Price freeze not the solution to pork supply situation

Posted January 28, 2021

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar was reported to have recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte to freeze the prices of meat, particularly pork, for 60 days.

There is presently a shortage of hog meat in the market because of the losses suffered from African Swine Fever, particularly in 2019.

It is also reported that the meat traders are artificially increasing hog meat prices to take advantage of the present tight supply.

Benjamin R. Punongbayan, founder of Buklod, a national political movement believes imposing price control is not the solution.

He argued that price control will just lead to further reduction in the supply of meat, particularly pork, because of hoarding.Traders often resort to stockpiling to await the lifting of the price control because of unprofitable retail prices.

The immediate solution is to liberalize the importation of meat, particularly hog meat, according to Punongbayan.

On a longer term, the government should determine how it can help the local meat producers to increase production. These producers may need immediate assistance in obtaining loans and procuring breeding stock.

The government must act on the proper solutions soon. Price control will just make an already bad situation much worse, he said.

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