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NMIS notes increase in pork prices

THE National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) has noted an increase in the price of pork caused by high demand as against supply due to massive transport of the product to Manila and Luzon.

Dr. Eduardo Oblena, NMIS director, said that pork now is sold at P250 per kilo, although he received information that some markets are selling it now at P280 per kilo.

In January and February 2020, or before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Cebu in March 2020, pork was sold in the market at P210 per kilo. In other areas where there is less demand of pork, it was sold at P200 per kilo.

Cebu is one of the few places in the country not hit by the African Swine Fever (ASF). Luzon and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao regions were hit by ASF. Oblena said that Cebu has P11-billion hog industry.

The hog traders got more profit when it started supplying pork to Metro Manila where businessmen are selling it at P400 per kilo.

“We have a free enterprise, and traders took the opportunity to sell pork in Metro Manila even at P400 per kilo. There is a high price if the demand is high,” Oblena said.

“Our hog raisers observe preventive measures to prevent the entry of ASF in Cebu. So, even if the price of pork is high, it is safe from ASF,” Oblena said.

Oblena will request hog raisers to limit pork supply to Manila to prevent further increase of prices. At present, traders are buying live pigs at P150 per kilo, and sell the pork in the market at P250 per kilo.

He said the swine population in Cebu is 80 percent in backyard-raised. The other 20 percent is from commercial hog traders.

Swine is categorized as backyard, medium, semi-commercial and commercial.

Last year, Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella has lifted the ban on the entry of pork from ASF-free provinces in Mindanao. Cebu City is the only LGU in Cebu that lifted the pork ban from Mindanao.

But Oblena said the pork that enters Cebu City from Gen. Santos City shall be distributed within the city only. ELIAS O. BAQUERO