‘MEATLESS CHRISTMAS’: DTI sees meat supply shortage during holidays

Chorizo (sausage) makers at Iloilo Central Market in Iloilo City. The Department of Trade and Industry expects shortage in meat products this Christmas due to Asian Swine Fever and surge in demand. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

SUPPLY of ham and other meat products might run short this Christmas season because of the African Swine Fever (ASF) which led to bans on meat products from infected provinces.

This was the forecast of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Iloilo province in a press conference on Tuesday.

Dorita Chavez, officer-in-charge of Consumer Protection Division of DTI-Iloilo, said that while there is currently limited ham supply in the province, the shortage could hit the market as Christmas approaches.

Wala pa gid sang supply nga gasululod (from other provinces) subong pero gina-anticipate na ang shortage tungod sang ASF,” she said.

Except for the limited ham supply in the market, Chavez said other ‘noche’ products are sufficient for the province’s needs.

“As of now, ang delivery gamay lang gid and other Noche Buena products are readily available to the market,” she added.

Aside from ham, DTI 6 assistant regional director Ermelinda Pollentes said other pork and meat products may also be limited not only because of ASF but due to increasing demand as Christmas nears.

I-anticipate sa Christmas nga limited because indi lang ham kundi pati pork, lechon even sa processed pork kay syempre kun damo ang demand, same supply available and wala na foresee ang ASF so syempre ang demand mo gadako,” she said.

But DTI assured that there are no major movements in the prices of meat products in the market.

By end of October or November, Pollentes said they expect that new suggested retail prices (SRP) will be released by DTI national office.

ASF outbreaks have been confirmed in the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon City, Pangasinan, and Pampanga, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

As a preventive measure, several areas in the region – Aklan, Negros Occidental, and Bacolod City – imposed a total ban on swine, pork, pork products and by-products from Luzon while a temporary ban was also implemented recently in Iloilo province.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas issued Executive Order No. 99 imposing the 90-day temporary ban on the entry of live pigs, hog carcasses, pork, pork products, and by-products from Luzon to Iloilo City.