The Department of Agriculture has convinced some local government units to transport their agricultural products directly to Metro Manila markets, its head said Tuesday.
In a virtual briefing, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said some provinces in the Calabarzon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) had delivered their initial shipments of agricultural products after collaborating with the national government and farmers’ cooperatives and organizations.
“We hope to sustain these initiatives in partnership with hog and poultry raisers, and farmers’ cooperatives and associations to stabilize food supply and prices in Metro Manila,” Dar said.
On Monday, some 700 kg. of assorted vegetables and two metric tons of chicken meat from Calabarzon were downloaded at the Agricultural Training Institute in Quezon City.
Dar said under the “One DA Holistic Approach”, the move was part of the food security strategies aimed at bringing down the prices of basic food items.
In the coming days, more shipments of vegetables and poultry products will arrive in Metro Manila, DA 4-A (Calabarzon) OIC Director Vilma Dimaculangan said.
The towns of Taytay and Coron in Palawan and the province of Marinduque have also shipped initial deliveries of hogs as part of the holistic efforts.
Aside from vegetables, 612 hogs were delivered to Pasay and Alabang for slaughter and trade through the initiative of DA 4-B (Mimaropa) Director Antonio Gerundio.
On Tuesday evening, 80 metric tons of pinakbet vegetables arrived at the Juliana market in Balintawak through DA 3 (Central Luzon) Director Crispulo Bautista’s efforts.
Dar earlier said he had recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the implementation of a price freeze on food items.
In particular, he sought a price ceiling for kasim (pork shoulder) and pigue (pork leg) at PHP270/kg.; liempo (pork belly) at PHP300/kg.; and chicken at PHP160/kg.
He said investigations and appropriate charges for traders and sellers colluding to float the idea of food supply shortage to jack up the prices were underway.