Saturday, April 13News That Matters

Antique Province Urged to Regulate Outbound Shipment of Pork Amid Soaring Prices

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Concerns over the rising pork prices in Antique province have prompted officials in the capital town to urge the provincial government to take action. Darcy Bungay, Chief of the Municipal Economic Enterprise and Development Office (MEEDO), reiterated the call to regulate outbound shipments of live hogs to address the escalating pork costs.

The appeal, originally submitted as a resolution to Governor Rhodora Cadiao’s office on November 9, 2023, seeks to control swine transport outside of Antique. The aim is to stabilize pork supply in local markets amidst the price surge, which has significantly increased from PHP370 to PHP400 per kilogram in just one week.

Antique swine flu
Antique swine flu

“The sudden spike in pork prices to PHP400 per kilogram on February 26 alarmed Mayor Elmer Untaran, prompting an emergency meeting of the Price Monitoring Council,” Bungay stated.

During the meeting, pork sellers attributed the price hike to the increased buying price of live hogs, which surged from PHP205 per kilogram a month ago to PHP235-240 per kilogram. Consequently, vendors have no choice but to adjust their selling prices accordingly.

Bungay speculated that the outbound shipment of live hogs to areas affected by African swine fever (ASF), such as Iloilo City and other parts of Panay Island, contributes to Antique’s shortage and subsequent price surge. Despite assurances from the Antique Provincial Veterinary (ProVet) Office of sufficient live hog supply within the province, local meat vendors face difficulties in procurement due to traders from neighboring provinces.

Reports indicate that the Sibalom Livestock and Poultry-raisers Association transports 40 to 50 hogs weekly to Iloilo and other parts of Panay Island, exacerbating the scarcity in Antique.

Acknowledging the scarcity of live hogs in San Jose de Buenavista, Municipal Agricultural Technologist John Philip Vicente attributed the soaring pork prices to this shortage.

“On February 23, the Department of Agriculture declared the town’s 23 barangays free of ASF, but the repopulation of farms can only proceed after sentineling,” Vicente disclosed.

Sentineling, a process involving the observation of a piglet on a newly disinfected farm, is crucial in ensuring that the ASF has been effectively contained before repopulation efforts commence.

“After a month or so of observation, if the piglet shows no signs of ASF, repopulation can begin,” Vicente explained.

The ASF outbreak has significantly impacted local farmers, with 464 individuals affected and total losses amounting to PHP24 million due to hog mortalities.

As authorities grapple with the twin challenges of ASF containment and pork price stabilization, the urgent need for regulatory measures to manage outbound shipments of live hogs remains a pressing concern for Antique province. With stakeholders calling for decisive action, all eyes are now on the provincial government to address the current crisis and ensure a sustainable pork supply to local markets.

See Also:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *