The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured the public that there will be enough supply of ham this holiday season despite decreasing meat supplies due to the African Swine Fever (ASF).
During the virtual presser of DA on Thursday, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) executive director Dr. Reildrin Morales said that meat processors had already prepared their materials for ham production months before the Christmas holiday.
“Mayroon tayong hamon, ito ay naitanong na natin sa industriya ng meat processors bago pa dumating ang kapaskuhan. Siniguro nila na meron silang mga materyales para sa paggawa ng hamon, may hamon tayo ngayong pasko,” he said.
Morales said that the price increase in pork is a global problem not just in the Philippines.
He added that around 400,000 pigs have already been culled in the Philippines due to ASF.
“Ang pagtaas ng presyo ng baboy ay hindi lang problema sa Pilipinas. It is a global problem, even the global supply of pork ay affected din ng price increase,” he said.
“Kung mapapansin niyo, medyo mataas ang presyo ng baboy, dala na rin ng epekto ng African Swine Fever dahil medyo marami ang mga farmer dito sa Luzon, dito kasi mataas ang production. Marami tayong kasamang magsasaka o mga nag-aalaga ng baboy na nag-control ng production ng kanilang pagbababuyan kaya medyo manipis ang supply,” he added.
DA said that the Philippines has already reached the third wave in ASF since its outbreak in September 2019 and appeals to local government units to be vigilant with their checkpoints to avoid recording new cases.
Meanwhile, the MIMAROPA region, particularly Puerto Princesa and Palawan remains free from ASF.
In a previous statement, DA-MIMAROPA said that the region remains free from ASF due to the immediate declaration of lockdowns, prohibiting the entry of pigs, pork meat, and pork-based products.
Morales said that the Philippines has more consumption of pork meat than chicken meat, which only records about eight kilos per capita.
Unlike decreasing the supply of pork meat, Morales said that the Philippines has an oversupply of chicken meat.
“Sobra ang supply natin ng manok, hindi tulad sa baboy kaya ‘yong kakulangan sa baboy, ‘yong protina ay pwede ipang-substitute natin ‘yong manok,” he said.
As per the record provided by DA, the total weekly dressed chicken inventory as of November 23-29 was estimated at 54, 102.34 metric tons. The MIMAROPA region has 25.88 metric tons from local supply and 9.68 metric tons from imports.