Gov’t announces price cap on imported pork

Published April 7, 2021, 4:00 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Philippine government will no longer extend the price ceiling on pork and chicken in Metro Manila, but will impose a price cap or suggested retail price (SRP) on imported pork only starting Friday, April 9.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced during Wednesday, April 7 virtual briefing, that the price cap or suggested retail price for imported pork kasim is P270 per kg, while the imported pork liempo is P350 per kg.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar (MANILA BULLETIN)

The enforcement of SRP on imported pork is among the measures that the government will undertake to address the rising cost of pork in Metro Manila and nearby areas. This measure was approved as the price ceiling on pork and chicken will last only until tomorrow, April 8.

To recall, Executive Oder 124 took effect in Metro Manila starting February, imposing a price ceiling of P270 per kilogram (/kg) for pork kasim; P300/kg for pork liempo; and P160/kg for whole dressed chicken.

“There will be no extension [EO 104] but we have decided based on various consultations that we will impose SRP for imported pork,” Dar said. “Meanwhile, no SRP will be implemented for local pork.”

During the same briefing, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said “supply is really the problem” in the hog industry, and so the proposals to import more pork are justified.

For his part, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) Chair Rosendo So is skeptical about the recent move of the DA and DTI about the SRP on imported pork.

“Mr. Dar is paving the way for the smooth entry of imported frozen pork in our palengkes despite being unable to justify the need to increase the MAV plus allocation of pork to 400 million kilos, and reduce pork tariffs,” So said. 

“Neither of these proposals are necessary, nor are they beneficial to consumers and the local hog industry. Increasing the MAV to 400 million kilos of pork is equivalent to eight million pig heads, and is way above the current inventory of our backyard hog raisers at 6.9 million heads,” he added.  

Furthermore, he said this action will not make pork more affordable and it further cripples a hog industry that “is already suffering from the DA’s mismanagement of the ASF outbreak”.

“The pork shortfall can be imported at the current tariff level and MAV allocation without any additional burden to importers, as the current tariff rates already provide profits of 200 to 250 pesos per kilo for importers,” So said. “There is no need to incentivize them further; increasing the MAV and lowering tariffs serve to only increase the profits of importers at the expense of Filipino consumers who will not benefit from lower pork prices,” he added.