THE Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday warned it will start canceling the business permits of traders and retailers who violate the suggested retail price (SRP) for fresh pork and chicken.
In an interview, DA Undersecretary for Livestock Jose Reaño said they are now working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on how to issue the cancellation order following reports that some stores in Metro Manila are refusing to follow the SRP on pork and chicken.
“By Friday, we would go around major markets in Metro Manila. We have already identified stores violating the SRP… the DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service are just finalizing the data,” Reaño said.
Besides the revocation of their business permits, the official said that those caught violating the SRP would be slapped with a penalty of P5,000. On September 25, the DA started imposing SRP on pork and chicken products following consultations with hog raisers and poultry growers.
During the meeting, it was agreed between the DA and the attendees to peg the SRP on pork at P175 (pigue) and P185 (liempo) per kilo, while the chicken SRP is pegged at P135 per kilo.
Chicken and pork industry stakeholders said that prices of the commodities should be stable, noting that there is sufficient supply of fresh pork and chicken in time for the Christmas season.
They also said there was no reason anymore for the continued high retail prices of pork and chicken products because farmgate prices for live hogs and chicken were slowly declining.
However, some store owners are still refusing to comply with the government’s price ceiling, claiming that prices continue to climb as the holiday season nears.
The current prevailing price of pork at public markets and other outlets is P200-P210 per kilo, while fresh chicken goes for P140 per kilo.