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Let’s not go on a pork holiday – Go

Cecille Suerte Felipe, Ralph Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — With pork and chicken products in Metro Manila subject to price ceiling for two months, Sen. Bong Go said traders and businessmen should consider the welfare of ordinary consumers by not going on a “pork holiday.”

“Let’s not go on a pork holiday now because when the prices of pork and chicken go up, ordinary people, who exist on a hand-to-mouth existence, will be badly affected,” Go said in an interview after he personally led the distribution of assistance to typhoon victims in Rodriguez, Rizal.

“If possible, let us first consider the livelihood of our ordinary people,” he added.

Go assured traders that the government is constantly recalibrating its policies to balance the interests of all affected sectors, particularly traders and consumers.

“After President Duterte signed the two-month price ceiling, they should follow it. The government is studying and balancing everything,” he said.

“And, in fact, I heard at a Cabinet meeting that the President has already instructed the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry to have a surveillance team... see if they follow the Executive Order,” he added.

Duterte recently issued Executive Order No. 124 which seeks to curb the rising prices of pork and chicken products by imposing a price ceiling.

As stated in the EO, the price ceiling will take effect and remain in force for 60 days, unless extended by President Duterte upon the recommendation of the DA.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos said they would strictly implement standardized measures to ensure price ceilings are followed in Metro Manila.

“We are coordinating with the national government and monitoring daily feedback from traders, market masters and local government units, to normalize the supply and retail prices the soonest time possible,” Abalos said in an interview.

He said he would be convincing the 17 mayors of Metro Manila to waive daily rental fees charged to market retailers.

“We will sit down with the metro mayors to discuss measures on assisting hog retailers to cushion the impact of supply shortage,” he added.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, for his part, said the government must present and implement a game plan to solve the issue of pork shortage and subsequent high prices in a comprehensive manner.

“We Filipinos love galunggong. It is OK to call on our people to look for another protein source. But the point is that there is a shortage of pork in the markets,” he said.

The hog-raising industry, according to a 2018 DA paper, is worth at least P190 billion a year. And next to rice, it is the second largest contributor to the country’s agriculture.

“A lot of jobs and occupations depend on it so we need to focus on the problem and solve it. Stop-gap like price ceiling and calling people to eat galunggong is not enough,” Pangilinan said.

CHICKEN

PORK

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