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Government urged: Buy high from pork producers
Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo specifically proposed adjustment in protocols being implemented in the transport sector and government intervention in the local hog industry to mitigate impact of the high inflation rate on ordinary Filipinos who are struggling financially due to the pandemic.
Michael Varcas, file

Government urged: Buy high from pork producers

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — An economist-lawmaker yesterday pushed for urgent measures to lower the country’s 4.5-percent inflation rate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo specifically proposed adjustment in protocols being implemented in the transport sector and government intervention in the local hog industry to mitigate impact of the high inflation rate on ordinary Filipinos who are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

For the high pork prices in the market, Quimbo proposed that the government directly procure pork for purposes of price stabilization in times of emergency such as this.

She explained that high prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages remained the main contributor to inflation, making up 40.9 percent of overall inflation.

Quimbo said this was driven mainly by inflation in the prices of meat such as pork, which reached 22.1 percent.

“At this point, our local production is struggling due to ASF (African swine flu). Hog raisers need to be able to sell at a price that’s reasonably high enough for them to recover costs. At the same time, we need to bring down retail prices for consumers,” she said.

“Government can provide temporary support and buy high from producers and sell low to consumers. It can ensure that prices are fair and competitive by temporarily bringing supply directly to the market,” Quimbo added.

She already made this proposal in House Bill 9256 or the Affordable Pork Act of 2021 that she recently filed.

Quimbo also suggested that the government address the high cost of public transportation by allowing back riders on tricycles.

“The next main contributor, with a 32-percent share in overall inflation, is transportation... One cause of the high fares in tricycles is the limiting of capacity through the protocol that allows only one sidecar passenger and one back rider at a time. As a result, family members who share a household – husband and wife – are still forced to engage at least two tricycles at a time to comply with said protocols. This drives up transportation costs for households,” she explained.

“To lower tricycle fares, current protocols should be revised to allow family members traveling together to maximize the capacity of the tricycle units, if they are from the same households and complying with health standards,” Quimbo argued.

COVID-19 PORK
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