Poultry, pork,  and PR 101
Poultry, pork, and PR 101
HIDDEN AGENDA - Mary Ann LL. Reyes (The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2019 - 12:00am

Do we have an oversupply of poultry and pork in the domestic market?

Just recently, Ilocos Norte Gov. and senatorial candidate Imee Marcos asked the Department of Agriculture to suspend the supposed over importation of pork and chicken meat since there is already an oversupply of pork and chicken.

According to Marcos, suspending importation will give local and backyard raisers breathing space to recover their losses.

She said backyard hog and poultry raisers are forced to sell their products at cost, or even at a loss due to over-importation. The governor was quoted as saying that the farmgate price for chicken was P50 per kilo when production cost is at P70 per kilo.

Marcos also urged the DA and the Bureau of Customs to boost their campaign against smuggling of agricultural products.

Unfortunately, the governor’s press releases have confused members of media who are asking whether or not Marcos was batting for higher retail prices for pork and chicken to address the imbalance. Marcos’ public relations person, according to reporters, has been evading inquiries from the media by giving them the run around.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture is silent on the issue.

Marcos’ statement does not make sense. If there is really an oversupply of pork and chicken in the country, then why are retail prices still high?

A kilo of chicken now retails at P140-P160 and pork at P240-P250, slightly higher than the pre-holiday rates of P120-P140 per kilo and P200-P220, respectively. Assuming that there is an oversupply, the prices should have gone down. They have not.

If the uptick in market prices did not trickle down to the grassroots, so to speak, then it is the middlemen who are making a killing. In that case, Marcos might be barking up the wrong tree.

With the political campaign season officially on, candidates from the senatorial down to the municipal level stumble over one another to steal the limelight so to speak and get their press released published or aired.

Unfortunately, some candidates and their spin doctors forget that given that there is too little newspaper space, or time in the case of the broadcast sector, their stories have to be relevant, significant, substantive, and timely, but more importantly, well-researched and factual.

Marcos has to give her PR person a good spanking.

For comments, e-mail at mareyes@philstarmedia.com

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