Press Release
February 26, 2021


Sen. Grace Poe pressed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide more support to hog farmers affected by the outbreak of the African swine fever (ASF) that wiped out a third of the country's pig stocks.

"Sa ngayon, ang panukala ng DA ay meron sila halos P30 billion na ipapautang sa ating mga hog raisers. Ang problema, walang gustong umutang kasi hindi sila sigurado baka mamaya magkasakit na naman ang mga alaga nila--may utang na sila, lugi pa," said Poe.

Backyard hog raisers account for 65 percent of domestic poultry supply and are also the most affected by ASF. If even a single case of ASF is found, DA guidelines require the entire population of the pigs in the backyard farm to be stamped out, leaving hog raisers drowning in debt.

"Kaya ang sabi namin dapat kung nagpapautang ang DA, kung merong bagyo o kaya merong sakit na hindi naman kontrolado ng mga hog raisers o ng mga magsasaka, dapat ay ipatawad na ang kanilang utang," added Poe.

Poe noted that the government is capable of shouldering the cost, especially once prices go down again and demand increases.

The price for pork went as high as P400 last year. With the issuance of Executive Order No. 124 setting the price ceiling for pork at P300 per kilo for liempo, P270 per kilo for kasim, and P160 for dressed chicken, farmers fear they'll be selling at a loss in the coming months where a number of them have already gone on a 'pork holiday' in protest of the imposed price ceiling.

"Kasalanan ba nila na nagkabagyo? Kasalanan ba nila na hindi gumawa ng trabaho na tama ang mga inspectors kaya nahawa sa imported na karne? Hindi naman nila kasalanan 'yun... dapat siguro iprayoridad nila ang mga magsasaka, ang mga nag-aalaga ng hayop sapagkat 'yan ang pinakamaliliit ang kita," said the senator.

Poe also recently urged the DA to apply stricter border controls of meat and meat products entering the country and make sure smugglers won't get through.

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