By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Domestic meat processors have warned that the ban imposed by local government units in Visayas and Mindanao on the entry of processed pork-based products from Luzon in their respective jurisdictions would result in a staggering P40-billion industry loss.
Jerome D. Ong, vice president of Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI), said Visayas and Mindanao generally represent about 35-40 percent of total sales of processed meat products annual volume of P300 billion. Pork-based processed meat is around 40 percent of all processed meats produced.
“Annualized, therefore, the value of the impact to the meat processing industry will be over P40 billion,” said Ong in a statement.
Considering further, that 40-42 percent of the total volumes of the industry happens during the last quarter of the year, Ong said: “We are seeing at business set-back of at least P18 billion for this season.”
Cebu and Bohol provinces have led the total ban on the shipment of pork-based products from Luzon. Eighteen provinces followed for a total of 20.
Twenty-six other provinces have also imposed a more reasonable conditional ban that just need to be rationalized for ease of implementation.
“Putting these together, we have 46 out of the total 81 provinces in the country that have imposed restrictions on the movement into their constituencies of Luzon-based pork processed meats. This is about 60% of all provinces,” Ong pointed out.
Ong said the meat processing industry understand the need for the local governments to protect their constituencies.
But Ong plead for reasonable minds to prevail. “We beg that these rules and restrictions be based on science and on the expert advice of internally recognized Animal Health Organizations.”
While the DA, the DOH and the DTI have drafted rules and regulations to govern the dynamics of the businesses relevant to this, meat processors said such directives would not be followed because the final implementation lies with the LGUs.
With the bans being implemented, Ong said there would be a possible shortage of supply for VisMin and oversupply for Luzon.
With Christmas just around the corner, Ong said: “There will not be enough Christmas hams and other pork-based products in the Visayas and Mindanao during the Christmas Festivities.”