DA: Supply, price of meat and poultry stable
by Lito Dar
Baguio City (6 February) -- The National Meat Inspection Service assured that there is ample supply of meat and poultry products available in the market amidst growing public fear that the El Niņo phenomenon will affect the production of livestock and agricultural products.
NMIS Regional Head Dr Florencio Pintor said there is no shortage in production or a shortage in supply of poultry and meat products. "In fact, we are even receiving complains against the influx of imported frozen meat, particularly chicken, in the markets" he bared.
Pintor explained that the Agriculture Department cannot ban imported frozen meat, the Philippines being a member of the World Trade Organization which makes free trade and importation legal. He assured that they are strictly monitoring the quality and the legal papers of the frozen meat being sold in the market, in addition to their regular price and meat inspection and monitoring.
Pintor also advised the buying public to check for the meat inspection certificate of the poultry/meat stalls or vendors, aside from physically checking the food they are buying.
They have to make sure that the meat is not slimy, not greenish in color and don't have a bad smell, he added.
DA Livestock division Agriculturist Dr Jerry Sabado also assured that in partnership with their Region I and II Offices, they are strictly checking and monitoring the inflow of meat supply through their quarantine check points.
On the price of meat and poultry supply, Pintor confirmed that the kilo of chicken is down to its pre-Christmas holiday price of P120 to P130 per kilo, while the price of pork is stable at P170-180 per kilo.
Pintor and Sabado also confirmed that for the month of January, there are no reports of hot and illegal meat confiscated or monitored to have entered the city or being sold in the city market.
Taking the possible threat of the El Nino phenomenon to the food production and food security of the country, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo tasked the Department of Agriculture to head once again the reactivated El Nino Task Force. (PIA) [top]