Agriculture Secretary William Dar is thankful to private sector partners in the hog and poultry industries their active role in stabilizing supply and prices of commodities in Metro Manila, ensuring accessible and affordable food for consumers.
“This early, the Department of Agriculture (DA), along with other concerned government agencies, is pleased to see the smooth implementation of the price ceiling on pork and poultry products in Metro Manila since Monday, despite the threat of a ‘pork holiday’,” said Dar.
“None of this will be possible without the help of partners from the private sector, who stepped up and provided the much needed support in order to bring the commodities to consumers at a reasonable price,” he said.
“For this, we cannot thank enough our partners such as San Miguel Corp. (SMC), SM Markets, North Star, Bounty Fresh, Pro Pork, National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., Biotech Farms, Socospa, Pilmico, Unahco, Bepco, farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs), and hog raisers in Mindanao, Visayas, and ASF (African swine fever)-free areas in Luzon,” the Dar added.
On February 9, the second day of the implementation of the price ceiling on pork and chicken products, Dar — along with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr., Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos — inspected meat stalls at Commonwealth market in Quezon City and SM Hypermart in Mandaluyong City, where the price cap was complied with.
“Despite some vendors and traders going on a pork holiday last Monday, we can see that business is picking up in the National Capital Region with initial hog deliveries from Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, enabling market retailers to comply with the ceiling prices of pork, and with enough profit margin,” Dar said.
“Based on the initial outcome of our interventions, and with the help of the private sector, we can say that we were able to hurdle the ‘artificial shortage’ that detractors wanted to create,” he added.
Dar also commended SMC president Ramon S. Ang for supporting the DA by setting the wholesale prices of their pork and chicken products for wet markets at “least cost” to allow distributors and resellers to make reasonable profits.
For his part, Ang said: “As a leading food manufacturer, we have a responsibility to the consumers. We want to make sure that the objective of the order is met, and that is to make pork and poultry products still within reach of many Filipinos.”
“We will deliver goods to our wet market distributors at the least cost. This way, they can pass these on to resellers at still favorable prices, and they can still profit while keeping to the price caps,” the SMC chief said.
He also ordered San Miguel Foods to expand its distribution and wet market presence so it can help stabilize supply of meat products and keep their prices down to benefit more Filipinos.