Lechon Fests Held In Nueva Ecija Amid ASF Scare

Three lechon (roast pig) festivals were held in this town and at the provincial capitol in Palayan City to underscore the safety of meat products in this province.

Mayor Josefino Angeles, members of the Sangguniang Bayan and heads of various government agencies led the public consumption here of three roasted pigs and other meat preparations during the boodle fights at the municipal gymnasium and the public market, which were organized by the market vendors’ association during lunch on Tuesday.

“Ito ay para ipakita sa lahat na walang ASF sa Santa Rosa at ligtas kainin ang karneng baboy dito sa amin (This is to show to all that there is no ASF (African swine fever) in Santa Rosa and the pork here is safe to eat),” Angeles said.

He said the province has set up animal checkpoints in strategic areas to protect the local hog industry.

Lina Silva, president of the market vendors’ association, assured the public that pork meat being sold in their stalls come only from local hog raisers and has undergone proper checking by authorities.

“Sigurado po kami na walang sakit ang aming mga karne dahil dumadaan po sa tamang proseso (We are sure that our pork meat is free from any disease because it undergoes the proper process),” she said.

Silva, however, admitted that pork demand has drastically decreased to some 30 heads from the previous average of 60 heads per day at the Santa Rosa market. This, she said, forced them to cut pork price from PHP220 to PHP190 per kilo.

“Pero ‘yun pong suppliers ay hindi nagbabawas ng presyo dahil hindi naman talaga apektado ang kanilang baboy (But the supplier did not reduce the prices because their pigs are indeed not affected),” she said.

At the provincial capitol, Governo Aurelio Umali led the public in consuming 36 heads of lechon.

Umali assured that they are exerting all efforts to make sure that the ASF will not be able to enter the province.

Dr. Jayson de Guzman, president of the Swine Practitioners and Producers Association in Nueva Ecija, said Novo Ecijanos have nothing to worry about consuming pork because the pigs in the province are free from ASF.

He said all entry points in the province are being tightly watched to prevent the entry of contaminated pork. (PNA)

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