Palace hopes no pork holiday as govt provides subsidy, other aid
By Celerina Monte
Malacanang expressed hope that there is no "pork holiday" as the government has been trying to find ways to get more hogs in the provinces and even subsidizing the transportation costs.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said while the government is supporting move by some groups to buy other products, instead of pork, "we are requesting the vendors to continue selling pork."
He said the Department of Agriculture has secured weekly delivery of 10,000 hogs from swine producers in South Cotabato to Metro Manila. The price per kilo is P145.00.
He said the DA will distribute the hogs in the National Capital Region.
The government is also subsidizing the transport cost for the hogs - P21 from those coming from Mindanao, P15 from Visayas, and P10 from othe parts of Luzon which do not have cases of African swine fever, Roque said.
He said the government is also offering loan assistance for the pork vendors.
"If there is still a shortage of pork supply, we can also import, but that is a matter of last resort," the spokesman said.
Some pork and chicken vendors have declared pork holiday on Monday, the first day of the 60-day implementation of the price cap being imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte amid the rising prices of agricultural products.
In an executive order, Duterte has imposed price ceiling on the prices of pork and chicken.
In the "Laging Handa" public briefing, Agricultrue Secretary William Dar accused that during the past three weeks, traders and wholesalers in Metro Manila were "dictating the high prices" of pork products.
"They are competing to increase the farm gate price...the traders and wholesalers are abusing. That's our major problem now," he said.
He recalled that prior to Christmas holiday, prices of pork were stable.
While the demand for the products rose during the Christmas season, the prices now should have gone down, he said as he stressed the need for the price cap.
Dar said his office continues to monitor the situation. DMS