Include entire supply chain in imposition of price-cap order on pork and chicken, DTI chief asks

Published February 1, 2021, 2:27 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has suggested the imposition of a price freeze for the wholesale, trading, and transportation of pork and poultry products to ensure compliance against the continued spike of their prices.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez disclosed that this was one of their proposals to the Department of Agriculture (DA) when it recommended to President Duterte to issue anew an order imposing a ceiling for the prices of pork and chicken.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez

On Monday, President Duterte ordered the imposition of a price ceiling on selected pork and chicken products in Metro Manila for 60 da

During the Senate agriculture and food committee’s inquiry on the “alarming” spike in the prices of basic commodities, Lopez said price freeze should not be limited to retailers, but should include the wholesale sector.

In the hearing, Senator Risa Hontiveros said she is concerned that small vendors would be at the losing end when they are the last to receive supplies of the commodities.

“Kabado po ako sa pagpataw ng price freeze sa baboy, ‘yong mga tindera natin sa palengke ang mapaparusahan. Kahit na ‘yong pagtaas ng presyo ng karne at profiteering, kung nangyayari po ‘yon, ay hindi naman sa maliit na tindera sa palengke nangyayari (I am concerned with the imposition of the price freeze on pork, our vendors in the market will end up being punished. Because the increase of meat prices or profiteering, if ever that happens, does not happen with our small vendors),” Hontiveros said.

Lopez agreed, saying the suggested retail price (SRP) should apply to all the levels of the supply value chain.

“Kailangan din po may SRP sa wholesale, may SRP sa biyahero, para po malinaw across the value chain, mamonitor at susunod lahat ng nasa value chain. Kasi ho pagpasok ng pork o ng produkto ng pork sa palengke, ang problema po ang retailers talagang susunod na lang po sa kung anong pinasa sa kanila at magpapatong sila ng P5 or P10 (There should be an SRP for the wholesale, an SRP for the transporters, so that the price freeze will be clear and can be monitored and everyone in the value chain will comply. Because once pork products are delivered to markets, the problem is, retailers would just follow the prices passed on to them and they will just add P5 of P10 to it),” he said.

“Ang importante po talaga ang SRP will be at the different levels, from farmgate up to the retailers, para talagang dapat sumunod (What’s important is there is an SRP at the different levels, from farmgate to retailers, so that all will be obliged to comply),” he said.

He said that based on his understanding, the DA only recommended the price cap for the retail prices of pork and chicken.

Recalling a meeting with the DA and industry stakeholders, he also said the government should also consider “adjustments” being made by producers and traders due to the limitations in supply.

“So maybe that can be considered if the SRP is issued, the DA can also issue the necessary SRP along the value chain,” Lopez appealed.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Monday that Duterte already granted the DA’s request and signed Executive Order No. 124 imposing a price ceiling for pork and chicken products in Metro Manila for a period of 60 days.

Based on the DA’s recommendation, the price cap for pork kasim and liempo are P270 per kilogram and P300/kg, respectively.

For chicken, the DA recommended a ceiling of the P160/kg.