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Bill to require gov’t to undertake bulk purchasing of pork products

A BILL has been filed in the House of Representatives requiring the government to directly purchase pork from producers for sale to the public at subsidized prices.

In a statement Thursday, Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo said she filed House Bill No. 9256, or the Affordable Pork Act of 2021, which would authorize the President to purchase pork from producers during emergencies.

“Only the government will have the ability to ‘buy high’ from producers and ‘sell low’ to consumers. With the government acting as the middleman, it can ensure that pork is bought from hog raisers at a reasonable price, then sold at a retail price that is competitive with imports. In effect, the government provides price support to producers during the crisis, while also ensuring consumers can buy pork at the lowest possible prices,” she said.

She added that the bill not only aims to protect the hog industry but also ensure fair market prices for pork.

Ms. Quimbo said that the measure also will require import permits to be deemed approved if an agency does not act on it within a prescribed period.

The bill also outlined greater penalties, including life imprisonment, for pork smugglers and profiteers.

The bill also proposed to establish a Swine Competitiveness Enhancement Fund which will support the hog industry, to be funded by tax revenue collected from pork import tariffs. — Gillian M. Cortez

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