Naga City explores ‘win-win’ options on escalating pork price

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NAGA CITY – The city government here has formed a working committee that explore means make pork prices favorable to both the sellers and consumers.

City Mayor Nelson Legacion said Tuesday the city government has traced the hiked prices of pork products to the prohibitive farm gate price of hogs.

He said the city government will also look into the possibility of restricting traders from other regions from buying hogs here, which meat vendors identified as one of the reasons for the dwindling local supply, aside from the still unresolved cases of African swine fever (ASF).

The local pork industry started experiencing dwindling supply in the last quarter of 2020. “It can perhaps be done through legislation or issuance of an executive order,” he said, referring to his plan to restrict big-time hog buyers from other regions from the city.

The mayor noted that buyers from other places pay P190 to P200 per kilo which is much higher than the P160 to P170 being offered by the local vendors.

Conrado Levina, president of the Chicken and Meat Vendors’ Association at the Naga City People’s Mall (NCPM), said his group is compelled to equal the amount being offered by outsiders so they can get the product, which results in increased prices.

In a separate interview, an NCPM stallholder said hog buyers from other regions even offer a P500 finder’s fee to “spotters” or middlemen who could help them find hogs in the barangays. She said local meat vendors like her can only afford to pay the spotters P100 per hog.

NCPM manager Ramon Florendo, who also heads the city’s Market Enterprise and Promotions Office (MEPO), said only around 50% of the total number of meat vendors at the public market are operating regularly.