The Department of Agriculture said Wednesday imported pork will be subjected to a suggested retail price to ensure consumers have access to affordable meat as the government continues to address the inflationary effects of African swine fever that affected the local hog industry.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said imported pork kasim would be retailed at P270 per kilogram while imported liempo would be sold at P350/kg starting April 9.
The DA also decided not to extend the price cap on special pork cuts kasim and liempo and on dressed whole chicken. The price caps will end on April 9 under EO 124.
“The DA together with the Trade Department are going to implement the SRP in imported pork while observing compliance on existing guideline on hygienic handling of imported pork as prescribed by Administrative Order No. 6 series of 2021, proper packaging and labelling of imported pork and creation of a compliance monitoring team to ensure that sellers and retailers abide by the SRP,” Dar said in a virtual press conference Tuesday.
Imported pork will be packaged by half kilo and 1 kilo and will be available in groceries, supermarkets and wet markets.
Retailers who are willing to sell imported pork and without access to chilling equipment may seek help from the DA’s P45-million assistance program.
Data showed about 18.2 million kilos of in-quota pork imports under the minimum access volume scheme arrived in the country in the first quarter, while out-quota imports reached 19.7 million kilos.
“The continued deficiency in the supply of meat especially pork has been the leading driver of inflation at 20.9 percent in March from 20.7 percent in February. With the availability of 38 million kilos imported pork supporting local supply, this will further soften inflation,” Dar said.
He said the DA was pushing for the approval of measures to boost supply that include the proposed increase of pork imports under the so-called MAV Plus and the lowering of duties on imported out-quota pork.
“The temporary reduction in tariff and quota control help stabilize food prices and inflation,” Dar said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the additional in-quota importation of 350,000 metric tons under the MAV Plus. This is on top of the allocation of 54,000 MT under the MAV scheme.
The DA also proposed to reduce the tariff on in-quota pork to 5 percent from 30 percent and 15 percent tariff from 40 percent for imports beyond the quota.
Dar said the DA would also continue the hog mobilization program, bringing live hogs from ASF-free provinces and regions to Metro Manila and other areas. About 261,828 live heads and 1.74 million kilos of hog carcass were delivered to Metro Manila since the program started on Feb. 8, 2021.