DTI eyes lower price ceiling as 400,000 metric tons of pork imports sought for 2021

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 09 2021 09:24 PM

DTI eyes lower price ceiling as 400,000 metric tons of pork imports sought for 2021 1
Beef, pork, and chicken are sold at Nepa-Q Mart in Quezon City on January 21, 2021, amid rising prices of basic goods. Labor groups called on the government to urgently raise the minimum wage amid the rising prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry is proposing a lower price ceiling for imported pork being sold in Metro Manila supermarkets, as consumers continue to reel from the recent price surge of pork meat due to limited supplies.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez noted Tuesday that the landed cost of imported meat products usually sold in larger groceries and supermarkets are significantly lower than the farmgate price of domestic pork.

“Kung gusto nilang mas mura, punta sila sa grocery or supermarket, sigurado may SRP (suggested retail price). At kapag may imported, siguradong ile-label po iyon. Iyon po ang magiging requirement natin at ipi-presyo nang mas mababa kaysa sa SRP,” he said during a public briefing.

(If they want cheaper products, they can go to a grocery or supermarket, where there is an SRP and labeled imported products. That will be our requirement and we will drop the price even lower than the SRP.

The agriculture department assured the public that it is augmenting the supply of pork meat by sourcing from areas in the Visayas and Mindanao not affected by the African swine fever.

“So, mayroon tayong commitment po sa mga iba’t-ibang probinsiya. Alam natin dito sa Metro Manila, 4,000 hogs are being slaughtered every day and the commitment that we get from the various provinces ay more than 5,000 hogs ang puwedeng dalhin. At dinadala na starting yesterday, and even last week,” Agriculture Sec. William Dar said in the same briefing.

(We have commitments from various provinces. We know that here in Metro Manila, 4,000 hogs are being slaughtered every day. And the commitment that we get from the various provinces is, more than 5,000 hogs can be delivered. They have started yesterday, and even last week.)

Dar said the DA has allocated funds to provide zero interest loans to support meat vendors, with each vendors' association given P5 million for added capital.

The agency also provided transport assistance of P21 per kilo of pork meat brought from Mindanao; P15 from Visayas, Bicol, Mimaropa and Ilocos Region; and P10 from Central Luzon and Calabarzon, to keep the landed cost of meat between P165 to P180 per kilo in Metro Manila.

The Minimum Access Volume (MAV) Advisory Council on Monday recommended to increase pork imports to about 400,000 metric tons in 2021 to augment pork supplies.

“Iyong existing MAV quota natin ay nasa 54,000. Ang ini-endorse kahapon ng MAV Advisory Council ay itong deficit na 388,790. So, more or less 400,000 iyon. So, MAV Plus ang tawag natin po doon,” Dar said.

(The existing MAV quota is 54,000. The MAV Advisory Council endorsed this 388,790 deficit yesterday. So, that's more or less 400,000. It's called MAV Plus.)

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the recommendation to increase the importation of pork meat to address rising prices in Metro Manila due to the effects of the ASF.

The DA reported that a kilo of pork was around P132 in one region, and as high as P244 in another region.

The price of pork was among the factors that drove inflation to a 22-month high in December, according to the national statistics bureau, and prices of pork products are unlikely to come down anytime soon.

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