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Capital gets 2,000 hogs from south amid tight supply

AT LEAST 2,000 live pigs from South Cotabato in southern Philippines arrived in the capital region on Wednesday to augment pork supply amid rising prices, according to the presidential palace.

The hogs had been brought to a port in Tondo, Manila and would be distributed to different markets in the capital, presidential spokesman Herminio “Harry” L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Wednesday.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte this month capped prices at P270 per kilo of pork shoulder, P300 per kilo of pork belly, and P160 per kilo of dressed chicken in Metro Manila for 60 days.

The Agriculture department earlier said a group of hog raisers in South Cotabato had committed to deliver 10,000 live pigs to Metro Manila weekly.

Mr. Roque said the government would continue to ship hogs to the capital region from areas unaffected by the African Swine Fever outbreak.

He said the government was ready to import pigs if local supply remains insufficient. “This is temporary because supply really ran out in Luzon because of the African Swine Fever,” he said in Filipino.

The Agriculture department on Tuesday said it had recommended to the palace to increase the minimum access volume for pork imports at lower tariffs.

The agency has set maximum prices for the landed cost of hogs shipped to Metro Manila from farms across the country to keep a lid on high pork prices and avert another inflation crisis.

In a memo, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said once additional hogs contracted on an emergency basis arrive in Metro Manila via subsidized transport, the landed cost of hogs from Mindanao will be capped at P165 per kilo. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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