DA eyes to triple pork imports; warns unscrupulous traders
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing to triple this year the importation of pork as it warned unscrupulous vegetable and fruit traders that they could face charges for the high prices of agricultural products in the market.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, in the "Laging Handa" public briefing on Monday, said that currently only 54,000 metric tons of imported pork is allowed.
"Included in our plan and we are already studying to increase the minimum access volume to triple what is allowed. What is allowed now is 54,000 metric tons for one year, if we can triple it so that we can increase the pork supply in the country," he said.
Consumers have been complaining of the high prices of meat and other agricultural products, such as frutis and vegetables, in the market.
Dar said that highland fruits and vegetables should not have high prices since only about 10 percent are affected by cold temperature.
Apparently, he said high prices of agricultural products usually happened when traders brought the produced from "bagsakan areas" to wet markets in Metro Manila.
"So, we are planning (to conduct) an economic intelligence to charge unscrupulous traders or profiteers," Dar said.
He said the DA expects more supplies of fruits and vegetables this month and in February.
"So, the prices will go down," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS