THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Pork, chicken supply in Metro Manila enough until year-end, and Q1 2021

Author: DA Communications Group | 23 December 2020

The Department of Agriculture (DA) assures the consuming public that pork and poultry products are sufficient to tide us over until yearend and onto the first quarter of 2021.

In a report to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the DA’s National Livestock Program (NLP) said more than 213,500 hogs from Visayas and Mindanao were shipped to Metro Manila and nearby provinces since May 2020 to augment the supply of pork and pork products.

“We sincerely thank our hog raisers and their respective local government officials in the Visayas and Mindanao for promptly heeding our call to transport their hogs to Metro Manila and thus ensure the supply of pork this holiday season and onto January 2021 and beyond,” said Secretary Dar.

DA-NLP Head and Undersecretary for Livestock William Medrano said the bulk of the hogs comes from Region 12 or Soccsksargen, which has sent more than 88,800 head and counting since May, comprising 42 percent (%) of the total shipment, followed by Region 6 or Western Visayas, sending 52,700 head or 25%.

With the imposition of quarantine and lockdown due to Covid-19 and incidence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Luzon, Secretary Dar has directed the respective DA regional directors in Visayas and Mindanao to coordinate with swine raisers so they can facilitate the transport of their hogs to Metro Manila and ease up the tightening supply and prices of pork.

“Due to the ASF, the country’s pork inventory suffered at an alarming level, and the move to ship hogs from Visayas and Mindanao was a pre-emptive measure to arrest the worsening pork supply and prices in Metro Manila,” said Secretary Dar

“On behalf of the DA family, I would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our local chief executives for their proactive role in the unhampered transport of various food items from their respective provinces to Metro Manila, and for the hog raisers’ groups for partnering and cooperating with the DA during these trying times. The fruition of our partnership is adequate and reasonably-priced food on our table,” he added.

Additional supply of pork during the holidays and onto next year is expected as hog producers in General Santos City gear up to increase shipments to Metro Manila and other major markets in Luzon. Antonio Ephrem Marin, head of the General Santos City veterinary office, said hog farmers in the area have leveled up operations to meet the target shipment of 15,000 to 20,000 head monthly to Luzon.

For his part, Usec. Medrano said in addition to live hogs, the country’s frozen pork inventory is more than enough, at 32,724 metric tons (MT), as of the first week of December, as reported by the DA-National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).

“We have also surplus supply of poultry meat, with an inventory of 43,345 MT of frozen dressed chicken as of first week of December, 46% more than last year’s level,” Usec. Medrano added.

Overall, despite the pandemic and ASF, he said there was a slight increase in the total volume of pork and chicken compared to 2019, according to DA-NMIS data. ### (Patrick Raymund Lesaca, DA StratComms)

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