LKI PRESS STATEMENT 2020-49
August 11, 2020
LABAN KONSYUMER CALLS TO STEP UP MONITORING OF PRICES ON PORK AND CHICKEN
Consumer Group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) Vic Dimagiba called for close watch over the prices of pork and chicken in an exchange of text messages with Usec Ernesto Gonzalez of the Department of Agricuture for Consumer Protection Group and Atty.Bong Inciong of UBRA.
Dimagiba quoted Usec Gonzalez that “right now we are short in supply off pork, so that has a tendency for the prices to go higher. Although prices are starting to go down, as more pigs are being brought in from Visayas and Mindanao “.
From the consumer group angle, we call on the proper authorities to observe the prices of these farm animals, as we push for lower prices especially during this time of pandemic and lockdown. Right now, our Filipino consumers are struggling to make ends meet and may find it very challenging and difficult to come up with the funds to buy pork and chicken to feed their families.
LKI President Atty. Vic Dimagiba reported that “Pork prevailing retail prices are Php 260.00 to Php 270..00 a kilo over the SRP which were adjusted higher last month to Php 230 .00 and Php 250.00 a kilo . The retail prices are Php 30.00 to Php 40.00 above SRP.
Dimagiba added that the farm gate prices of chicken do not align with the existing SRP which should be lower than Php 130.00.. LKI highlighted that based on UBRA data, “as of August 4, the farm gate is going down to Php 55.00 to Php 60.00 a kilo. . So we want to look into the action that the agricultural sector can take, and assess who is gaining or profiting from this situation”.
Based on UBRA data information cullled from Atty.Bong Inciong of UBRA, “ there are lot of imports. It is 50 percent higher as of June compared to the same period last year. This is so despite COVID 19. Unfortunately, not much impact on retail, and importers pocket the margins. In fact, they like high retail prices as they have more room to jack up their prices. SRP should be lowered to Php 110 or Php 120. The retailers in the wet markets are also affected by imports sold by resellers. A lot of micro and small broiler producers will reduce or stop production. Imports like leg quarters are landing at 62-68 per kilo. Local cost to produce is 72 to 78 per kilo live.”
Dimagiba concluded by saying “for the protection of consumer welfare, we will continue to monitor and observe the prices of chicken and pork and assess if these are the lowest costs possible for consumers and if there are opportunists profitering from the pandemic situation. Right now priority should be making basic food like pork and chicken most accesible to all the needy, poor and the marginalized, especially, as we are all trying to get our bearings together stepping into this new normal, and jobs and careers are sadly being lost as we speak.”