Philippine Govt Prescribes Pork and Chicken Prices

PHILIPPINES - The government yesterday announced suggested retail prices (SRP) for pork, chicken and also sugar during the holiday season, to be implemented in Metro Manila initially.
calendar icon 30 November 2009
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The reference prices, issued as a non-binding guide for both sellers and buyers, were agreed upon by the government and the private sector in a meeting on Friday, according to ABS-CBN News.

The SRPs, effective yesterday, are as follows: P41-P43 per kilogram for white sugar, P135-P145/kg for whole dressed chicken, P160-P165/kg for pork kasim and P170-P175/kg for pork liempo.

"Initially, that will be implemented in the National Capital Region," Agriculture Undersecretary Salvador S. Salacup said in a phone interview yesterday.

He added that after a review, the government might expand SRP coverage to the rest of the country.

In a statement, Mr Salacup said the price band would serve as a guide for farmers, slaughterhouse operators, meat dealers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

Ahead of the holiday season, prices of pork prime cuts and sugar rose late last week to P155-P190/kg and P42-P46/kg, respectively, from P150-P190/kg and P40-P42/kg the previous week, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics show.

Chicken prices, however, kept steady at P130-P150/kg.

Prevailing prices were also higher than the P160-P180/kg for pork, P120-P140/kg for chicken and P38-P40/kg for sugar late last month.

Employees of the Agriculture and Trade department "will regularly make the rounds of retail outlets every morning to ensure that sellers follow the SRPs," Mr Salacup said.

Furthermore, the departments "will conduct a weekly review to find out whether we should lower or raise the SRPs, or whether it is already time to lift them considering several factors affect the volatility of agricultural commodity prices," he added.

Asked to comment, industry leaders welcomed the scheme.

"Right now, I agree with the prices," Albert R.T. Lim, Jr., president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., said yester-day in a separate phone interview.

"But in mid-December, [suggested] prices should increase."

"It is only during [the holidays] when piggery owners earn more," he said, adding that "if prices are really high, consumers have the choice to shift to chick-en."

Elias Jose M. Inciong, external vice-president of the United Broiler Raisers’ Association, said "That pricing scheme is good…it gives the consumers the idea what will be the reasonable price."

In October last year, the government and industries concerned agreed to cut retail prices of pork cuts to P140-150/kg from as high as P180-P190/kg to spur demand.

Chicken was not subjected to SRP, ABS-CBN News reports.

Furthermore, the Agriculture department said 8,000 metric tons (MT) pork and 8,000 MT chicken imports will start to arrive this week until early next year to plug a supply gap.

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