PORK PRICE SOARS; CONSUMERS COMPLAIN
Written by Marty
Pork meat prices in marketplaces all over the nation reach overly high prices in the first month of 2021, leading the consuming public to resort to much cheaper alternatives.
There was a 20 – 30Php increase in primary local meat products at the beginning of the year, which now stands at 420 – 430Php per kilogram.
Many local consumers opted to purchase imported meat. This alternative, rather than local meat products, could have consumers save more than a 100Php per kilo.
“Sa sobrang mahal ng kilo ng karneng baboy, ‘yung iba pinipili nalang bumili ng imported eh, kahit hindi kasing sariwa ng mga lokal nating karne,” said Zenaida Burgos, a meat vendor at Kamuning Public Market.
(Due to the high price of pork, other consumers now choose to buy imported meat even though it is not as fresh as our local products.”
The Department of Agriculture assures the public that they are taking drastic measures to help alleviate the situation pertaining to the price of local meat products.
“Pinapabilis din natin yung pag dating ng supply (imports) ng baboy na 54,000 metric tons na dapat pumasok na ngayong Pebrero o Marso para meron tayong pandagdag sa supply,” stated William Dar, secretary of the Department of Agriculture in an interview on Wednesday, January 27th.
(We are expediting the arrival of the supply of pork that is 54,000 metric tons that should arrive in February or March so that we can have additional supply.)
Also, the agriculture department is considering increasing the cap on pork imports to 150,000 metric tons. The concerned government agency eyes this as the solution for fear of the price surging more in the future after the Visayas has recorded its first African Swine Fever case in Albuyog, Leyte.
This possible move of the Department of Agriculture is particularly supported by the local pig raisers and dealers in the National Capital Region.
“Kaya ganon kataas (ang presyo) dahil kulang ang pork kaya mataas sya ngayon. Kung kulang yung supply,” said Edwin Chen, president of Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines.
Marikina Representative Stella Luz Quimbo stated Wednesday that they plan on importing meat can only further hurt the local hog growers as they will have more competition in selling their products.
“Kung sakali man, kailangan ng dagdag suporta mula sa gobyerno para maiwasan ang ASF at para tumaas ang productivity levels ng hog raisers,” Quimbo added.
Quimbo has filed a resolution of Wednesday, January 27, asking the house committee on agriculture to conduct a house probe on why the pork prices are very high. The resolution is directing all concerned agencies to develop a solution to the soaring price of pork and meat products in the market.
“It has been reported that retail pork prices rose by as much as 55% as compared to the same time last year, where the price per kilogram of pork is as much as 400Php,” said the lawmaker in her resolution.
DA Secretary William Dar insisted that the country is now under a state of calamity due to high prices of goods such as pork, chicken, vegetables, and fruits.
“The African Swine Fever (ASF) is persistent in our farms. The typhoons have essentially affected the production of goods and there seems to be a price manipulation among traders and resellers which can be possible reasons for the soaring of prices of the said goods,” the secretary added.
Department of Agriculture has already recommended to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte that an implementation of a price freeze for these goods is of importance.