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Delivery of ASF-free hogs to metro continues

THE delivery of hogs from African Swine Fever (ASF)-free provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to Metro Manila will continue even as the two-month price ceiling on pork and chicken ended yesterday.

This was the assurance made by Agriculture Secretary William Dar saying that they will continue to provide the hog raisers from these provinces with transport assistance to stabilize the supply of hogs to NCR Plus bubble.

Dar explained that this is only one of the measures that the DA is implementing in order to stabilize food prices, particularly pork.

The other measure that the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will implement is the setting of suggested retail price (SRP) for imported pork, which is the replacement for the price ceiling imposed on pork prices in Metro Manila.

The SRP for imported pork, specifically kasim at P270/kg and liempo at P350/kg will take effect today, April 9.

Dar added that the twin measures aim not only to stabilize food prices but also to temper inflation.

The SRP for imported pork replaces the two-month ceiling price on pork and chicken, as per Executive Order 124, that ends on April 8, and thus there will be no extension. Our decision was based on consultations with various stakeholders. Further, there is no SRP for local pork,” Dar added.

Dar further stressed that supermarkets, groceries, and market retailers should comply with existing guidelines on hygienic handling of imported pork, as prescribed by DA Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 2021.

The DA and the DTI, Dar said, will create a ‘Compliance Monitoring Team’ to ensure that retailers and sellers abide by the SRP, and jointly implement proper packaging and labeling of imported pork.

In relation to the hygienic handling of imported pork, the DA through the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) will require importers to pack their kasim and liempo into ‘saleable” packages of 1 kilo and 500 grams,” Dar said.

He also disclosed that aside from supermarkets and groceries, imported pork will be distributed and sold in wet markets in Metro Manila, particularly to retailers with freezers and chillers.

For those without the facility, the DA through the LGUs in Metro Manila will provide them a grant in the form of freezers, with a capacity of 150 kilos each, worth P18,000. For this initiative, the DA is setting aside P45 million, for about 2,500 freezers,” the DA chief added.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s headline inflation rate fell to 4.5 percent (%) in March 2021 from 4.7% in February.

Based on the report of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the continued supply deficiency in meat, particularly pork, has remained the leading driver of inflation at 20.9% from 20.7% in February.

Measures to boost the supply of key agricultural commodities, including temporary reduction of tariff and quota controls, can help stabilize food prices and inflation,” Dar added.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight