MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday expressed optimism that the delivery of over 200,000 live hogs to Metro Manila would help stabilize the retail prices of pork products in public markets.
This, after a total of 202,006 hogs have already arrived in Metro Manila since Feb. 8.
“Kaya ‘yun pong presyo ng karne, bababa na iyan, mai-stabilize na iyan. Iyan ang magandang balita (That’s why the price of pork will go down. That will be stabilized. That is good news),” Panelo said in his commentary program “Counterpoint.”
The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday transported around 3,775 live hogs to Metro Manila.
The African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in some parts of the country continues to decimate the local hog population, triggering an increase in pork prices.
To address the increase in prices of pork products, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order (EO) 124, which implements a price ceiling on select pork and chicken products in Metro Manila until April 8.
EO 124 imposes a price cap of PHP270 per kilogram for pork kasim and pigue, PHP300 per kilogram for pork liempo, and PHP160 per kilogram for dressed chicken.
However, DA’s market watch on Tuesday found that the average retail price for pork kasim was at PHP340, pork liempo at PHP360, and whole chicken at PHP200.
The DA has already transmitted to Duterte’s office a draft proclamation declaring a state of national emergency in the country.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, in a memorandum dated March 17, explained that the ASF has already spread to 12 regions, 40 provinces, 466 cities and municipalities, and 2,425 villages nationwide to date.
The declaration of a state of national emergency, Dar said, would “mandate and capacitate concerned government agencies, including the local government units to work together to prevent and control the further spread of ASF.”
Duterte has yet to act on the DA’s recommendation. (PNA)