HOGS RAISERS from the Visayas, Mindanao, and parts of Luzon have launched deliveries of live animals to Metro Manila, in order to help head off an inflation crisis in the capital region following a spike in food prices, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In a recent visit to Region 12 or SOCCSKSARGEN, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar announced the departure of two truckloads of hogs, with 260 animals on board, to Metro Manila.

“The hogs, courtesy of the Koronadal Valley Livestock Growers, are expected to arrive at Manila ports early next week,” Mr. Dar said.

Mr. Dar confirmed that growers in the Visayas, particularly Iloilo, recently shipped 600 live hogs to plug shortages on Luzon, where the herd has been greatly reduced by African Swine Fever and the associated culls to contain the outbreaks.

“With these initiatives, we are helping the hog raisers and those involved in the supply chain to earn, while providing consumers access to affordable meat and meat products,” Mr. Dar said.

Mr. Dar said a possible source from within Luzon is San Jose, Batangas, whose growers are being sounded out about supplying the Metro Manila market.

According to the DA, there are around 41,953 animals available from San Jose.

The DA has received commitments from the South Cotabato Swine Producers’ Association for the transport and delivery of live hogs and carcasses to Luzon, with an initial agreement of 10,000 hogs per week.

Executive Order (EO) No. 124 set a price ceiling on pork and chicken products sold in Metro Manila, and will take effect on Feb. 8, Monday.

The EO set the retail price of pork shoulder, known as kasim, at P270 per kilogram, and pork belly or liempo at P300. The ceiling for dressed chicken was set at P160. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave