By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — Due to the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) here anticipates a shortage in the supply of ham this Christmas which is considered one of the holiday staples.
Ma. Dorita Chavez, chief of DTI Iloilo’s Consumer Protection Division, said ASF ’s effect may not be felt now but it will likely be felt when Christmas nears.
“It won’t just be ham supply that will be affected, but also lechon (roasted pig) and other processed pork products,” she said.
Chavez noted there is already a limited supply of pork-based products coming to Iloilo City, the 42 towns of Iloilo province, and the component city of Passi due to the declaration of both the local governments of Iloilo province and Iloilo City to ban pork products coming from ASF-hit areas in Luzon.
Ermelinda Pollentes, DTI Western Visayas assistant regional director, explained that ASF was not anticipated and it adds a challenge to the supply when pork-based products are highly in demand during the holiday season.
Meanwhile, DTI assures that other supplies for Noche Buena are still readily available in the market and rigorous monitoring of prices will be done.