Increasing the minimum volume of pork imports to 400,000 metric tons (MT) is not a long-term solution, an official of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (PPFP) said Tuesday.
PPFP vice president Nicanor Briones issued the remark amid the government’s plan to increase the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork to at least 400,000 MT from the current 54,000 MT.
“Sa ating magbababoy, bukod sa African swine fever (ASF), matagal na kaming tinatamaan ng sobrang importasyon at smuggling ng baboy,” he said in an interview on Balitanghali.
“So makikita mo ang epekto niyan, maari sa ilang buwan, okay, pero dahil umatras na naman nang umatras, tinatamaan ng ASF ang magbababoy, eh paubos nang paubos, wala nang katapusan ‘yan,” he added.
The hike in the volume of pork imports seeks to augment domestic supply after thousands of pigs were slaughtered due to ASF.
Briones, however, said that the hike will only help the importers.
“[S]a halip na kami’y tulungan, ang tinutulungan pa nila ‘yung mga importers na mawawala ‘yung 20 billion na taripa,” he said.
He urged the government to aid hog and poultry raisers, saying it should look at long-term solutions.
“Ang pinakamaganda, alagaan nila ‘yang ating mga hog raisers at poultry raisers. Kapag ‘yang mga ‘yan ay kumikita, mabilis silang magpapalaki, magkakaroon tayo ng sapat na supply na hindi magsa-suffer ang ating mga consumer,” he said.
“Dapat tingnan nila ‘yung long-term. Kasi pagka tinignan nila ‘yung ngayon, sitwasyon ngayon, mas magsa-suffer ang ating consumer pagdating ng araw, next year, sigurado ‘yan,” he added.
At present, there is a price ceiling of P270 per kilo for kasim and pigue, P300 per kilo for liempo, and P160 per kilo for chicken.
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved plans to study the possibility of hiking the country’s pork imports to boost domestic supply.
In late February, the Department of Agriculture said its proposal to increase the minimum allowed volume of pork imports this year is now awaiting Duterte’s go signal.—Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News