Shipments of live hogs, frozen pork from Visayas, Mindanao to ease prices in Luzon – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2020   •   195

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said that shipments of live hogs and frozen pork meat will be increased starting this week in the hopes of addressing the low supply and high prices of pork in public markets and other areas in Luzon.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said his department and representatives of the hog industry in the country have agreed to “heighten shipments” of hogs and frozen pork meat from Visayas and Mindanao.

“We will elevate our partnerships with hog producers and traders, ship owners and operators, and local government officials in Visayas and Mindanao to supply Metro Manila and Luzon with hogs and frozen pork, and eventually bring down prices for the benefit of consumers,” Dar said in a statement.

Weekly shipments will be increased, ranging from 27,000 to 30,000 head of hogs, coming from the main ports in Davao, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro until December this year, he added.

During the meeting, the DA said that San Miguel Corp. (SMC) targets to hike shipments to four container vans or 48 metric tons per week from Mindanao.

Shipments of live hogs will also come from Cebu, Iloilo, and Leyte, it added.

“This is a problem of logistics — including sourcing, distribution, and marketing — which we can address without difficulty. All we ask is the full cooperation of key players in the entire hog industry value chain,” he said.

The Agriculture chief said he has sought the assistance of the Department of Transportation to increase the number and frequency of vessels plying the routes to and from Mindanao and Luzon ports.

The suggested retail price for pork and other pork products is currently being reviewed, he added.

Dar expressed confidence that the effort will greatly boost the dwindling supply of pork in Luzon due to the depopulation of hog farms infected with African Swine Fever.

DA warns vendors violating price freeze on agri-products

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has warned against vendors violating the price freeze implemented on agri-products.

DA Asec. Kristine Evangelista said high prices on several agri-products including chilis are due to the low supply.

The prices of vegetables that came from areas affected by the previous typhoons have also increased.

However, Evangelista reminded vendors that a price freeze is still being implemented on agri-products in Luzon.

She said they have personnel monitoring the prices in public markets and warned vendors violating the said price freeze.

“We’d like to remind everybody that under the Price Act ay mayroon pong parusa kapag hindi kayo sumunod, lalo na ngayong (there is a penalty for those who will not comply with the) price freeze and we’re looking at from P5,000 to P1-million,” she said.

Laban Konsyumer President Vic Dimagiba said they are also monitoring public markets to make sure vendors are abiding by the price freeze implemented by the DA.

Ang gagawin po namin sa susunod na weekend ang aming volunteer ay iikot uli titingnan po natin kung ang presyo ay nagbi-behave na sumusunod na o lumalapit na sa itinakdang price freeze ng Department of Agriculture (What we’ll do is our volunteers will monitor the prices by next weekend if vendors are following the price freeze implemented by the Department of Agriculture),” he said.

Several public markets in Metro Manila have increased their prices. In Balintawak Public Market, cabbages cost P120 per kilo compared to the previous P50 per kilo. Potatoes now cost P60 per kilo from the previous P40 per kilo, while carrots cost P100 per kilo from P30 per kilo.

The DA will also monitor the suggested retail price in poultry and livestock products. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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DA sees Quezon Province as emerging cacao hub in Luzon

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) sees Quezon Province as an emerging powerhouse for cacao production in the country.

According to the agriculture department, cacao farming is being promoted in nine towns in the province. The department also inaugurated a cacao facility in Gumaca, Quezon where they launched a range of “Tangerine” chocolate products of the Four K Kakao Farm.

DA Secretary William Dar lauded the skills, diligence, and resilience of cacao farmers who are behind the success of the “Tangerine” brand.

“We must endeavor to make farming a profitable venture. Farmers should be open to and adopt innovative ideas and technologies. This is our vision—to modernize and industrialize Philippine agriculture,” he said.

Secretary Dar eyes expanding the Gumaca facility to include a coconut processing facility, and a banana tissue culture laboratory that will provide farmers free seedlings. AAC

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DA updates SRP for basic agri-products in NCR wet markets

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday said it has issued a new set of suggested retail prices (SRP) for basic agricultural commodities sold in wet markets in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The DA, however, said the SRP does not include products sold in supermarkets.

The department said it updated the SRP “as changing cost structures in the supply chain require updating to allow retailers to realize a reasonable profit while ensuring that consumers are protected from profiteering.”

The DA said the updated SRP was issued under the Administrative Circular No. 17, signed by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar on November 26, 2020.

It will serve as guide for retailers and consumers amid the Luzon-wide price freeze imposed in light of the pandemic and the series of calamities that have devastated the country, it added.

The new set of SRP covers seven categories, namely rice, livestock and poultry, fish, lowland and highland vegetables, fruits, spices, and other basic items.

Their respective prices per kilogram are the following:

Rice

  • Local: special P50; premium P45; and well-milled P40
  • Imported: special P52; premium P45; and well-milled P36

Livestock & Poultry

  • Beef rump P380
  • Brisket P300
  • Pork pigue/kasim P260
  • Liempo P290
  • Whole chicken P140
  • Chicken egg (medium) P6.50/piece

Fish

  • Milkfish (bangus) P160
  • Tilapia P120
  • Roundscad (galunggong) imported P140
  • Alumahan P250

Lowland Vegetables

  • Ampalaya P120
  • Sitaw P100
  • Pechay (native) P80
  • Squash P30
  • Eggplant P100
  • Tomato P100

Highland Vegetables

  • Cabbage (Scorpio) P70
  • Carrots P80
  • Habitchuelas (Baguio beans) P130
  • White potato P70
  • Pechay (Baguio) P80
  • Chayote P40

Fruits

  • Calamansi P50
  • Banana: lakatan P90; latundan P70
  • Papaya P60
  • Mango (carabao) P150

Spices

  • Red onion local P160; imported P120
  • White onion (imported) P100
  • Garlic P90
  • Ginger P160

Other Basic Items

  • Sugar – refined P50; washed P45; brown P45
  • Cooking oil (palm) – 350 ml P25; and 1 liter P50

“Those who fail to comply with the SRPs could be fined between P5,000 and P2 million and face imprisonment between five and 15 years,” the DA warned.

It also urged consumers to report SRP violators at (02) 8920-0925 and da.consumersprotection@gmail.com “so that appropriate corrective measures could be taken.”

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