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Ensuring public health

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THE PAMPANGA Swine Producers Association Inc. (PSPAI), remains vigilant and active in responding to the challenges and issues arising from the African swine fever (ASF) concerns and will continually cooperate and coordinate with concerned government agencies, LGUs and other stakeholders to respond to the challenges and ensure that the interest of the general and consuming public is protected and that the local hog industry remains resilient in the midst of the challenges.

We are even more on the alert mode now that no less than Agriculture Secretary William Dar declared that Pampanga and Bulacan are “ASF-infected zones.” For us in the PSPAI, we have been coordinating with our membership and concerned stakeholders in preparing for any scenario. 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. We also look after the interest of our farm workers, suppliers and other sectors, who in one way or the other are likewise affected.

While our member hog-farms are suffering huge losses due to the negative impact of ASF and as a result of undue competition, price war, cut throat competition from unscrupulous traders, buyers and “viajeros” 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 Department of Agriculture and local government units is implemented to the letter and that required protocols are complied with to finally contain the spread of ASF and bring back normalcy in the hog industry and in the supply and prices of pork and pork products.

We join the national and local governments in allaying fears among the public and further assuring them that pork and pork products are generally safe and that ASF has no effect on human health whatsoever.

We actively encourage the general public to continue enjoying pork as part of their normal daily food consumption even as our Association assures the public that we have enough stocks and supplies of pork both for general public and for food processing.

Finally, we appeal to the press and media to be more circumspect, objective and balanced in reporting news to prevent undue panic and scare among the public because in the end, the public will suffer and food production and food security will be adversely affected.

We urge the fourth estate to highlight the remedies and actions taken to mitigate, if not eliminate the negative impact created and to emphasize that ASF is not detrimental to humans and has no effect to human health.

At sa huli ay nais po naming hikayatin ang lahat na ipagpatuloy ang pagkain ng adobong baboy, menudo, pork chop, sinigang na baboy, lechon, sisig at lahat ng karneng baboy sa Pampanga ay masarap at ligtas kainin kaya Mag enjoy na! Maraming Salamat po.

(PSPAI statement delivered by its sporkesman Toto Gonzales at the Pork Festival spearheaded by the Pampanga provincial government on Oct. 15)

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