By EUGENE ADIONG
BACOLOD City — Councilor Carl Lopez’s proposal to have all animal slaughtering at the city slaughterhouse in Brgy. Handumanan does not sit well with some stall owners at the famous “Lechonan Country.”
Lechon (roasted pig) vendors fear that the measure would lead to the effacement of the once iconic business area along Araneta St., Brgy. 36 here.
Lopez’s proposal was an offshoot of the finding of the Sangguniang Panlungsod committee on markets and slaughterhouse, which the councilor chairs, that illegal slaughtering is rampant in the city.
Vendors at the Lechonan Country slaughter the pigs they roast by themselves. It has been their practice even when the old slaughterhouse, about a block away from the business area, was still operational.
One of the vendors, Jimmy Taladtad, believes the measure would further put down their business already reeling from drop in sales. A lechon now costs at least P3,000.
“The fee at the Handumanan slaughterhouse is expensive. The facility is also too far from our site of business,” Taladtad said.
Operated by AVM Bernardo Engineering, the city abattoir “has a fixed schedule for slaughtering, and most of us (vendors) do not have vehicles to ferry the pigs there and back again for roasting,” he stressed.
Primarily, he said, it will affect the quality of their products. Pigs up for roasting should be freshly slaughtered, he stressed.
Taladtad said their business is 24/7, and customers can place an order and get it three to four hours later.
He revealed that no staffer of the old slaughterhouse in the nearby Brgy. 35 slaughters pigs for lechon. He said slaughtering such pigs “requires a different kind of handling.”
Taladtad assured that the pigs they roast are free from any disease.
“We impose self-regulation to ensure that only healthy pigs are roasted,” he said.
He said they source their pigs from Salvador Benedicto and Moises Padilla towns in Negros Occidental and Mabinay, Negros Oriental.
“We don’t buy them if they have no permit from the local veterinary office, and we are issued shipping permits certifying the animals are not sick,” he said.
Amelita Disoy, a kagawad of Brgy. 36, used to operate a stall at the Lechonan Country.
She told Panay News that, during a meeting with then Mayor Evelio Leonardia in 2008, Lechonan Country vendors, including her, agreed to have a City Veterinary Office personnel inspect the pigs they slaughter.
“We were paying the city government from P20 to P50 each for the inspection,” she said.
Kagawad Edsil Yasay, also of Brgy. 36, said Lopez’s plan will “signal the death of the lechon industry in Bacolod.”
“He should have consulted us first,” the barangay official, who also used to sell lechon at the lechonan country, said.
The lechon stall operators are law-abiding citizens; they have permits from all concerned government agencies, Yasay stressed./PN