By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday said it will coordinate with hog raisers in Mindanao to bring their surplus pork products to Luzon and Visayas.
“We are looking at an initial volume of 1,700 metric tons (MT) of pork from Davao and General Santos City that are available for immediate transport to Visayas and Luzon,” DA Secretary William Dar said.
He has tasked DA Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña to coordinate with hog raisers and logistics providers in Mindanao to bring surplus pork to where it is most needed in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon and Visayas.
Laviña said Davao hog raisers have committed to ship their surplus pork at 500 MT monthly, while those in General Santos City and Cagayan de Oro could ship 3,000 MT monthly.
While the DA admits confronting a few challenges in the transportation of frozen pork including other food and fishery products from Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon, Dar said they are now addressing them swiftly in consultation with the concerned local government units.
The DAR chief also assured that pork from Mindanao is free from the African Swine Fever (ASF).
“We continue to strictly enforce the bio-security and quarantine measures to effectively manage, contain, and control ASF, and prevent it from spreading to Visayas and Mindanao that are free from the dreaded swine disease,” Dar said.
The DA ensured the public that the country has adequate supply of pork until the third quarter of 2020.
“Right now our pork sufficiency is 93 percent, as we forecast a deficit by the end of the year, at 31 days. In lieu of pork, we enjoin consumers to shift to other protein sources like chicken, as we have an abundant supply of up to 233 days or until August, 2021,” Dar said.
“To help our poultry raisers, we encourage local government units in Luzon to consider buying chicken and eggs from them and include these in food subsidy packs for distribution to their constituents,” Dar said.