Manufacturers of canned meat and sardines are poised to increase the price of their goods within the next few weeks on the premise of increasing cost of production.
But Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez advised manufacturers to hold on to their current pricing as his department was yet to update the list of goods subjected to the “suggested retail price.”
Several pigs in a village in Antipolo City tested positive for African Swine Fever, Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced Monday. The village, which Dar refused to name, has been placed under quarantine.
“We are in the process of trimming down the list to the normal number of SRP goods. Remember that we expanded the list in 2018 when inflation levels spiked,” he said.
The Trade department is trying to bring down to at least 140 the number of stock-keeping units from the expanded list of 250 skus, now that the inflation rate is down to 1.7 percent.
The requests to increase the prices of canned goods, Lopez said, came before the issue on African Swine Fever swept the nation.
In Bacolod City, at least 27 kilos of pork asado and siopao from Luzon that arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport were seized and disposed of by personnel of the Negros Occidental Provincial African Swine Fever Task Force over the weekend.
Negros Occidental, the country’s number one backyard swine producer, has banned for 90 days, starting Sept. 11, the entry of pork and its by-products from Luzon, which has reported positive cases of ASF.
Meanwhile, an animal welfare organization on Monday urged the government to adopt the best humane practices in culling hogs affected by the African swine fever.
Mark Dia, World Animal Protection global farming director, said pigs within the one-kilometer radius of an area tested positive for ASF must be “well-handed and effectively stunned to ensure they are humanely killed.”
The “cruel” treatment of pigs is abhorrent and completely unacceptable, Dia said. “There is no excuse for cruelty on farms or during slaughter.”
He reacted to the initiatives of the national and local governments to cull hogs using barbiturates in lethal injection.
Lopez said his department recognized the plea for price hikes but only if backed with the necessary data that would support the manufacturer’s petition.
“The companies were asking for 2 to 5-percent increase in retail prices. This is a very minimal increase which we may be inclined to allow. However, we will not approve petitions for over 10-percent hike,” he said.
“These pork products from Luzon were intercepted by our inspectors assigned at the airport,” said Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena, co-chairman of the Provincial Task Force on ASF, on Sunday.
In Bacolod, task force personnel, including livestock inspectors of the Provincial Veterinary Office and employees of the Bureau of Animal Industry, along with airport staff, immediately burned the confiscated products, he said.
Decena said the 34 packs of pork asado siopao, which were shipped via cargo, were part of the 175 kilograms of various products sent to a food cart operator in the province.
The temporary ban on pork products from Luzon is one of the measures ordered by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to protect the P6-billion swine industry of Negros Occidental. With Rio Araja and PNA