Pork meat price breaches P300 / kg in Region 12

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 2 February) – The price of premium pork meat in Soccsksargen or Region 12 has breached the P300-per-kilogram (kg) mark due to stiffer supply as live pigs are being shipped to Metro Manila and the Visayas due to better prices there, it was gathered Tuesday.

A MindaNews monitoring in this city, the regional seat of government, in the past few days showed the premium belly part or liempo ranged from P299 to P320 per kg at a major supermarket and meat shop, and P280 in the talipapa or roadside vendors. In December, the price of liempo in the talipapa was just P190 per kg.

In nearby General Santos City, the economic hub of Region 12, prices of pork meat cuts range between P260 and P300 per kg.

But as of the January 28 monitoring of the Department of Agriculture-Region 12’s (DA-12) Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service, the price of liempo was only P240 per kg and P188 for kasim.

The price of premium pork meat this week rose by a third or 33 percent from last week, data showed.

Arlan Mangelen, DA-12 director, said the onslaught of the African swine fever (ASF) affected the supply of hogs that triggered the price increase of pork meat in the region.

In the wake of the soaring pork meat prices, Mangelen issued Special Order 06 Series of 2021 on January 28 pegging the price of liempo at P192 and kasim at P188, way below the prevailing prices in the markets on Tuesday.

In a radio interview, he said that local hog raisers prefer to ship their products outside the region due to better prices, causing tight supply in the area that triggered prices of pork meat to increase.

Still, prices of liempo in Soccsksargen, which straddles the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, are way cheaper than the P400 per kg tag in Metro Manila.

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order imposing a 60-day price ceiling on pork and chicken products in Metro Manila. Under EO 124, the price ceiling for a kilogram of kasim and pigue is at P270, and P300 for liempo.

Myrna Habacon, director of the National Meat Inspection Service in Region 12, admitted that swine supply in the region has become tighter, triggering the gradual increase in prices of pork meat products in the markets.

“Due to the presence of ASF in some parts of the country, commercial hog raisers in Region 12, particularly in South Cotabato and General Santos City, engaged in conservative swine production for fear the highly contagious disease will infect their farms,” she said in a phone interview.

The ASF has been detected in the region, with DA-12 compensating owners of culled pigs amounting to P645,000 in Sarangani. The agency has yet to compensate pig owners affected by ASF in North Cotabato in the amount of P14.9 million.

The agriculture department compensates owners P5,000 for each culled pig.

In Mindanao, the ASF was first detected in Davao Occidental province a year ago.

Habacon said the tighter pork supply in Soccsksargen was also due to the continuing shipment of live hogs to Luzon and the Visayas. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)