Pork being sold in Metro Manila is now as expensive as beef, forcing the Department of Agriculture (DA) to intervene and set a new price cap for the farm product.
Starting this week, the new Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for pork kasim is now at ₱260 per kilogram (/kg), while it is ₱280/kg for pork liempo, based on the DA’s Administrative Order (AO) No. 14.
The DA set in August the previous SRP for agricultural products, which covered pork in Metro Manila. Back then, set price for pork pigue was ₱230/kg and ₱250/kg for pork liempo.
Despite the existing SRP, however, price of pork kasim at select markets in Metro Manila rose to ₱300/kg on October 29 and pork liempo to ₱320/ kg.
This means a kilo of pork liempo now actually costs more than beef brisket, which sells at ₱300/kg. In an earlier statement, the DA labeled this as an “artificial price increase,” with traders and hog raisers restricting the release of their supply in order to manipulate the prices.
At the same time, the DA also pointed to the African swine fever (ASF) for the shortage of supply since the animal disease already resulted in the death and culling of more than 300,000 hogs.
“The prevalence of ASF affected the supply thereof and resulted in the reported increased retail prices of pork in Metro Manila despite the sufficiency of local supply. The Department of Agriculture is working with the private sector in transporting supply from non-ASF affected areas,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in the AO.
“[The DA also] observed and monitored some manipulative and speculative behaviors among traders and retailers in Metro Manila, resulting in higher prices than other regions.”