enough supply of pork and other meat products.

“Our livestock situation in the province is improving,” she said, citing the prices of meat products in the different cities and towns of Ilocos Norte have been stable.

The average price of pork in the market is pegged at PHP320 per kilo while the farmgate price is PHP200, according to the latest price report of the local agriculture office.

Based on the backyard livestock and poultry survey of the Philippine Statistic Authority as of April 2022, Ilocos Region has an estimated 255,435 heads with a decline of 23.33 percent from the same period last year.

To ensure enough supply during the Yuletide season, the province has allowed the entry of imported meat products provided that these undergo compliance audit of representatives from the Provincial Health Office, Metro Ilocos Norte Council, Provincial Engineering Office and the Provincial Veterinary Office.

In support of the swine repopulation program of Ilocos Norte, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has allocated around PHP77 million to benefit at least 14 organizations that will participate in the swine clustering program.

The clustering project is in line with the strategic interventions of INSPIRE or the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion implemented by the DA National Livestock Program.

INSPIRE intends to speed up the recovery of the hog sector and ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of pork and pork products.

Valenzuela said strict observance of biosecurity measures, strong animal health support and veterinary extension services are integrated into the program to ensure the protection of the country’s swine herd from diseases. (PNA)