San Miguel Foods (SMF), the food unit of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), is considering the transfer of its nationwide hog inventory and facilities to local raisers, according to a statement Tuesday.
The move would allow local raisers to supply the requirements of their respective regions and help strengthen biosecurity protocols among smallholder farmers.
“We want to provide our local piggery businesses a chance to thrive in these trying times, and encourage more smallholder farmers to grow this industry locally and responsibly,” said San Miguel Corporation President and COO Ramon S. Ang.
As bans on the transportation of pork and pork products remain in place across the country due to the African Swine Fever, Monterey, a national player, has found the situation challenging, which made it decide to shift gears and transfer inventories to local raisers.
“This is one way to stabilize the supply of affordable pork in the country. More importantly, it will help boost the local hog raising industry. They can run this business at a lower cost, making it more sustainable. This also opens the doors for more Filipinos to become agri‐entrepreneurs,” Ang said.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr appealed to pork sellers to continue selling pork amid the threat of a pork holiday as suggested by some trader and consumer groups.
“Sinusuportahan po natin yung advocacy na alternative pork choices pero nakikiusap po kami sa ating mga nagtitinda, sana po ipagpatuloy ninyo ang pagtitinda ng baboy,” said Secretary Roque in a press briefing on February 8, 2020.
The Palace official assured that the national government has taken steps to help pork traders, including getting pork supply from Visayas and Mindanao and in ASF-free areas in Luzon.
A group of swine producers in Cotabato has committed to supply 10,000 heads of hogs per week in Metro Manila, said Secretary Roque.
“Gobyerno na po ang mag-aangkat niyan at gobyerno na rin po ang magpapakalat niyan sa merkado so hindi naman po tayo magkukulang. At ang presyo po ng baboy na inaangkat sa South Cotabato ay nasa P145 per kilo,” Sec. Roque said.
Further, Sec. Roque said that apart from importing from Visayas and Mindanao and in ASF-free areas in Luzon, the government will also provide transportation subsidy for the transport of pork products.
“Yung mga manggagaling ng Mindanao, gaya nitong galing sa South Cotabato mayroon na po tayong P21 [per kilo] na subsidy na binibigay para sa transportasyon. Mayroon po tayong P15 [per kilo] na para sa mga baboy na manggagaling sa Visayas. Mayroon din po tayong P10 [per kilo] para sa mga baboy na manggagaling sa iba’t ibang parte ng Luzon na walang ASF,” said Roque.
Moreover, Roque said that the government has made financial or loan assistance available to pork vendors and assured that if importing from Visayas and Mindanao will not be enough, then the government can also import from abroad as a last recourse. – BusinessNews.ph