MANILA — The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Thursday assured the public that the country’s pork and livestock supply would be enough during the holiday season, and added that there would be no rice shortage next year.
Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said the production of pork is expected to ramp up by the end of the year.
“‘Pag karneng baboy, mas inaasahan ang produksyon dito sa katapusan ng taon kung ikukumpara sa parehong taon noong 2021, sa aming pagtataya, hindi magkakaroon ng kakulangan sa karneng baboy ngayong holiday season,” said Panganiban during a televised briefing.
There would also be a “surplus” in chicken meat this year, with the highest projected surplus expected to happen by the last quarter this year at 181,043 metric tons.
“Mayroon tayong sapat na supply sa loob ng 40 araw,” he said.
Based on DA's food supply, demand, and sufficiency outlook this year, the total local production of pork is at 1.34 million metric tons, while 290,000 metric tons are imported.
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His statement came after meat importers urged President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who concurrently heads the agriculture department, to cut pork import tariffs in the next 5 years to ensure food security and cool down inflation.
They said Marcos should issue an executive order to "reinstate the import duty rates on pork of 5 percent in quota and 15 percent out quota for a duration of 5 years."
Malacañang has yet to issue a statement on the group's suggestion.
Meanwhile, he also allayed fears that there would be a shortage of rice supply next year amid the rising prices of commodities and the suspension of rice exports from other countries like India.
Panganiban noted that the country still maintains the 60-day buffer stock requirement to keep prices and supply steady.
In June this year, the DA said Vietnam and Thailand might "coalesce" and raise the price of their rice exports which could lead to a P6 per kilo increase in the price of imported rice.
"Sa aming palagay hindi magkakaroon ng rice shortage sa bigas at palay next year. Kailangan magkaroon tayo ng buffer stock na 60 days kung sa ganoon ay mapunan natin ang pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan... baka ma-shortfall,” he said.
The Philippines suffered some P2.02 billion worth of agricultural losses from the onslaught of Typhoon Karding earlier this week.
Commodities and agricultural products heavily damaged by the strong storm include rice (P1.66 billion), high value crops (P271.6 million), corn (P43.6 million), fisheries (P43 million), and livestock and poultry (P7.9 million).
Panganiban said the impact of the typhoon on the country’s agriculture sector might lead to a “15 to 20 percent” spike in prices in the coming days.