EXPECT prices of pork to go up this coming Christmas.
Sen. Mar Roxas said on Monday that there would be a tight supply of pork these coming holidays and that pork prices could rise to P130 to P140 a kilo.
The price of chicken will be stable, however, at P95 to P100 a kilo and will increase by a minimal P10, he said.
Roxas suggested that consumers instead buy chicken and fish. He said importing pork from other countries is more expensive.
“It takes at least 18 months to raise a pig to fill up the tight supply of pork. You might as well choose fish and chicken, and come to think of it, these are healthier,” Roxas said in a hearing conducted by the Senate Committees on Trade and on Economic Affairs, which he chairs.
He also said the prices of corn, wheat and rice would be stable.
The United Broilers Raisers Association and the Philippine Broilers Integrators assured Roxas that chicken would remain at P110 a kilo.
Roxas told them he would never allow a repeat of last year’s Christmas season, when prices of chicken rose to P140 to P150 a kilo.
Agriculture Undersecretary Cesar Drilon of the said importing pork would be costlier despite the zero-tariff agreement. He said there is an underimportation in pork.
Drilon mentioned South Korea, where pork is costly. There’s also no need to import corn, because it’s also costly abroad.
“The supply of galunggong is also expected to be tight because it is rare during the Christmas season, but you can always rely on tilapia and bangus,” Drilon said.
Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Roxas asked Drilon to submit the details on the collection and distribution of the P5 billion the national government has collected from the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.
The fund was intended for farmers tilling corn and rice, who are affected by the importation of these products.
Drilon said P2.3 billion has been given out as loans to farmers and had been authorized by the Department of Budget and Management.