Pork producers have agreed to support the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) initiatives and programs for the local pork industry in an effort to have a more cohesive action plan to protect and further develop the sector.
In a courtesy call to Agriculture officials, officers and members of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, Inc. (Pork Producers) discussed various concerns afflicting the pork industry.
Present during the meeting were DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, OIC-Director Dr. Paul Limson of the Bureau of Animal Industry and OIC-Director Dr. Clarita Sangcal of the National Meat Inspection Service.
Pork Producers Chairman Nicanor Briones said meeting with the Agriculture officials is a good start to setting a more open communication between government and the local pork stakeholders. “We are grateful to Undersecretary Panganiban, Dir. Limson and Dir. Sangcal for meeting with them and listening to their concerns.”
Pork Producers President Rolando Tambago noted that “Usec. Panganiban said we can always come to him if we have concerns that needed to be addressed.
“We look forward to working with him and the rest of his team, BAI and NMIS,” he added. “We truly hope that this will start a more cooperative setup for the betterment of our industry.”
Among the issues discussed during the meeting were the continuing problem with the African swine fever (ASF), the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, the extension of lower tariff for pork imports, and lifting the import ban on porcine processed animal protein from Italy.
Tambago said the local industry is still reeling from the effects of ASF that has devastated many pork producers, and has led to many—particularly backyard raisers—to close their businesses. “Many people rely on the industry for their livelihood so it is important to keep them going. Unfortunately, the losses have been very hard on a lot of us.”
Briones and Tambago added it is important to have a good working relationship with Agriculture officials so they can be immediately made aware of issues affecting the industry in particular, and the country’s food security in general.