AS IT STANDS | Roman Floresca
It is the second week of the second month this year so everything should have gone back to normal. Prices of food should now go back to their regular old rates. But the prices of pork and chicken are taking advantage of the hapless consumers who cannot do anything but bear the brunt of it. How much should they pay?
According to a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the price of pork “kasim” was at a high of P420 per kilo and a low of P320 per kilo for a prevailing price of P360 per kilo. Pork “liempo” on the other hand, was selling at a high of P430 per kilo and a low of P350 per kilo for a prevailing price of P400 per kilo. But the prices of hogs which stayed at those levels persisted even after the holidays.
Expectedly, almost everybody has something to say. Malacanang, speaking through Spokesperson Harry Roque urged traders to continue with their trade despite the threat by some meat vendors that they would go into a pork holiday. Roque has assured that the government is doing all it can to help traders. And that includes bringing supply from the Visayas and Mindanao and areas that are free from the so-called African swine fever (ASF) in Luzon.
Yes all this is due to ASF which hit some parts of the country recently. This will result in a shortfall of about half a million tons this year.
To assure the public, Secretary William Dar of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said they would go after unscrupulous traders and wholesalers who are responsible for the high prices of pork.
Lopez sought the assistance of law enforcement agencies such as the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bureau of Customs (BoC), Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), National Security Council (NSC) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
Whew, how heavy can you get? That’s almost half the government at work. If this is an indication of how serious the government thinks of this crisis I shudder to think what they will do to anyone caught sabotaging it.
Well, there are some ways by which we can subvert the effect of the current situation and that is by buying meat other than pork. By having rabbit’s meat they can have all the flavors of pork. What’s more they can eat as much rabbit’s meat as they want and not worry too much about health. This is because there is absolutely no fat in rabbit’s meat.