(Gov. Dennis Pineda pushes pork at the lechon boodle fight as wife Yolly gets some servings. Photo by Bong Lacson)
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — “Gusto ko pong ipaabot sa inyo, lahat po ng processed food halos imported po yung ginagamiti nilang baboy. Puro kumpleto po yung permit coming from the country na wala pong ASF (African swine flu).”
Thus, stated Gov. Dennis G. Pineda as he appealed to fellow governors and city mayors to lift their ban on the pork and processed food products from Pampanga allow their entry in their local market.
“Nakikiusap po ako, umaapela sa inyo na sana po yung mga processed food namin ay papasukin niyo sa inyong mga probinsiya dahil safe ito. Malaking kawalan po sa hanapbuhay kung ito po ay pipigilan natin,” said the governor before starting the boodle fight of lechon, sisig, adobo, and other Kapampangan pork dishes as well as processed foods of longganisa, tapa and tocino, hotdogs, and even dimsum on Tuesday at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center here
Over 2,000 residents including mayors, barangay officials, Capitol employees and the media partook of the sumptuous lunch, with many even carrying home leftovers and unconsumed packs of hotdogs.
“Ito po ay ginawa natin para ipakita sa mga kababayan natin dito sa Pampanga at sa mga kababayan natin sa ibang probinsiya na ang baboy o produkto na galing sa Pampanga ay safe kainin,” Pineda said of the “pork festival.”
He also asked as the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health, the Department of Interior and Local Government and other concerned agencies and stakeholders to help the hog raisers and meat processors in coping with their incurred losses caused by the ASF scare.
Speaking at the pork fest, Toto Gonzales of the Pampanga Swine Producers Association assured the group’s total commitment to addressing the ASF issue: “Our first priority is ensuring that our hog farms are not infected and also the interest of the consuming public is always on top of our mind.”
“While our member hog-farms are suffering huge losses due to the negative impact of ASF… resulting to all-time low farm gate prices, we remain vigilant and continue to collaborate with all concerned sectors to ensure that the ‘total lock down instructions’ of both the DA and LGUs is implemented to the letter and that required protocols are complied,” Gonzales said.
This, even as he appealed to media “to be more circumspect, objective, and balanced in reporting news” in order to avoid fear among consumers which could consequently affect food security and production.
– Bong Z. Lacson with Ericson M. Guiao/PIO Pampanga