DA looks into reports on pork ‘overpricing’

Published June 9, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday assured the public that it will be look into the alleged overpricing of pork in the market.

Department of Agriculture (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Agriculture (MANILA BULLETIN)

DA Secretary William Dar said in an interview over DZBB that the department will coordinate with hog raisers to address the reported increase in market prices of pork.

The suggested retail price for pork has been set at P190 per kilo.

“We will work together with hog industry to see if anyone is taking advantage of the situation,” the DA chief said.

He assured that there is enough supply of pork, especially in Visayas and Mindanao, despite the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF).

“We had a problem with production of pork because of the African Swine Fever but it has been contained due to the initial travel restrictions imposed during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine,” Dar pointed out. “We are continuously monitoring the situation as the risk of ASF is still there.”

He also noted the role of the city and provincial Local Price Coordinating Councils led by local government units in monitoring market prices of basic agricultural commodities.

DA has been planning to implement a price freeze on basic agricultural products to ensure its availability at reasonable prices even after most parts of the country transitioned to general community quarantine.

“We have reviewed the agricultural products’ suggested retail price (SRP) vis-a-vis price freeze. We found that the price freeze has more teeth than the SRP that is why we are planning to recommend it for consideration of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and Malacañang,” Dar earlier said.

Under the Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, prices of basic necessities in an area shall be automatically be frozen at their prevailing prices or placed under automatic price control whenever an area is proclaimed or declared a disaster area or under a state of calamity.

The DA has the power to implement a suggested retail price anytime “for the information and guidance of producers, manufacturers, traders, dealers, sellers, retailers and consumers.”