AS the price of pork continues to spike, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan calls for a review on the tariff of pig feeds to lower pork prices to the levels of those in Vietnam and Thailand.
“On average, ang bentahan ng baboy, retail, sa Vietnam ay P125 per kilo. Sa Thailand, P159. Sa China, 205. Dito, ang bili natin ng baboy sa palengke ay P276. Sa manok naman, pinakamura sa Thailand, P76 ang kilo. Sa Vietnam, P125. Sa China P162. Dito, P180,” Pangilinan said.
“Mahigit doble and presyo ng baboy natin kaysa sa Vietnam, at halos triple ang presyo ng manok natin kumpara sa Thailand,” he said.
“Kaya rin nating pababain ang presyo ng mga pagkain dahil nagawa na natin yan noon bilang Presidential Adviser on Food Security, specifically sa presyo ng bigas. Kailangan lang tutukan pareho ang production side at ang importation ng pagkain. Kailangan din walang smuggling,” he added.
Pangilinan said high food prices results in hunger. He said lowering food prices will lower hunger incidence rates in the country.
“Yan ang dahilan kung bakit ginugutom ang marami sa ating kapwa Pilipino. Kaya nating pababain ang presyo ng pagkain,” said the vice-presidential aspirant.
Pangilinan made the statement following Thursday’s Senate hearing, where Department of Agriculture’s Dr. Karlo Adriano said Filipinos are paying more than double for pork compared to Thailand and 73% more compared to Vietnam. He said the same dilemma is also apparent in poultry, where Filipinos pay more than double for chicken compared to Thailand, and around 44% compared to Vietnam.
At the same hearing, the DA attributed the high cost of pork to the high cost of producing corn, which is used to create pig feeds.
“Clearly, the biggest portion of producing [and growing] our livestock is feeds. Ang biro nga ma’am, huwag kang magtayo ng babuyan, pumasok ka na lang sa negosyo ng feeds dahil doon ka kikita,” Pangilinan said.
“Ito dapat ang baguhin dahil mas kumikita ang mga nagbibenta ng feeds kaysa doon sa ating maliliit na magbababoy. This is really a challenge,” he added.
Senator Cynthia Villar, who chairs the Committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform, said that there should be an alternative to corn like the ones that Thailand uses.
“I am so impressed when I went to Thailand because they grow their own high-protein vegetables for their feeds. If we have a substitute for corn, [that’s better]. But it’s alright if we can afford to buy corn, but to those farmers who are so poor, maybe our farmers can have an alternative, so we can still grow [our livestock] without being dependent on corn,” Villar said.
Apart from high production cost, Adriano said that the high cost of pork is a result of unorganized and backward small-scale operation, as well as fragmented government support structure.