Local hog industry laments competition with low-priced imported pork

Marje Pelayo   •   August 11, 2021   •   160

MANILA, Philippines – Local hog raisers are complaining about competing with imported pork in local markets that is considerably cheaper than their produce.

“Hindi po namin kaya ang presyo ng imported. As of now, if we follow the price of imported, all of us will lose money, not only here in Luzon but in Visayas and Mindanao,” said Chester Warren Tan, president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc.

Tan said they are spending huge amounts of money on buying imported feeds for their hogs.

Based on data presented by Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo during the hearing in Congress on Tuesday (August 10), the price of frozen pork ranges from P220 to P250 per kilogram in supermarkets.

“All 84 stores within the National Capital Region are participating in the Presyong Resonable dapat all frozen meat,” Castelo said.

But based on the data gathered by the Department of Agriculture (DA) from local wet markets, the price of pork ranges from P320 to P360 per kilogram.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said, once imported meat gets into the local market, the price of pork is expected to drop.

“As volume comes sa supply augmentation nga natin out of the MAV plus, itong period hanggang October nga po ay merong naka-calibrate na 140,000 metric tons. If many of these will arrive slowly it will also impact the prices of local pork,” Dar explained.

This alarms local hog raisers.

“As local producers umaasa po kami sa fresh sa wet market. Kung ang gusto po ng Department of Agriculture na mangyari is to push sa wet market yung frozen product, ano ang mangyayari sa local producers? Ibig sabihin huminto na lamang kami,” said Tan.

But the DA said there are existing programs designed to help local hog raisers.

One is the agency’s repopulation program for hog raisers affected by the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) and the DA’s P42 billion loan program.

As of August 10, only 29 barangays still have active cases of ASF in the country which is a big improvement, according to the DA.

Meanwhile, a total of 468 municipalities have been declared ASF-free. Nevertheless, Dar said the problem is still here.

“I did not claim that wala ng problema sa ASF. Meron pa rin tayo. Lingering nga. Itong ASF has contributed so much in reducing the supply and inventory,” he said.

Thus, the DA Secretary is asking Congress to provide them an additional P6.6 billion funding  to help the local hog industry recover from the impact of ASF.

“Kasama of course ang Kongreso kasi kayo ang nag-approve. P1.5 billion lang. So will that be enough for repopulation? No. We need additional P6.6 billion this year,” Dar said. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

BAI sees drop in cases of African Swine Fever

Marje Pelayo   •   June 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported a total of 176 cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country in the past month.

The number is lower than the 1,773 cases recorded in August 2020 at the beginning of the outbreak and in April 2021 when the agency logged 520 cases.

As of June 4, there are nine provinces with a total of 19 barangays that still have cases of ASF virus.

These are:
Leyte – 9
Ilocos Norte – 2
Northern Samar – 2
Abra – 1
Apayao – 1
Mountain Province – 1
Cagayan – 1
Eastern Samar – 1
Davao Occidental – 1

“Mahigit 300 (local government unit) na po yung walang reported cases ng ASF for a period ranging from 90 to 180 days ang more,” said Dr. Reildrin Morales, OIC, BAI.

BAI said that areas cleared of ASF may now start repopulating their hogs provided that they coordinate with their local veterinary office or they can visit directly to BAI offices.

Currently, there are 10 farms in Luzon that conducts clinical trial for a potential vaccines against ASF.

“Kung magiging maganda po yung performance nung tina-trial nating bakuna ang isa po sa direksyon natin ay mag mass vaccination tayo lalo na doon sa high risk areas,” Morales said.

As per BAI report, half the number of affected hog raisers have already been compensated which reached a total of P1.55 billion.

BAI projects that it will take about two to three years before the Philippines can finally take control of ASF, especially with the help of local government units.

By declaring a state of calamity due to ASF, the LGUs may now utilize their respective calamity fund for their response efforts against ASF. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Hog raisers believe pork price manipulation prevails in local markets

Marje Pelayo   •   June 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Hog raisers group Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (Pro Pork) believes that there is manipulation of pork prices in some markets as prices remain high.

The group says they have reduced the farmgate price of hogs to P220 per kilogram from its peak of P250 earlier this year.

Based on their estimate, the retail price of pork now in the market should only be at P360 per kilogram or lower.

“Kung mas mataas ang presyo ngayong tumatakbo sa palengke, medyo mataas at malaki ang napapapatong. Pero ang talagang tama P330 to P360 per kilo,” Pro Pork vice president Nick Briones.

Meanwhile, the Laban Konsyumer group is urging the government to set a price ceiling or suggested retail price of pork.

“Sa inside ng mga subdivision nasa P410, P420. Last weekend P420 pa yung bili kong liempo,” said the group’s Atty Vic Dimagiba.

Based on the monitoring of the Department of Agriculture from March to May this year, there is already a decrease of P20 per kilogram on pork prices.

The DA said that aside from the continuous arrival of supply from Visayas and Mindanao, more imported pork is now reaching the markets.

“Definitely bottom line is supply po natin is mas maganda ngayon kasi alam naman po natin na kapag maganda ang ating supply yung presyo ng ating baboy ay mas maganda din po,” DA’s ASec. Kristine Evangelista said.

Based on the data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the African Swine Fever (ASF) is only confined in two regions.

“Active cases now are confined in two regions – five provinces, 10 cities or municipalities, 20 barangays – around 1.5B paid in indemnification,” explained Dr. Reildrin Morales, OIC-BAI.

The indemnity payment for raisers affected by the ASF has also reached to P1.5 billion. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Phl hog industry needs P27-B to recover from impact of ASF — DA

Marje Pelayo   •   May 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking for fund sources to address the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) on the country’s hog industry.

Specifically, the DA needs up to P27 billion for its hog recovery program, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

This year alone, the DA requires an additional P6.6 billion for the repopulation of hogs.

Since the ASF outbreak began in 2019, the country has already lost over three million heads of pigs, Dar noted.

The DA is expecting an amount from the Bayanihan 3 but since the government has declared a state of calamity due to ASF, the agency is expecting an additional source of funds for the program.

“Kung may resource kami na pwede naming i-realign ito po ay pwede nang gagawin dito po sa under the state of calamity,” Dar noted.

Secretary Dar said it would take about three years before the country achieves the average number of hogs as before and it will need an overall budget of P27 billion.

Also part of the hog recovery program is funding ASF test kits and the procurement of a potential vaccine against ASF that is currently under clinical trial. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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