THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has set maximum prices for the landed cost of hogs shipped to Metro Manila from farms across the country, in order to keep a lid on high pork prices and avert another inflation crisis.

In a memorandum order, 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 kilogram. Those from the Visayas, Bicol, MIMAROPA, Ilocos Region, and Cagayan Valley can command P170. The ceiling on Central Luzon and CALABARZON hogs is at P180.

The DA is providing transport subsidies to pig farmers via regional field offices, a cost already factored into the price caps.

“There is a need to provide assistance to legitimate suppliers, sellers, raisers, and traders of hogs to Metro Manila in the form of transport support to ensure unhampered supply, distribution, marketing, and pricing of pork,” Mr. Dar said.

The transport subsidy for hogs from Mindanao was set at P21 per kilogram; from the Visayas, Bicol, MIMAROPA, Ilocos Region, and Cagayan Valley P15; and Central Luzon and CALABARZON P10.

“The transport support is going to be added to their farmgate price, thus the landed cost. The figures are still in the range of the implemented price ceiling,” Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel T. Cayanan said in a virtual briefing Thursday.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed Executive Order (EO) No. 124 capping the price of pork and chicken products sold in Metro Manila to address high retail prices.

EO 124 set the retail price of pork shoulder, or kasim, at P270 per kilogram, pork belly, or liempo, at P300, and whole chicken at P160.

According to the DA memorandum, hog raisers, suppliers, and traders can avail of transport subsidies by presenting documentation such as shipping permits; receipt with information on the number of animals shipped, their destination, the amount paid for them, the date of transport; a certification from the slaughterhouse where the hog was butchered in the case of live animals, and a meat inspection certificate from the National Meat Inspection Service for pork carcasses.

“All transport support claims shall be in the form of reimbursement to be submitted to DA regional field offices where the hogs were sourced,” it said.

Mr. Dar said legitimate suppliers, hog raisers, and traders of live hogs and carcasses with pre-arranged buyers will be entitled to transport subsidies.

He said all live hogs or pork carcasses should be transported to Metro Manila only, with the hogs to be brought to slaughterhouses, and carcasses delivered to cold storage facilities.

According to the DA’s Thursday price monitoring report, the price of pork kasim was reported at P270 to P310 per kilogram, pork liempo P300 to P350, and whole chicken P160 to P200 per kilogram. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave