Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson Jr. said the provincial government will not back down from threats of legal action in its enforcement of its permanent ban on the entry of pork imports from Luzon and African swine fever-affected areas, to keep the province free from the dreaded virus.
Lacson and Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer signed Ordinance No. 2019-024 or the “ASF Prevention Ordinance of Negros Occidental” and Resolution No. 1024 s. 2019 declaring Negros Occidental an ASF-free province at rites held at the Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City yesterday afternoon capped by a lechon dinner.
The governor, in his speech, said the provincial government is resolved to face any legal action. “We will challenge any effort of those who violate the pork ban ordinance,” he said.
He also thanked the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan for passing the ordinance.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said 10 days after publication of the ordinance, or by December 6, its penalties will be enforced.
We will pursue the inspection and confiscation of the banned pork and enforce the penalties stated in the ordinance, he said.
The ordinance, authored by Board Member Andrew Montelibano, SP chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, sets fines for violators at P1,000 to P5,000 and jail time at six months to one year.
Montelibano said the ordinance was passed to ensure the safety of the people’s health and in support ofthe pig industry of the province.
Board Member Sixto Guanzon, SP chairman of the Committee on Laws who authored the resolution declaring Negros Occidental ASF-free, said the eating of pork in full public view at the Social Hall yesterday was proof the province is free of the malady.
Ferrer said the SP acted in support of the program of the governor to keep Negros Occidental ASF free.*
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