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City Council seeks intervention to mitigate pork price rise

The Sangguniang Panlungsod has adopted resolutions aiming to address the issue of the rising price of pork in the public market, which surged from ₱280 to ₱350 per kilo in just a week.

Aside from the increasing pork prices, market vendors also raised concerns about a shortage of pork supply. Hog raisers are reportedly preferring to sell to buyers from outside the province of Palawan for a higher live weight price.

Vendors requested that the city government control sales outside the city to ensure a steady pork supply and impose a price ceiling.

Councilor Elgin Damasco, who chairs the Sanggunian’s Committee on Agriculture and Food Security, conducted a hearing last Thursday.

He reported during their regular session on Tuesday that, according to hog raisers, traders, and vendors, there is no shortage in the supply of pork.

He also mentioned that City Legal Officer Atty. Norman Yap pointed out during the committee meeting that there is no basis for the local government to impose price control on any product manufactured or produced in the city, except under circumstances such as if the pig has an infectious disease.

Yap also stated that the problem either lies in quantity or because local buyers are unable to compete in the offer.

“If buyers are not able to compete with the offer, it is not proper for the local government to force or command the seller to sell to a buyer who is not willing to meet their price,” Damasco said quoting Yap.

Yap has also informed the Sangguniang Panlungsod that without an emergency or crisis, they cannot impose price controls, ban, or even implement a moratorium on shipping out livestock.

“We cannot impose a price control absent any emergency or crisis. The law is quite clear on that. We have to establish whether there is an emergency or crisis before we can seek measures such as price control,” he explained.

Furthermore, Damasco said the government can only intervene if the price is being manipulated, such as through hoarding, cartel activity, and profiteering.

He added that only the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) has the power to determine selling prices and must seek approval from the Office of the President.

He also stated that the primary cause of the sudden rise in prices is the high cost of feeds and other products needed for hog-raising.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod then adopted several measures to address the concern. They requested the LPCC to convene and determine the price of pork in the city through a resolution.

Additionally, requests were made to Mayor Lucilo Bayron, through the City Development Council, to include a subsidy in the annual investment plan to support hog raisers in Puerto Princesa City.

They also called on the City Planning and Development Office to conduct a study on the possibility of establishing a feed mill to support hog raisers and local farmers.

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