Abattoir owners cool to meat dealers’ ‘pig holiday’ scheme
- Rocel Felix () - March 4, 2004 - 12:00am
The planned pig holiday by meat dealers may fizzle out as it drew lukewarm support from the majority of Manila slaughterhouse operators while hog raisers said they will continue supplying pork in the wet markets of Metro Manila.

"We were assured by majority of slaughterhouse operators, traders and backyard hog raisers that they will continue to supply pork in Metro Manila and will not join the pig holiday supposed to be staged by the group of Dennis Alcoreza," Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo Jr. said.

Alcoreza heads the Meat and Hog Dealers Association of the Philippines (MHDAP) which is theatening to stage a pig holiday wherein meat dealers and slaughterhouses will stop buying live pigs for slaughter from the hog raisers. Alcoreza also operates the country’s biggest slaughterhouse, the Vitas slaughterhouse in Tondo, Manila.

Meat dealers are complaining that hog raisers have reneged on their promise to keep farmgate price of live hogs at P82 per kilo. They said the current price is P92 per kilo and this has forced them to sell pork at the retail level at a range of P140 to P150 per kilo.

In a marathon meeting held Tuesday, operators tried to resolve the 17 of the 18 accredited slaughterhouse operators in Metro Manila told the Department of Agriculture they will not join the protest action and assured pork supply will not be disrupted.

Lorenzo said that while Alcoreza operates Vitas, the facility can supply only about 700 heads of pork daily. The requirement of Metro Manila which is estimated at 7,500 to 8,000 heads daily.

"There should be nothing to worry about because Alcoreza’s group supplies less than 10 percent of the pork demand. There are 17 other slaughterhouse operators and hog raisers who are willing to fill up the gap," Lorenzo said.

Most members of the Slaughterhouse Operators Association of the Philippines operate in Metro Manila, but all of their hog requirements are sourced from Bulacan, Pampanga, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna.

The hog raisers and meat dealers have been at odds because the former have raised the farmgate price for live hogs, citing increased production costs, mainly feed meal which is largely imported. Because of rising expenses, hog raisers have also cut down on production, adding to the tight pork supply.

As this developed, meat traders and processors said they plan to ship into the country 5,000 metric tons of pork to compensate for the shortage in local hog production and to bring down pork prices.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY LUIS LORENZO JR. ALCOREZA CAVITE AND LAGUNA DENNIS ALCOREZA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HOG LORENZO MANILA MEAT AND HOG DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES METRO MANILA PORK
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