By Adeline Gomez, DA StratComms
To help stabilize the supply and prices of pork in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is coordinating with hog raisers in Mindanao to bring their surplus pork products to Visayas and Luzon.
“We are looking at an initial volume of 1,700 metric tons (MT) of pork from Davao and General Santos City (GenSan) that are available for immediate transport to Visayas and Luzon,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“This is a welcome development as relayed by DA Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña, who was tasked to coordinate with hog raisers and logistics providers in Mindanao to bring surplus pork to where it is most needed in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon and Visayas,” the DA chief added.
Laviña said Davao hog raisers commit to ship their surplus pork at 500 MT monthly, while those in GenSan and Cagayan de Oro could ship 3,000 MT monthly.
“However, we are confronted with a few challenges in transporting frozen pork, including other food and fishery products, from Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon, but we are addressing them swiftly in direct consultation with concerned local government units,” Secretary Dar said.
While strongly advocating for the unhampered movement of pork due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, the DA assures the public that pork from Mindanao is free from the African Swine Fever (ASF) and of good quality, said the DA chief.
“We continue to strictly enforce the biosecurity and quarantine measures to effectively manage, contain and control ASF, and prevent it from spreading to Visayas and Mindanao that are free from the dreaded swine disease,” said Dar.
Despite the adverse impact of ASF in Luzon, the DA assures the public that the country has an adequate supply of pork for the second and third quarters of 2020.
“Right now our pork sufficiency is 93 percent, as we forecast a deficit by the end of the year, at 31 days. In lieu of pork, we enjoin consumers to shift to other protein sources like chicken, as we have an abundant supply of up to 233 days or till August 2021,” the DA chief noted.
“To help our poultry raisers, we encourage local government units (LGUs) in Luzon to consider buying chicken and eggs from them and include these in food subsidy packs for distribution to their constituents,” Secretary Dar said.
“Now, more than ever, is the time to help farmers and fishers by buying directly from them, and selling their produce — like palay, corn, vegetables, fruits, hogs and chickens, and fish, among others — at affordable prices to consumers through regular outlets like Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita,” Secretary Dar concluded.