The government yesterday announced suggested retail prices (SRP) for pork, chicken and also sugar during the holiday season, to be implemented in Metro Manila initially.
The reference prices, issued as a non-binding guide for both sellers and buyers, were agreed upon by the government and the private sector in a meeting on Friday, according to ABS-CBN News.
The SRPs (per kilo), effective yesterday, are as follows: 41 to 43 pesos (PHP) for white sugar, PHP135 to P145 for whole dressed chicken, PHP160 to 165 for pork kasim and PHP170 to 175 for pork liempo.
"Initially, that will be implemented in the National Capital Region," Agriculture Undersecretary, Salvador S. Salacup, said in a phone interview yesterday.
He added that after a review, the government might expand SRP coverage to the rest of the country.
In a statement, Mr Salacup said the price band would serve as a guide for farmers, slaughterhouse operators, meat dealers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers.
Ahead of the holiday season, per-kilo prices of pork prime cuts and sugar rose late last week to PHP155 to 190 and PHP42 to 46, respectively, from PHP150 to 190 and PHP40 to 42 the previous week, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics show.
Chicken prices, however, kept steady at PHP130 to 150 per kilo.
Prevailing prices were also higher than the PHP160 to 180 for pork, PHP120to 140 for chicken and PHP38 to 40 for sugar late last month.
Employees of the Agriculture and Trade department "will regularly make the rounds of retail outlets every morning to ensure that sellers follow the SRPs," Mr Salacup said.
Furthermore, the departments "will conduct a weekly review to find out whether we should lower or raise the SRPs, or whether it is already time to lift them considering several factors affect the volatility of agricultural commodity prices," he added.
Asked to comment, industry leaders welcomed the scheme.
"Right now, I agree with the prices," Albert R.T. Lim, Jr., president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., said yester-day in a separate phone interview.
"But in mid-December, [suggested] prices should increase."
"It is only during [the holidays] when piggery owners earn more," he said, adding that "if prices are really high, consumers have the choice to shift to chick-en."
Elias Jose M. Inciong, external vice-president of the United Broiler Raisers’ Association, said: "That pricing scheme is good. It gives the consumers the idea what will be the reasonable price."
In October last year, the government and industries concerned agreed to cut per-kilo retail prices of pork cuts to PHP140 to 150 from as high as PHP180 to 190 to spur demand.
Chicken was not subjected to SRP, ABS-CBN News reports.
Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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