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In the face of an ASF danger, Koronadal is urging people to purchase local pork

In the light of the ongoing dangers presented by the deadly African swine disease, the municipal administration here on Thursday encouraged people to support or purchase pig products sourced from local producers (ASF).

Dr. Charlemagne Calo, director of the City Veterinary Office, said that the action would help decrease demand for goods from other areas, particularly those where the illness has been known to have spread.

The mayor informed the public that pork products from commercial and private farms in the city and neighboring areas of South Cotabato remain clear of the illness and safe for human consumption.

To keep ASF cases to a bare minimum, he called on the public to promote their own goods.

Calo said that they are always on the lookout for efforts by certain merchants to smuggle in pork bellies and processed goods such as chorizo and longganisa from places outside of the Region 12 border (Soccsksargen).

He believes that if local customers refrain from patronizing these illicit pork imports, the shipments would ultimately come to an end.

However, despite the strict border surveillance in General Santos City and the province, some banned goods managed to make their way into the region, according to the representative.

According to him, some of them are combined with other goods that are easily transported into our communities.

Pork products from the Davao region and other parts of the nation where there are current ASF outbreaks are still prohibited from entering Soccsksargen, as has the case in the past.

In addition to individuals from North Cotabato and portions of Sarangani being barred from visiting the region owing to past illness outbreaks, people from South Cotabato and General Santos City are also banned from entering the area due to previous disease outbreaks.

ASF-free, the two regions are now among the leading producers of live pigs and pork in the nation, shipping out at least 15,000 head every two weeks to Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

Approximately 55,000 sows are housed in the South Cotabato Swine Producers Organization, which represents a group of commercial swine farms in the region. The association produces approximately 45,000 head of pigs each month.

PHOTO: Courtesy of City Government

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