It will be easy to apprehend hoarders of pork products when the country’s law enforcers inspect the limited cold storage facilities in the country, Malacanang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government already has a list of cold storage facilities where the meat products are usually stored.
“Now, kung mayroon pong mga nagsasamantala na naghu-hoard ng supply eh madali po kayong mahuli. Bakit po? Eh limitado po kayo ng cold storage facility natin (Now if there are taking advantage, those hoarding supply, you can be easily caught. Why? Because our cold storage facilities are limited),” he said during a press briefing Tuesday, Feb. 9.
“Sa panahon ng COVID, mayroon na pong listahan si Secretary (Carlito) Galvez ng mga cold storage facility. So kung kayo po’y naghu-hoard ng supply, madali po kayong mahuli at nandiyan na po ang NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), titingnan lang po ng NBI iyong mga cold storage facilities at titingnan kung mayroon talagang mga naghu-hoard ng supply doon (In this time of COVID, Secretary Galvez has a list of cold storage facilities so if you’re hoarding supply, you can be easily apprehended. The NBI will look into the cold storage facilities and check if there are supply hoarders),” he added.
As limited pork supply drove prices upward in recent months, Roque said he hopes no one will take advantage of the situation especially as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.
In a Cabinet meeting Monday, Feb. 3, President Duterte approved the creation of a task force to go after profiteers, price manipulators, hoarders and smugglers amid the rising prices of pork products.
The economic intelligence task force will be co-chaired by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Members of the new body are Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), National Security Council (NSC); and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
A price ceiling on select pork and chicken products has also been imposed in Metro Manila for 60 days to prevent the further spike in prices. Pork prices in the capital region have increased in the past few months due to tight supply arising from the impact of Asian swine fever on hog population.
Roque said the government would sustain measures to boost supply and stabilize the cost of pork products in the country.
“Ang mensahe lang po ng ating Presidente, huwag po kayong mag-alala ‘no, hindi po natin pinili na kasabay ng COVID eh masasalanta rin ang ating mga baboy ng ASF. Kakulangan po talaga ng supply ang naging dahilan kung bakit tumataas ang presyo. (The President’s message is do not worry. We did not decide that the COVID will coincide with the ASF onslaught on our hogs. A supply shortage is the reason for the rise in prices),” he said.
He said the President would continue to find solutions to provide a better life for all Filipinos. “Babangon din po tayo, matatapos ang ASF, matatapos ang COVID-19 (We will recover. ASF will end, COVID-19 will also end),” he said.