Pork importation eyed for holiday season amid shortage

(Photo courtesy of DA-6)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor and Mariela Angella Oladive

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said there might be a need for the province to import pork products for the upcoming holiday season due to a significant drop in the province’s hog inventory.

“It is not kung pabor kita or indi, but kung kinahanglan naton […] Again, importation is a matter of need, kung kinahanglan ba naton mag import,” Defensor said in a press conference on Thursday.

But the governor noted that the province is already getting a supply of hog products from importation, which usually goes to establishments like restaurants. Defensor, however, is uncertain about whether the imported products reach the retail markets.

But as per their recent assessment, Defensor shared that hog products available in the market are still primarily sourced from local hog breeders and slaughterhouses.

“Base sa atong pang-usisa ang aton kabanwahanan, ang mga baboy sa naghalin pa sa palibot,” he said.

In a September interview, Defensor raised concerns that the supply of hogs in the province may not be enough this holiday season, despite some supply from nearby provinces.

As of September 27 data, the province’s hog inventory is only 33.75 percent sufficient.

The province’s hog inventory dropped to 72.27 percent after 27 of the 43 towns were affected by ASF since October 2022.

The swine inventory currently stood at only 76,917 heads, compared to 277,421 heads during the same period last year.

Since January this year, a total of 13,484 swine heads have been shipped into the province. The supply comes from the province of Aklan (75 heads), Antique (2,257 heads), Guimaras (12 heads), Negros Occidental (8,533 heads), Negros Oriental (1,530 heads), and Oriental Mindoro (1,077).

The province temporarily ceased exporting hogs to other regions since March.