Gov’t intensifies efforts on pork supply


MANILA, Philippines — The Government intensifies its efforts to address the lack in pork supply, which is one of the main inflation drivers,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles says in an interview. The recommendation of the Department of Agriculture for a higher minimum access volume (MAV) that will allow pork importation at lower tariffs will push through.

“Pork prices are merely temporary. The Monetary Board (of the Central Bank) will meet to assess and dissect the drivers of inflation. The BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) will undertake steps to temper inflation,” Nograles clarifies.

He says it’s just a temporary increase, referring to the inflation, and we’ll be able to stabilize it by March. Nograles yet denies that the Government’s interventions to stem inflation came too late.

“We anticipated this so we came up with solutions like (recommending a higher) MAV and buying pork from other regions. But those were just short-term activities. We need mid- to long-term solutions,” he points out.

“That’s the reason why we need to increase the supply of pork. We cannot increase it locally because we are still battling ASF (African swine fever). That’s why we’re looking into importation to stabilize (supply) … We need a re-population, which is being done by the DA,” he says.

In the same light, Nograles hopes that the supply of fish would increase during the open season. Earlier, calls on a price freeze on galunggong (round scud) to make it affordable to ordinary consumers has been communicated. “We’re looking into alternative supplies when it comes to fish,” Nograles says.

He assures the public that the Government is striking a “healthy balance” when it comes to reopening the economy and is not forgetting food production.


Hog deliveries report

Metro Manila markets now receive more than enough supply to meet daily pork consumption as hog deliveries from the provinces continue, according to the DA.

Assistant agriculture secretary Noel Reyes says the National Capital Region (NCR)’s daily consumption of 4,000 hogs is being met as more are being delivered from the provinces. Deliveries have been increasing compared to the start of the program’s implementation, saying that some daily deliveries reached as high as 7,000 hogs.

Total deliveries to NCR from the provinces starting 08 February to 05 March reached 124,537 heads and 785,043 kilos of carcasses.

Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) supplied the live hogs accounting for 47.40 percent of total deliveries. Western Visayas followed with 16.96 percent and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) with 9.43 percent. Also, Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, General Santos) contributed 9.31 percent. Central Luzon accounted for 6.24 percent of the total hog deliveries.

Hog shipments came from Bicol, Cagayan Valley, Central Visayas, Ilocos, Northern Mindanao and Zamboanga peninsula.

Central Luzon shipped 96.06 percent volume of carcasses, followed by the Bicol region with 2.89 percent, and Zamboanga peninsula with 0.99 percent.

The DA earlier said it was looking to deliver to Metro Manila at least 15,000 hogs per week for two months to stabilize pork prices in the market. (JSM/JuanManila)

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