MALACAÑANG promised to extend financial aid to meat vendors provided that they end the pork holiday, an option they took to avoid going bankrupt amid the price freeze imposed by the government.
In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that while the government has supported calls urging the consumers to consider other alternative protein sources, it would be best to resume operations.
“May mga grupo na nag-declare ng pork holiday, meron rin pong nanawagan ng pagkain ng alternative protein sources. Sinusuportahan po natin iyong panawagan for consuming alternative protein sources, pero nakikiusap po kami sa mga nagtitinda ng baboy na ipagpatuloy ninyo po ang pagtitinda,” Roque said.
The pork holiday commenced on the same day of implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order imposing a price ceiling on pork and chicken. Under Duterte’s EO, prices have been capped with a ceiling, which will last for 60 days.
· Kasim and Pigue at P270 per kilo
· P300 for Liempo
· P160 for Dressed Chicken per kilo.
Pork holiday was observed in Balintawak, Divisoria and Trabajo markets.
Roque said the government will source pork from areas not hit by the African Swine Fever or ASF, and pointed out that South Cotabato-based culling groups can supply 10,000 heads of hogs weekly for Metro Manila alone.
“Gobyerno na po ang magpapakalat nito sa merkado,” Roque said.
Roque said the farmgate price of pork will be at P145 per kilo, and that the transportation subsidy for pork supply coming from Mindanao, Visayas and provinces in Luzon will be at P21, P15 and 10, respectively.
Pork vendors have earlier lamented that the price cap will force them to observe pork holiday since they won’t earn a living and even shell out more money under the scheme.
Roque conceded that the pork holiday is an expected response, but it should not last long considering that government aid is in place.
“Sinabi naman po ng economists na makakaapekto sa supply ang price cap, pero 10,000 a week ang manggagaling sa South Cotabato alone, at inaayos rin po ng DA ang ibang panggagalingan ng supply,” Roque said.
“Anticipated naman po natin ‘yan (pork holiday), pero kinakailangan pong gawin po ‘yan (price cap),” he added.