Bohol Governor Arthur Yap

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap says he is open to allow pork and pork products from Luzon to enter the province but with set conditions.

Yap said he will only permit the influx of pork products from Luzon to Bohol as long as he received the guarantee letter “that the government will compensate Bohol for the culling and disposal of affected dead hogs from ASF (African swine fever).”

In case the deadly hog disease enters the province, he also wants backyard raisers to get reparation “properly and immediately upon proof of damages.”

“If that can be reflected in the budget and the DA (Department of Agriculture) will give me a signed guarantee with a mechanism releasing the payment for compensation then we are ready to open up Bohol,” Yap, who was Agriculture Secretary, said.

He hopes that people will understand that he only wants to safeguard the general welfare of the people from harm and damages to life and property, as he is bound by it under the law and the Local Government Code.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo Año issued an order encouraging local chief executives to exclude processed meat products from the ongoing ban on pork and pork-related products from Luzon.

The order was made following the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) statement that the ban on processed meat may result in PHP50 billion to PHP60 billion in losses if LGUs would push for the ban.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia was also firm with her decision to ban the pork products from Luzon by giving her full support to the anti-ASF task force she formed last August.

Yap regarded the people from the national government as his friends and colleagues and to not be emotional, get personal or be sensitive about the matter.

“We have only one country to protect. Let us understand our constraints and help mitigate our fears with actual solutions and stay clear from finger-pointing and name-calling,” he stated. (RJ Espartinez)