The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed its support to the Department of Agriculture in ensuring the supply of meat in the local market.
The PCCI proposed a “calibrated importation of pork” amid the shortage in local production due to the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.
The business group said the calibrated pork importation is an immediate remedy for the lack of local supply that pushed pork prices to rise, and it should be implemented “until such time that the spread of the ASF is curbed and local hog raisers can safely return to their industry”.
“The risk of contamination and spread of the virus is really high because there is no available vaccine yet for ASF. A calibrated importation program is an option, (the) government can consider securing supply and bringing down the price of pork,” PCCI president Benedicto Yujuico said in a statement yesterday.
Yujuico added that this move of outsourcing more pork is consistent with the DA’s food security program.
While the government imports to meet the market demand for pork, the PCCI said the DA and other government agencies should continue in strengthening the local production.
Programs that will help local producers to be more competitive include more accessible financing, providing technology support, accelerating infrastructure projects, and increasing cold storage facilities for the agriculture sector.
“The DA is doing its level best to address the situation. The allocation of funds should be able to help indemnify hog farmers and to help them as they cope with the shortage brought about by the African swine fever,” PCCI director for agriculture Roberto Amores said. PCCI also backs the DA’s initiatives to curb the soaring prices of other agricultural products, like vegetables and chicken, through safeguards against those who manipulate the supply and price in the market, increasing the transport of pork, chicken, and vegetables from the Visayas and Mindanao to Metro Manila, rolling out of mobile Kadiwa outlets, and the provision to subsidize logistic cost of supplying pork and chicken in Metro Manila.*PNA