By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Bacolod City Executive Assistant on Markets Ernie Pineda said there is no price control yet for meat and poultry products being sold in the city.
Pineda made the statement after the price of several food items such as pork and chicken have risen in the past few days.
He said they can only implement price controls if the city is placed under a state of calamity, state of emergency, or during a civil disorder.
The declaration also depends on the recommendation made by the Department of Agriculture, or through President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
Pineda explained that during the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns last year, the price of meat and poultry products was still low because the outlets are still full and the retailers are trying to sold off all of their products first before restocking.
Because of this, Pineda believes that the backyard raisers have become discouraged and they started to reduce the volume of their pork and poultry production.
With the situation now slowly going back to normal and with the restrictions easing up, the demand has started to increase while the supply remains low.
Pineda pointed out it is one of the reasons why the price of meat and poultry products increased.
He believes that the rising prices could be resolved once the supply stabilizes.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson assured that the province has enough supply of pork.
A kilogram of pork is being sold at P245 in the city’s public markets, a January 25 price monitoring of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) showed. This is P25 to P45 higher than the prices monitored in the past weeks.
Pork prices in other parts of the province, meanwhile, ranged from P205 to P213.
Earlier, local hog raisers urged Lacson to make sure the province’s pork supply remained stable. They also suggested limiting the number of hogs being exported to Luzon.
There is currently a huge demand for hogs in Luzon due to low production that is being blamed to the African swine fever outbreak.
According to PVO chief, Dr. Renante Decena, the number of hogs shipped to Luzon reached around 5,000 between December last year up to this month.
Negros Occidental, the Philippines’ top backyard swine producer, has a P6-billion hog industry./DGB, WDJ