DA, DTI set SRP for imported pork to stabilize prices, temper inflation

Author: DA Communications Group | 7 April 2021

Committed to stabilize food prices, particularly pork, and temper inflation, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) jointly implement a suggested retail price (SRP) for imported pork, specifically kasim at P270/kg and liempo at P350/kg, effective April 9, 2021.

“The SRP for imported pork replaces the two-month ceiling price on pork and chicken, as per EO 124, that ends on April 8, and thus there will be no extension. Our decision was based on consultations with various stakeholders. Further, there is no SRP for local pork,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar, during a joint DA-DTI virtual presser, on April 7, 2021.

“Supermarkets, groceries, and market retailers should comply with existing guidelines on hygienic handling of imported pork, as prescribed by DA Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 2021,” said Secretary Dar and Secretary Ramon Lopez of DTI, as per their agreement issued on April 7, 2021.

“We will create a ‘Compliance Monitoring Team’ to ensure that retailers and sellers abide by the SRP, and jointly implement proper packaging and labeling of imported pork,” both Secretary Dar and Secretary Lopez said.

“In relation to the hygienic handling of imported pork, the DA through the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) will require importers to pack their kasim and liempo into ‘saleable” packages of 1 kilo and 500 grams,” the two added.

Aside from setting the SRP for imported pork, Secretary Dar said the DA will pursue other measures to stabilize food prices, particularly pork, including the continued deliveries of hogs to Metro Manila.

“The DA will continue to encourage hog raisers to supply and deliver surplus hogs from ASF-free provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Also, we will continue to provide them with transport assistance to stabilize the supply of hogs to ‘NCR plus bubble.’ This will be pursued until the MAV plus and lowering of tariffs are approved,” Secretary Dar said.

“Aside from supermarkets and groceries, imported pork will be distributed and sold in wet markets in Metro Manila, particularly to retailers with freezers and chillers. For those without the facility, the DA through the LGUs in Metro Manila will provide them a grant in the form of freezers, with a capacity of 150 kilos each, worth P18,000. For this initiative, the DA is setting aside P45 million, for about 2,500 freezers,” the DA chief added.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s headline inflation rate fell to 4.5 percent (%) in March 2021 from 4.7% in February.

While inflation has decreased, food prices remain a major contributory factor. In fact, the continued supply deficiency in meat, particularly pork, has remained the leading driver of inflation at 20.9% from 20.7% in February as reported by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

“Measures to boost the supply of key agricultural commodities, including temporary reduction of tariff and quota controls, can help stabilize food prices and inflation,” agri chief said.

“We, at DTI, are in full support of DA and its various programs, especially with our common interest to stabilize food prices of agricultural products. Tayo po ay tutulong sa DA sa pag-monitor to properly implement SRP,” said Secretary Lopez.

“The repopulation program of the hog industry continues to be our main priority including the fights against ASF. And with these measures properly in place, we feel that we will succeed this time around,” concluded Secretary Dar.

Also present during the virtual presser were DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, DA Undersecretaries Ariel Cayanan and William Medrano, Director Reildrin Morales of the Bureau of Animal Industry, NMIS Director Jocelyn Salvador, and DA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes, who served as moderator. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)

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