The Department of Agriculture has deferred the implementation of Executive Order 124 imposing a price cap on pork and chicken prices for 60 days after the announcement of traders and retailers that they will declare a pork and chicken holiday in response to Malacanang’s order.
EO 124 sets a mandated price cap of P270 per kilo for kasim or pork shoulder, P300 for liempo or pork belly, and P160 for a kilo of chicken as prices of these commodities continue to skyrocket.
“The price freeze order was imposed on retail prices and not on the entire value-chain including the wholesale prices of pork and chicken produce. The government has to come up with solutions that are acceptable to producers, retailers and consumers. A price ceiling without significant and necessary subsidies will further affect the production side. To effectively lower the prices of pork and chicken, the government must provide immediate subsidies and support price to producers. It should also effectively stop the monopoly pricing of big traders and the cartel,” says Danilo Ramos of KMP.
“The government must shoulder a part of the increasing cost of production of pork and chicken meat. Producers raised their risk cost from 5 percent to 35-45 percent following the cumulative effects of ASF, high transportation costs, and overall inflation,” KMP noted.
“On the consumer side, urgent cash aid must trickle down to impoverished sectors who lost their jobs and livelihood in the past months.”
According to KMP, while monopoly pricing and operation of big traders and cartels in the livestock, chicken, and poultry industries are to blame for the skyrocketing prices, the evident lack of government regulation and control in agri industries led to this situation of high food prices. “Decades of liberalization in agriculture and food led us to this hellhole of high prices. The government must do away with its importation and liberalization policies, and strengthen the local food production instead.”
“It’s high time to focus on our local production. We must strengthen our domestic food production instead of relying on importation when there is scarcity in supply or market volatility.”
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