There could be more at stake for a tourism destination like Bohol in the fight against the dreaded African swine fever (ASF).
Provincial Veterinarian Stella Marie Lapiz, who spoke as resource person during a session of the Provincial Board on Thursday, said that hotels, resorts and restaurants could face a pork supply shortage if the province gets hit by ASF or if the highly contagious disease further spreads across the country.
“Imagina kung wa na g’yud tay baboy, pila ka years. Mura’g maglisod ta. It would affect tourism kay unsa may ibajang nato sa atong mga hotel,” she said.
As Bohol grapples with exorbitant fish prices, an ASF outbreak could spell deeper trouble for the province.
The spread of the disease is seen to also affect regular consumers by further limiting the animal protein sources for everyday consumption.
“Even ang atong day to day na kaon sa karne ma [affected], diba ang isda mahal kaayo so magbaboy g’yud ta kay mas barato. So kung wala na ang baboy, mo mahal samot ang isda kay wala naman tay lain option so makuwang g’yud ang atong source of protein,” Lapiz said.
Governor Arthur Yap has tightened the province’s defenses against the disease since it emerged in the country in August last year.
The Capitol expanded the current ban on the entry of live hog, pork and pork-related products into the province, broadening the coverage to also include Mindanao on top of Luzon. This developed after ASF cases were reported in Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental in late January and later in parts of Davao del Sur and Davao City.
The Thursday session of the PB was also pushed by Yap for provincial legislators to tackle “pressing issues” including the ASF threat.
So far, only the Visayas is left unaffected by the disease.
According to Lapiz, officials in the Visayas should have a unified stand against ASF as the disease could easily spread within the region once a province is affected.
“Mihatag g’yud mi og stand na dapat pareha ta sa region kay di mahimo na atong protektahan ang Bohol pero ang Cebu di mo protekta or ang Siquijor kay duol ra man ta sa ngatanan,” she said. (R. Tutas)