NOT even the livestock from Visayas and Mindanao seemed enough to address what appears to be a shortage of pork and chicken in Metro Manila and adjoining regions and for that reason, Colombia is willing to export pork and beef to the Philippines.
During the presentation of her credentials in Malacañang, Colombian Ambassador to the Philippines Marcela Ordoñez said they are willing to help augment pork meat supply to help the Philippine government stabilize its market prices in the national capital region which is facing pork and chicken supply woes due to unabated price increases amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the industry being hit by the African Swine Fever that wiped out four million pigs.
The pork and chicken supply problem also took a turn for the worse when vendors refused to sell their goods to avoid further losses as soon as the price ceiling imposed by the President took effect last February 8.
“Let me focus on our bilateral relation and start with commerce. The amount of goods that our two countries exchange has been growing and we wanted to grow a lot more,” she said.
“We are interested in selling pork meat and beef to the Philippines and we would welcome, Mr. President, any support you can give us to accelerate the admissibility process,” she added.
Duterte earlier called for a Food Security Summit to solve such problem that went as far as compelling meat vendors to go on a pork holiday.
Responding to the pork holiday, the Department of Agriculture set the wholesale price of pork at P235 per kilo to complement Duterte’s Executive Order 124 which set a price ceiling of P270 per kilo for kasim and pigue, P300 for liempo and P160 for dressed chicken sold in Metro Manila for 60 days.
Likewise, the Agriculture Department also implemented a transportation subsidy for pork supply coming from Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon at P21 per kilo, P15 per kilo and P10 per kilo, respectively.
Such subsidy, however, has yet to improve the pork and even chicken supply in the National Capital Region which prompted industry leaders to call for a summit.