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Shipment of live hogs to Luzon continues: DA 6

The shipment of live hogs to Luzon will not be stopped amid the 60 days price cap imposed by the government on the prices of pork and chicken products sold in Metro Manila.

Remelyn Recoter, Department of Agriculture regional executive director in Western Visayas, said yesterday that the region will ship hogs as long as there are buyers.

“We are more than sufficient, we still have stocks,” she said.

She added that, currently, the region has an ongoing repopulation through the distribution of stocks to those affected by typhoon Ursula. The DA’s livelihood program and local government units distribute piglets for free to their target beneficiaries.

However, with the price cap, some financiers and shippers backed out because they anticipated a price freeze and possible importation.

Monitoring of the last two weeks, or the third and fourth week of January, showed that prices of live hogs from auction markets in Leon, Iloilo, Sibalom in Antique, and Kabankalan and Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental dropped by P10. The price range is now between P130-135 per kilo.

During the first two weeks of January, the buying price of live weight was at P140 to P145 per kilo.

The livestock auction markets are being operated by local government units but rehabilitated and funded by the DA.

Recoter added that during the Senate hearing on Feb. 1, it was revealed that Western Visayas has the lowest live weight price compared with other regions in the country.

“Hopefully, the price will not drop further because, based on the accounting of our livestock program, the breakeven is at P110 per kilo. If it is P140, then they will have a margin of P30, which is better when compared with the previous price of P85 to P90 per kilo,” she added.

In 2020, over 70,000 heads of live hogs were shipped to Luzon, and reached regions 1, 3, and 4A, she said.

In Cebu, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia Tuesday said the ban on the transport of live hogs and sows to other provinces is meant to prevent the skyrocketing of pork prices in the province.

The province has been alarmed by reports of rising prices of pork in the market after traders from Luzon are tapping hogs from Cebu due to supply shortage brought by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

In a press briefing, Garcia said she issued an executive order restricting the transport of live hogs and sows to other places in the country to protect the P11-billion hog industry in Cebu that stands to lose stocks for reproduction.

Garcia said the farm price per kilo of carcass nowadays has reached P195 to P210.

“I make this very clear that we are prohibiting the transport of live hogs because this is a measure by which we can curtail so that we can give a little break to the ongoing rise of prices of pork in Cebu,” she said.

The Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative reported surplus in reserves of pork supply during the pandemic. But such supply in cold storage has dwindled as local hog raisers trade their stocks to Luzon where there is shortage due to the ASF situation.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya earlier said the DILG has monitored that LGUs have been issuing executive orders restricting or limiting the entry of pigs, hogs, and related items to protect against the spread of ASF.

Malaya said “this must not impede the flow of cargoes across LGU boundaries”, adding that the actions of LGUs must be coordinated with the DA field offices for consistency with the ASF zoning classification system.

Presidential Administrative Order No. 22, series of 2020, directs all government agencies and LGUs to strictly implement and comply with the DA’s ASF National Zoning and Movement Plan which has classified the country into various zones with respective movement controls. The DA’s zoning plan established two ASF zone classifications, such as containment zones where concerted activities are implemented to contain ASF and isolate the disease toward full eradication, and free zone or dark green, the geographical limit that remains free from the ASF virus.*PNA

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