DA told to stabilize prices of meat products

BAGUIO CITY  – (March 02) – City officials urged officials of the Department of Agriculture–Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) to undertake all possible measures for the immediate stabilization of the prevailing high prices of meat products in the city.

Under Resolution No. 088, series of 2021, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, city legislators stated the prohibition of hog raising in the city has reportedly contributed to the prevailing shortage or eventual lack of pork supply aggravated by the continued prevalence of the African Swine Flu (ASF) which caused the existing high prices of pork in the city to as high as P380 per kilo before dropping to P350 per kilo as of the third week of February.

Earlier, some city officials aired their sentiments on the sudden increase in the prevailing prices of pork and pork-based meat products in the city that caused an uproar among residents.

The council claimed that the city’s hog supply is sourced mostly from Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya and also from Visayas where the distance and fees in transporting hogs have allegedly contributed to the increasing prices of pork.

Agriculture officials reported to the City Council that since October 2019, the ASF had greatly affected four provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) that included Kalinga which had the highest recorded cases, followed by Benguet, Ifugao and Mountain Province.

According to them, the ASF infestation peaked in October 2019 up to March 2020 where thousands of hogs had been depopulated that subsequently caused the prevailing shortage of pork supply in the different parts of the city.

Further, the city government also started to impose the ban on hog-raising in some barangays that caused the agriculture department to propose to the city the temporary lifting of the aforesaid ban so that livestock raising will be allowed in barangays that are outside the populated areas to help mitigate the effects of the absence of hogs being raised right in the city proper.

Under existing laws, rules and regulations, hog-raising is prohibited in highly urbanized cities to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment.

The body suggested that the agriculture department should come out with the appropriate interventions to help in mitigating the effects of the sudden surge in the prices of pork and pork-based products not only in the city but also in other neighboring areas.

Agriculture officials meanwhile urged city officials to consider the proposal of concerned sectors to allow hog-raising in barangays that are situated at the outskirts of the city to help in stabilizing the supply of hogs as the agriculture department will be providing the pigs to be raised by interested hog raisers.

Part of the interventions being provided by the agriculture department to help in stabilizing the supply of hogs in the city is to help in the repopulation of hogs for existing hog raisers affected by the ASF but it will take several months for the supply to be stabilized. – Dexter A. See