It’s been only five days since the new government-mandated price ceiling on pork took effect, and small vendors and retailers are now appealing for aid and support.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said small retailers, who are also consumers, are now in need of urgent aid and support from the government, following the implementation of the price ceiling.
“Walang mabili at walang pambili ang eksena sa mga palengke (The current scenario is that there’s nothing to buy, and consumers have no money to buy in the first place). The price ceiling is good but we all need cash,” said KMP Chairman Danilo Ramos.
“What good is a price cap if consumers do not have money to buy commodities? Sufficient support to producers and consumers must follow,” he added.
In a virtual press briefing on Thursday, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said the price ceiling imposed by Malacanang is effective and that pork prices are now affordable.
True enough, DA’s market monitoring showed that as of Thursday, the prevailing price of pork at
select markets in Metro Manila stood at P270/kg for kasim and P300/kg for liempo.
This is in line with the recently mandated price ceiling of P270 /kg for kasim and P300/kg for liempo.
But because of the price ceiling’s effect on small sellers, KMP, together with another group Anakpawis, is proposing immediate and significant support to hog producers and raisers in the form of additional indemnification support, on top of the transportation subsidies.
The group said consumers, including poor households, must also receive urgent cash aid of P10,000 per family.
Farmers, on the other hand, need P15,000 production subsidies per cropping season.
Pump priming and spending on production will boost the production, the group said.
KMP is also against the massive pork importation that the DA is planning to do.
It said that increasing the minimum access volume (MAV) and lowering the tariffs on pork will not effectively lower the prices of pork as claimed by DA, arguing that despite bigger pork imports last year, prices still spiked.
“In fact, in 2020, the country imported twice more than the volume needed to fill in the annual consumption. The country’s total pork production last year was at 508,906 MT [metric tons] or 124, 992 MT short of the annual average consumption of 633,898 MT,” KMP said.
“However, based on BAI (Bureau of Animal Industry) records, the country imported almost double the needed supply or 231,140 MT of imported pork… records even show that prices of pork started to spike in the same period as last year’s peak importation,” it added.
At the time, retail prices of pork reached P300/kg in October 2020, around the same time that 37,000 MT of imported pork arrived in the country.
“While ASF (African Swine Fever) and the government’s epic failure to contain the viral disease indeed affected local pork production and supply, there is no foolproof guarantee that pork prices will stabilize once DA imports 162,000 MT of pork,” KMP further said.