Press Release
February 1, 2021

Bong Go commends issuance of EO on price ceiling on selected pork and chicken products in NCR

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for issuing Executive Order No. 124 which seeks to curb the rising prices of pork and chicken products by imposing a price ceiling.

Upon Go's appeal and based on the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture, the price ceiling will be implemented within the National Capital Region for a period of 60 days.

"Huwag po natin hayaan na may mamamatay sa gutom. Kaya hinihikayat ko ang mga kasamahan ko sa gobyerno na gawan ng paraan at magtulungan para sa kapakanan ng mga Pilipinong hirap na hirap na talaga. Pagaanin natin ang kanilang pinapasan at huwag natin silang mas pahirapan pa," Go emphasized.

Under Section 7 of Republic Act No. 7581 or the Price Act, the President, upon recommendation of an implementing agency, such as the Department of Agriculture, may impose a mandated price ceiling over any basic necessity or prime commodity under circumstances causing an unreasonable increase in the price of such goods.

"Kinokomendahan ko po ang pag-issue ng Pangulo ng EO na ito upang itigil ang tuluy-tuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng pagkain. Kailangan natin itong solusyonan lalong-lalo na sa panahon ngayon na marami pong mga kababayan natin ang nawalan ng trabaho," Go said.

"Wala na nga pambili ng pagkain ang mga kababayan natin, tataas pa ang presyo. Mas lalong mahihirapan ang ordinaryong Pilipino," he added.

Under the EO, the price ceiling will remain in full force and effect for 60 days, unless extended by President Duterte upon the recommendation of the DA.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Executive Secretary said that the price ceiling will not result in undue diminution of meat traders' expected income considering that the reduction rates are not greater than 25% of the prevailing market price. Notably, the break-even point for selling pork is only around PhP105.00.

The National Agriculture and Fisheries Council has also expressed its support for the price ceiling as reflected in a resolution. The NAFC Resolution signified that the price ceiling bears the support of various stakeholders, including those from the private sector.

The imposition of price ceiling seeks to ease the adverse impact of COVID-19 and ensure that pork and chicken remain affordable and accessible to the public, and prevent unwarranted price manipulation.

Such measure is likewise consistent with Resolution No. 33 (s. 2020) of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, which seeks to ensure availability, accessibility, affordability, and price stability of food products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced local pork output due to the outbreak of the African Swine Fever have significantly affected the supply and prices of pork and chicken in various parts of the country.

In order to control the outbreak of ASF, the DA implemented the following measures: (1) provision of financial assistance to hog raisers affected by the ASF; (2) depopulation of affected hogs; (3) surveillance activities and border control; (4) heightened implementation of the Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABAY ASF) program; and (5) stakeholder engagement and consultation.

Meanwhile, as means of ensuring adequacy of pork supply, the DA also proposed increasing its Minimum Access Volume of its meat import allocation from 54,000 metric tons to 162,000 metric tons.

Go has been prodding the government to prioritize three important aspects towards full recovery: (1) address hunger; (2) acquire sufficient, safe, and effective vaccines for all Filipinos with utmost priority to the poor and vulnerable sectors as well as frontliners; (3) and provide more economic opportunities through jobs and other forms of livelihood.

"Ipaglalaban po natin ang tatlong importanteng mga adhikain na ito sa loob at labas ng Senado — ang pagsugpo sa gutom; ang pagkakaroon ng sapat, ligtas, at epektibong bakuna; at ang pagpapalakas ng ekonomiya at kabuhayan ng bawat Pilipino," he said.

"Tulad nga ng sabi ng Pangulo, no one should be left behind towards recovery," he added.

Go has been active and vocal in pushing for initiatives that will benefit the common people throughout the pandemic. At the onset of the pandemic, Go appealed for the implementation of the Small Business Wage Subsidy program for small businesses to support the affected ordinary employees displaced by the COVID-19.

Go, who lamented that many poor Filipinos cannot afford masks and face shields, also called on the government to distribute these essential protective supplies to the poor for free. He has also consistently supported the proper implementation of the government's Social Amelioration Program.

The Senator has also been emphasizing the need for the government to uphold its promise of prioritizing the poor and the vulnerable in the national vaccination program. He said that both he and President Duterte will also prioritize frontliners, senior citizens, and indigent Filipinos, and provide vaccines to them for free.

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