Meat vendors eye ‘pork, chicken holiday’ amid 60-day price cap

Marje Pelayo   •   February 7, 2021   •   664

MANILA, Philippines – The implementation of the 60-day price ceiling on pork and chicken products in Metro Manila will take effect on Monday (February 8).

However, several stakeholders in the hog industry fear the possible impact of the price cap on their livelihoods. 

Some retailers in Metro Manila would rather stop selling pork and chicken meat if they have very little to gain from the price freeze.

Under the executive order signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, prices of kasim/pigue should be at P270 per kilogram, liempo should be at P300 per kilogram, and dressed chicken at P160 per kilogram for 60 days.

“Mahihirapan kami kasi mataas pa po ang kuha namin. Papaano pa namin maibaba ang benta kung mataas ang puhunan? Maaring ma-bankrupt kami. Maaring huminto muna kami kung di aayos ang presyo,” said pork retailer Zenaida Flores.

Chicken retailer, Tata Capili also voiced the same concern: “Hindi namin kayang tuparin ang sinasabi nilang P160/kg. Napakataas ng puhunan ng manok. Malaking epekto sa amin.”

Meanwhile, a group of traders denied allegations that they are manipulating pork prices.

The Manila Meat Dealers Association said that they are using the same pricing formula they have always used long before the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

“Ang P60 na patong namin wala pang ASF ganyan na ang formula namin, so hindi kami nagmanipulate,” said Ricardo Chan, the group’s representative.

“Hindi kami nagsamantala nitong ASF na ito. Ang nagsamantala ay ang mga hog raisers komo nga sa supply and demand,” he added.

He also said that farmgate prices of hogs have already decreased.

“From P250 na farmgate nila, ngayon nasa P200 na lang. So P50 na ang ibinaba nila. Although hindi pa rin sapat iyon para maibenta ng P270 per kilo ang baboy na price ceiling natin,” Chan said.

Meanwhile, hog raisers insist that the scarcity of supply and high cost of inputs are the main reasons for the price hike.

They noted that 40% of the 13 million hog population in the country is already gone due the effects of ASF outbreak.

“Kaya ito nangyayari (ay) may shortage. Wala iyong sinasabi ni Secretary [William] Dar na merong hoarders, may manipulators,” said Nick Briones, the vice president of the Pork Producers Federation Inc.

Based on their estimation, pork prices should range from P340 to P360 per kilogram.

“Ang inaalala namin pag dating ng Lunes baka matakot yung ating mga retailers, traders na magbenta kasi malulugi sila. Baka hindi na sila magbenta. Iyon ang problema,” Briones concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

DA to release SRP on pork next week

Marje Pelayo   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to release a new suggested retail price (SRP) on pork next week alongside the implementation of increased tariff.

“We will have a new SRP based on this EO that will set the new tariffs,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

The official added that consumers will surely benefit from the SRP and the supply of pork will be replenished through importation.

Dar added that this is just among the solutions of the government to address the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the local hog industry.

Coinciding with this measure is the ingoing repopulation of hogs.

Meanwhile, the price of pork in major markets in Metro Manila remains at P340 to P400 per kilogram.

Based on the estimate of the Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA), they can still supply pork at P320 per kilogram retail price.

This is much lower than locally produced meat even after the government’s newly imposed tariff on pork.

“Ngayon pagtaas uli ng 5% siguro baka mga P315/kg or P320/kg. Baka dyan po babagsak ang bagong SRP,” said MITA president Jess Cham.

But for the group, Samahan ng Industriyang Agrikultura (SINAG), the price of imported pork should drop further because the cost of importation is way cheaper.

The group argued that the government is losing about P13 billion on tariff thus it is just for consumers to enjoy lower price of pork meat.

“Iyong suggested retail price ng imported ay gawing P200 para at least ay pumunta doon sa consumer yung nawala na taripa,” said SINAG president Rosendo So said.

Currently, DA’s SRP on imported pork ranges from P270 per kilogram to P350 per kilogram. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DA to impose SRP on imported pork beginning April 9

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be imposing a suggested retail price (SRP) on imported pork which is now cheaper than locally produced meat.

At present, the price of kasim is P270 per kilogram; while liempo costs P350 per kilogram.

Likewise, the DA will require importers and retailers to put proper labeling in each package for easy distinction and for the protection of consumers.

“The DA thru the NMIS-the National Meat Inspection Service will require importers to package their pork, of course, those 2 categories– Liempo or Kasim, into salable packages of 1 kilo or 500 grams,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Thursday (April 8) is the last day of a two-month implementation of the price cap on pork and poultry meat.

The DA plans to focus on additional strategies to prevent a further spike in the prices of such commodities.

The DA sees a possible importation of pork meat and a lowering of tariff.

But while this strategy remains pending approval, the DA will continue transporting pork from African Swine Fever-free provinces to Metro Manila to stabilize supply.

The agency also sees the repopulation of pigs in ASF-free areas.

“Iyong dati, iyong price cap will not solve the problem. Ang bottom line pa rin ay supply,” noted Dar.

“Price capping is just one of the measures. So to stabilize prices talaga you have to complete those other measures to be in place,” he added.

The DA has allocated P45-M for the procurement of freezers which will be provided to retailers.

A compliance monitoring team will also be created to ensure that retailers are observing and following the SRP.

For its part, the Trade Department hopes that an additional supply of pork will help stabilize the prices.

“I think P320 to P350 hopefully will be the ideal price moving forward. Given maybe the expected supply asahan natin na dyan po iikot ang presyo in a way medyo istable na,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

But for consumers, the implementation of the price cap remains best as they hope to hear the result of the investigation on the alleged manipulation in pork prices as soon as possible.

“Dito sa SRP suggested di ba? Suggested retail prices. So malikot pa rin ang presyo sa palengke,” said the group’s representative Atty. Vic Dimagiba. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Pork producers favor proposed state of emergency declaration amid ASF woes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Pork producers are in favor of recommending to President Rodrigo Duterte the declaration of a state of emergency due to the continuous threat of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines vice president Nicanor Briones said the president needs to take action on the issue especially when pork prices remain high despite the implemented price cap. 

Briones also urged the government to provide incentives to local hog raisers which could include transport subsidy that hog raisers are currently not receiving from the Department of Agriculture.

Several senators have already urged the agriculture department to propose a declaration of state of emergency.  The agency said  it is open to discussing the matter. AAC

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