CARCAR LECHON. This undated photo shows lechon (roast pig) traders in Carcar City. Carcar City chief legal officer Eddie Barrita says the City Council passed a resolution Monday (March 13, 2023) declaring the entire locality under a state of calamity amid the African swine fever infection. (Photo courtesy of Janjan Lacia's Facebook account)

CEBU CITY – The Carcar City government approved on Monday a resolution declaring the entire locality under a state of calamity amid the African swine fever (ASF) virus infection in  three of its 15 barangays.

Lawyer Eddie Barrita, the chief of the City Legal Division, said although not all the barangays are affected by the highly infectious and severe hemorrhagic disease of pigs, the declaration covers the whole locality because the ban imposed by the provincial capitol in the neighboring towns and cities specified the entire Carcar City.

"With this state of calamity declaration, we can use the disaster funds. The city will have financial assistance from the city government," Barrita told the Philippine News Agency in a phone interview.

Meanwhile, the city appealed to the visitors to continue patronizing its famous chicharon or pork skin crackling and the lechon (roast pig), noting that ASF virus does not infect humans.

Lawyer Jose Marie Poblete, Carcar City administrator, said the city has embarked on a massive information dissemination campaign to assuage fears from visitors as the ASF scare has affected their local chicharon producers and lechon traders.

“ASF won’t affect humans. That’s why we appeal to Cebuanos and visitors to continue patronizing our chicharon and lechon. They are tasty as usual,” Poblete told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

Poblete, a member of the city’s ASF Task Force, also clarified that only three barangays in Carcar are considered “red zone” as these are the only villages that test positive for the virus.

According to him, culling in Barangays Can-asujan, Guadalupe and Poblacion 1 is ongoing, affecting close to 400 hogs.

The city, he said, has more than 1,000 backyard raisers, close to 50 of which are registered as livestock farmer associations. The area has no commercial-size piggery farms.

“Those who are registered with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) will get assistance. But long before that, Mayor Mario Patricio Barcenas has already thought of helping the hog raisers. After all, they are constituents,” Poblete said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Pablo John Garcia IV temporarily suspended swine trading in the province’s biggest livestock auction (tabo) market in Barangay Mantalongon starting March 16.

The Mantalongon livestock facility is the biggest livestock market in Cebu province where traders and farmers from other towns in Cebu as well as from other provinces like Negros and Leyte engaged in the auction and trading of thousands of pigs, chickens, goats, cattle, and other agricultural products every Thursday. (PNA)