DA to study possibility of lifting price cap on pork, chicken | Inquirer News
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DA to study possibility of lifting price cap on pork, chicken

/ 01:45 PM February 22, 2021

FROZEN STOCK A meat stall owner at Balintawak Market in Quezon City offers her stock of frozen pork as other vendors stop selling fresh meat due to the price ceiling imposed by the government in Metro Manila. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will look into the possibility of lifting the price ceiling on pork and chicken, Agriculture Secretary William Dar told senators Monday.

“We are going to study [‘yong] sa Price Act or yung price ceiling kung pwedeng ipahinto na, kung ire-recommend na kay president or not. Pagaaralan po namin,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a Senate hearing into rising food prices in the country.

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(We are going to study the Price Act, or the price ceiling, if we can remove it already or if we will recommend it to the President or not. We will study that.)

Dar was answering a query by Senator Risa Hontiveros who asked whether the DA has conducted an initial assessment on how to control prices and ensure enough supply of pork and chicken.

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“Bakit po nakarating sa ‘pork holiday’ at napilitang tumigil nang magtinda? Is Secretary Dar contemplating a recommendation of update or removal of price ceilings on pork and chicken?” Hontiveros said.

(Why did it lead to a ‘pork holiday,’ why did the vendors refrain from selling? Is Secretary Dar contemplating a recommendation of update or removal of price ceilings on pork and chicken?)

“Para po kasing masyadong mahaba ang 60 days, baka po imbes na ‘pork holiday’ lang e mapilitan nang tuluyang mag-resign ang ating magbabababoy,” she added.

(I think the 60-day cap is too long, it may lead to more than a ‘pork holiday’ and it could force vendors to really close up shop.)

Market vendors staged a “pork holiday” following President Rodrigo Duterte’s imposition of a 60-day cap, which started on Feb. 8, on the prices of those meats in public markets and supermarkets in Metro Manila to stem their soaring prices.

Duterte’s Executive Order No. 124 has set price ceilings of P270 for a kilo of “kasim or pigue,” P300 per kilo for “liempo,” and P160 per kilo for dressed chicken.

Dar previously blamed unscrupulous traders and profiteers for the abnormal price increases, but local raisers claimed that the price increase is a combination of factors such as the slow recovery of food establishments from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the unimpeded importation of meat, and the persistence of the African swine fever.

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TAGS: chicken and meat products, Department of Agriculture, price cap, Secretary William Dar, Senate
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