In a press conference yesterday, PAMPI vice president Jerome Ong said if local government units continue to ban the entry and sale of processed meat, this could result into losses in production value for the local meat processing sector.
Michael Varcas/File
Meat processors see up to P30 billion losses amid ASF scare
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The P300-billion local meat processing industry is bracing for up to P30 billion in losses should the ban on processed meat in some areas persists amid the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc.(PAMPI) said.

In a press conference yesterday, PAMPI vice president Jerome Ong said if local government units continue to ban the entry and sale of processed meat, this could result into losses in production value for the local meat processing sector.

“Maybe the sector will shrink from anywhere between five to 10 percent and go down to about P270 billion to P285 billion,” Ong.

The LGUs of Cebu and Bohol earlier implemented a ban on processed pork amid the ASF outbreak in some areas in Luzon.

Ong said the projected losses could even go up considering the scare factor in implementing the ban.

Apart from losses in production value, PAMPI emphasized that banning by some LGUs will also impact on the sector’s 150,000 direct employment.

“The national economy will be seriously damaged if LGUs persist on imposing an unnecessary and unwarranted ban,” PAMPI said.

In line with this, PAMPI is urging the national government, through the concerned agencies, to unite and issue clear guidelines on the movement, distribution and sale of meat and pork-based products in the country.

“The national government bodies should get their act together and say that this is a common procedure that we will agree to and this is the common procedure that we must abide with,”Ong said.

Meanwhile, as the Christmas season approaches, PAMPI officials said the meat processing industry is left confused and unable to properly plan for its seasonal products, particularly Christmas ham.

Ong said some PAMPI members are already cutting down on the production of Christmas ham, taking into account the ban in Cebu and Bohol.

He emphasized Christmas ham production for CDO, which he owns, is being cut by 15 to 20 percent. He said this would also result in a decline in seasonal employees to be hired.

“Hopefully, it will not result in layoffs,” Ong said.

PAMPI said one of its members, which it declined to identify, has already decided to stop the production of Christmas ham because of the ban in the two provinces.

“Hopefully no other provinces will follow. We have already decided to reduce production of, not just our Christmas products, even our other pork-based products because of uncertain conditions,” Ong said.

PAMPI is assuring consumers that all of their products are safe, with their imported pork materials being sourced from ASF-free countries.

“Pork-based products that are produced by PAMPI members are guaranteed to be wholesome and safe for human consumption,” PAMPI said.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF MEAT PROCESSORS INC.
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