Pork probe findings sought


    A consumer group yesterday urged the the Economic Intelligence Task Force to release its findings on its investigation over alleged price collusion, cartel and profiteering amid the rising prices of pork in the market.

    Victorio Dimagiba, Laban Konsyumer Inc. president, said this would shed light on the real woes plaguing the pork industry.

    Dimagiba said the Senate Committee on Food, Agriculture and Agrarian Reform has also asked the task force to submit a report.

    “Given the difficulty of job security as well as underemployment due to the pandemic, we may see consumers shifting from meat products to cheaper basic necessities and prime commodities or not buying meat products at all. With vendors stopping to sell meat products, this shift in consumer spending is not at all bad but very alarming because consumers’ right of access to meat products is denied due to high prices,” Dimagiba said.

    He added implementing agencies under the Price Act should start taking advantage of the policy allowing the appropriation in the regular budget of a buffer fund for the purpose of ensuring stable supply and reasonable prices of basic necessities and prime commodities.

    “This provision had not been utilized. The buffer fund shall be used to procure, purchase, import, stockpile any basic necessities and prime commodities and devise ways and means of distributing them in areas where there is shortage of supply or a need to effect changes in the prevailing price,” Dimagiba added.

    Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture assured hog transportation from Visayas and Mindanao to Metro Manila continues to take place.

    As of February 23, the total number of hog deliveries for Metro Manila consumption that was facilitated by the Department of Agriculture is at 73,365 live hogs equivalent to 439, 852 kg of carcass.

    Calabarzon remained the top contributor at 38,034 heads or 51,84 percent followed by Mimaropa with 8,331 heads at 11.36 percent and Western Visayas with 7,547 heads at 10.29 percent.

    Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, as of January 28, retail prices of pork kasim is at a high of P420 per kg and a low of P330 per kg. for a prevailing price of P360 per kg while pork liempo is at a high of P430 per kg but at a low of P350 per kg and prevailing at P400 per kg.