Press Release
April 12, 2021


Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday urged the Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry to draft an Executive Order (EO) imposing a price control on the retail of frozen imported pork and a less stringent suggested retail price (SRP) on locally-produced meat to balance the interests of consumers and of hog-raising industry in lieu of the impending massive importation of pork.

During the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on the soaring pork prices, Hontiveros pointed out that the SRP on locally-sourced pork would allow the prices to be higher for domestic fresh meat. Price control on imported pork, on the other hand, could potentially prevent an overflow of imports that would further hurt the already struggling local swine producers.

"Importers can be discouraged from importing even more supplies if they are prevented from earning extraordinary profits by freely jacking up the price of imported meat," she said.

"Price control sa imported pork ang magiging second line of defense para sa mga lokal na nag-aalaga ng baboy. Hindi sosobra ang importation na mangyayari. Win-win solution ito para sa konsyumer na makaka-enjoy ng mas mababang presyo ng karne at sa mga producer na hindi lalamunin ng pagdagsa ng imports," Hontiveros added.

Last week, Malacanang issued Executive Order 128 which lowers the tariff rates for imported pork meat to 5% to 20% from 30% to 40% for a year.

"Many of our local swine farmers were disheartened by EO 128. But if we impose a price cap on the retail of imported meat and just SRP on freshly-butchered domestic pork, maaaring mas ganahang mag-negosyo ang ating mga magbababoy," she stated.

Hontiveros then explained that the two-tier pricing will ensure that freshly-butchered pork will continue to be available to consumers who prefer it, even if it costs more.

She furthered that as the local production of pork recovers due to the good price it can fetch, consumers may expect the price to slowly slide back down, making extraordinary import volumes unnecessary and Malacanang could then contemplate to pre-terminate EO 128.

"Dahil mapipigilan ang labis na importasyon, mabibigyan ng tiyansang makabawi sa puhunan at manatili ang kabuhayan ng natitirang matitibay na hog raisers. Masusuportahan na nila ang gastos sa transportasyon, pagsunod sa bio-safety protocols at para makabili ng insurance para sa kanilang mga inahin," Hontiveros said.

"We cannot rely on imports alone. Kailangang isaalang-alang din ang long-term effects nito sa ating lokal na produksyon. Now more than ever, our local hog raisers need all the support they can get to recover from the effects of ASF. Huwag nating hayaang tuluyang mamatay ang ating lokal na industriya," Hontiveros concluded.

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