MANILA (UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered a price cap on pork and chicken products in Metro Manila following public lament on the rising cost of these food items.
Executive Order No. 124 sets a price ceiling of P270 per kilogram for kasim and pigue, P300 per kilogram for liempo, and 160 per kilogram for dressed chicken in the National Capital Region for 60 days.
“The current retail prices of basic necessities in the National Capital Region such as pork and chicken have increased significantly, causing undue burden to Filipinos, especially the underprivileged and marginalized,” the order read.
Officials have blamed escalating prices of pork and chicken on supply shortages prompted by the African swine fever and financial difficulties of broiler raisers, respectively.
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Willaim Dar said his agency was studying tripling pork imports to increase the local supply.
Duterte, meanwhile, extended lower tariff rates on certain imported poultry products until 2022.
Rising food prices, along with high transport costs pushed Philippine inflation in December to quicken to 3.5 percent, the highest inflation rate since February 2019’s 3.8 percent.
In November, the country’s inflation rate had already jumped to a 21-month high of 3.3 percent due to higher food prices following the devastation left by a series of storms and typhoons.
At the start of the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said inflation was the least of its worries, deeming the spike in food prices as transitory.
But last week, the BSP raised its inflation forecast for the month to range of 3.3 percent to 4.1 percent.
Official inflation figures are expected to be released on Friday.
– With reports from Jamaine Punzalan and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News