A consumer group has called for “pork holiday” in protest of the high prices of pork in the local market and amid the inability of government and industry players to stop prices from rising..
In a statement, Laban Konsyumer Inc. issued a challenge to consumers to abstain from eating pork as prices of the meat have gone above the current suggested retail prices (SRPs).
LKI also blamed government agencies, importers, hog raisers and vendors for their inability to agree on what to do and control prices.
“Amidst the tug of war amongst the agriculture department, the hog raisers, importers and market vendors, the consumers continue to bear the brunt of high prices of pork and chicken, well above current SRPs,” LKI President Victorio Mario Dimagiba said.
Dimagiba noted that the agriculture department blamed traders and wholesalers of pork for price manipulation while the hog raisers demanded the resignation of Agriculture Secretary William Dar for “incompetence,” and importers batted for more import permits and lower tariff imports.
“Vendors are complaining of high prices from traders and consumers is beset by as much as P450 a kilo of liempo,” Dimagiba said.
Thus, Dimagiba has urged that consumers must exercise their right of choice. “Let’s stop buying meat products. Let’s have pork holiday until the market price behaves,” said Dimagiba.
In the meantime, LKI has called for a third party or a government agency to take it upon themselves to probe price collusion if any and file charges to anyone who slept on their job, “those who takes advantage at the expense of the other stakeholders and more importantly, us the consumers.”
LKI highlighted what it called as competing positions at the moment.
“Everyone has its own story. You do not know which is which. Meantime consumers continue to bear the brunt of high prices,” he said.