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Enough pork, chicken — DA


THE government has assured the public that pork and chicken supply is enough and sufficient until the first quarter of 2021.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar made the assurance even in the face of high demand as the New Year celebration fast approaches.

Secretary Dar cited a report from the DA’s National Livestock Program (NLP) which said that more than 213,500 hogs from Visayas and Mindanao had already been shipped to Metro Manila and nearby provinces to augment the supply of pork and its products.

DA-NLP Head and Undersecretary for Livestock William Medrano said the bulk of the hogs comes from Region 12 or Soccsksargen, which has sent more than 88,800 head and counting since May, comprising 42 percent of the total shipment, followed by Region 6 or Western Visayas, sending 52,700 head or 25%.

With the imposition of quarantine and lockdown due to Covid-19 and incidence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Luzon, Secretary Dar directed the respective DA regional directors in Visayas and Mindanao to coordinate with swine raisers so they can facilitate the transport of their hogs to Metro Manila and ease up the tightening supply and prices of pork.

“On behalf of the DA family, I would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our local chief executives for their proactive role in the unhampered transport of various food items from their respective provinces to Metro Manila, and for the hog raisers’ groups for partnering and cooperating with the DA during these trying times. The fruition of our partnership is adequate and reasonably-priced food on our table,” he added.

Additional supply of pork during the holidays and onto next year is expected as hog producers in General Santos City gear up to increase shipments to Metro Manila and other major markets in Luzon.

Antonio Ephrem Marin, head of the General Santos City veterinary office, said hog farmers in the area have leveled up operations to meet the target shipment of 15,000 to 20,000 head monthly to Luzon.

The DA reported that the country’s frozen pork inventory is more than enough, at 32,724 metric tons (MT), as of the first week of December, as reported by the DA-National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).