Palace assures gov’t action for sufficient supply of pork

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 10, 2021   •   185

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang has assured the public that government agencies are taking steps to ensure that the supply of pork products will be sufficient amid the ongoing pork holiday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said government agencies including the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are looking into various approaches to ease the effects of limited pork supply.

The DTI said it will prevent and apprehend price manipulators and supply hoarders, while the DA will begin repopulation efforts of hog raisers, including breeders and multiplier farms. 

“Patuloy po ang ginagawang hakbang ng ating gobyerno para makatiyak na may sapat na suplay ng baboy sa ating mga palengke. Kasama sa ating gagawin ang ‘repopulation’ na may nakalaan na PhP600-M na pondo (The government continues its response to ensure there is enough pork supply in our markets. This includes allotting P600 million budget for repopulation),” he said.

Roque added that the government also launched the Bantay ASF sa Barangay program where the DA will provide LGUs with test kits to detect the swine flue faster.

He also reiterated the imposition of a mandated price ceiling on selected pork and chicken products in the National Capital Region. –AAC

Duterte to visit areas affected by ‘Auring’—Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit areas affected by the onslaught of tropical depression Auring, Malacañang announced on Tuesday (February 23).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in an online briefing said the President wants to see firsthand the damage wrought by Auring and the situation of displaced residents. Duterte will visit the affected areas in the Caraga region accompanied by several members of the Cabinet.

Nograles reported that financial aid has already been given to the residents. He further assured that additional relief assistance will also be provided.

As of February 22, the number of families affected by Auring has reached 28,009. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Meat dealers, vendors at Commonwealth Market to go on pork holiday starting Feb. 22

Marje Pelayo   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Meat dealers and vendors at Commonwealth Market agreed to not sell pork starting Monday (February 22).

They said it is not because they are protesting against the government but because of income loss due to the implementation of the price cap on pork.

“Lahat tayo namomroblema kung saan tayo kukuha ng baboy ngayon. Mayroon naman, sobrang taas. Lalong hindi natin masusunod yung P270 na iyan. Ngayon ano magiging solusyon natin? Ito. Nagpapaalam tayo sa administrator natin na hindi muna tayo magtitinda,” said Toto Rillo, a meat vendor.

Vendors argued that up to present, they still get pork at a higher price and not all of them are able to recieve from deliveries provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA) coming from other parts of the country.

“Paano naman kami? Ubos na ang puhunan namin at wala na kaming ipapaubos kasi ubos na. Yan ang totoo. Magpakatotoo tayo. Nagbibigay tayo ng 270 peso negative,” argued Norma Noma, also a meat dealer.

What they appeal is for DA to increase the price cap to at least P330 per kilogram that is effective in the entire Luzon region.

They also argued against reports that some supplies that are supposedly for Metro Manila are diverted to other provinces where they can be sold at the much higher price.

This shouldn’t be the case, they said, as the government even provided transportation subsidy for the supplies to reach Metro Manila.

According to DA, they are now investigating the matter while the agency is studying the possibility of implementing the price cap to the whole of Luzon.

“Susundan natin yung pagdating mismo ng shipment. Pupuntahan yan ng ating enforcement (team),” said DA Undersecretary Ernesto Gonzales.

“Susundan iyan hanggang sa slaughter house. Kung ilalabas yan, hindi nila matatanggap yung subsidy,” he added. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Delay in delivery of Sinovac vaccines may happen, Palace says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — There might be delays in the delivery of Sinovac vaccines for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.

Roque said the delivery of of 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac might not arrive on the scheduled date on February 23 if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still has not approved its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Sinovac has submitted its application on the second week of January but only AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNtech have received their approved EUA.

“I have received information that unless the EUA is delivered today, baka pati po ang delivery sa 23rd ay maantala (the delivery on the 23rd might be delayed), Roque said.

Meanwhile, there is still no schedule when the delivery of AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the country.

This was after AstraZeneca announced supply issues while Pfizer-BioNtech announced indemnification issues.

However, despite the delays vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez is confident the vaccination rollout in the country will push through within February.

Nakita natin nagkaroon din ng delay ang rollout worldwide ng COVAX but definitely just in case magkaroon ng EUA, ang iba po na mado-donate at iyong darating sa procurement natin, possible pa po ang February (We saw delays in the worldwide vaccine rollout in COVAX but in case EUAs are issued, or donations and our procurement arrive, [vaccination in] February is still possible), he said. -AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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