MANILA — A fresh shipment of 2,000 hogs from Mindanao has been shipped to Metro Manila to address a supply shortage of pork and bring down its prices, in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's order, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
The shipment from South Cotabato was delivered to Tondo, Manila, and will be distributed to other parts of the capital region, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
"Kabahagi po ito ng ating mga hakbang na ginagawa para maibsan nga po iyong kakulangan ng baboy dito sa Metro Manila nang sa ganoon bumaba ang presyo ng baboy, at least doon sa umabot sa price cap na si-net po ng ating gobyerno," he said in a televised announcement.
(This is part of our steps to ease the shortage of pork here in Metro Manila so that the price of pork can reach the cap that our government set.)
The agriculture department earlier said it would give a subsidy for the shipment of hogs to Metro Manila, while the 60-day price cap for pork and chicken is in effect.
If hog shipments from other parts of the country are not enough to raise the supply in Metro Manila, the Philippines is ready to import, said Roque.
The South Cotabato Swine Producers’ Association is willing to work with the agriculture department to deliver an initial 10,000 hogs per week to Luzon, said the group's president Clinton Edward Ang.
Officials have blamed escalating pork prices on the African swine fever that has forced the culling of thousands of hogs in Luzon.
Pork accounts for 60 percent of meat consumption in the Philippines, where the swine industry is valued at P260 billion, the agriculture department had said.
The executive branch has called for a food summit to address high pork prices and a drop in palay farmgate prices.