a man wearing a suit and tie: Agriculture Secretary William Dar at Weekly Economic Briefing March 4, 2020 Agriculture Secretary William Dar at Weekly Economic Briefing March 4, 2020

Agriculture Secretary? William Dar said Saturday that the Department of Agriculture (DA) has already put in place logistics and policy measures to bring down the prices of pork and other farm products in Luzon.

Dar told Super Radyo dzBB's "Dobol B sa News TV" that recent problems on the supply and production side have pushed up the prices of commodities, especially of pork, and recent typhoons impacted on vegetable production.

But he said the Department is already working on logistics and policy measures to curb rising prices.

On logistics, he said that the DA has coordinated with farmers cooperatives in Luzon that the agency is assisting, for the use of their delivery trucks to transport vegetables from the farm to the market in order to cut down on transportation costs.

On the other hand, he said the DA is teaming up with partners and stakeholders in the shipping sector to offer reduced, if not free, shipment cost for the transport of hogs from the Visayas and Mindanao.

This would involve the Philippine Ports Authority, the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina), and private shipping lines.

Luzon is running low on pork supply due to issues brought about by the African Swine Flu (ASF) that bore heavily on hog raisers. Dar said the DA is now assisting the sector for repopulation and hog restocking efforts.??

On the policy side, which is of long-term importance, the DA is working on a possible price ceiling, and lowering of tariff? with the tariffs commission to drive down pork prices, he pointed out.

Also, strict monitoring is being done against unscrupulous traders as farm gate prices are relatively low.? ?

Dar expressed confidence that vegetable prices will soon drop as harvest time has come.

Kadiwa

Meanwhile, Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday called on the DA to have more Kadiwa rolling stores that would sell low-priced agricultural products to the public.

"Nananawagan rin ako ngayon sa Kagawaran ng Agrikultura na mabilis na palawakin ang implementasyon ng 'Kadiwa Ni Ani sa Kita Program' at maglagay ng mas marami?pang rolling stores?na magbebenta ng mga produktong agrikultura sa mas abot-kayang halaga para sa ating mga kababayan na naghihikahos at nahihirapan na nang lubusan," she said in a dispatch from her detention cell in Camp Crame.

De Lima also called on strict monitoring of unscrupulous traders who jack up prices.

"Masusi rin sanang bantayan ang mapagsamantalang pagtataas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing produkto habang patuloy na pinapasan ng mga mamimili ang tumataas na gastos sa mga bilihin," she added.

"Pagtuunan niyo rin ng pansin ang madaming?supply?sa Visayas at Mindanao.?Kung nagawa niyo ngang iluwas pa-Maynila ang dolomite galing Cebu,?anong pumipigil sa inyo ngayon na gawin din ito para naman maibsan ang paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan?" the senator said, noting the "slow action, if not indifference" of the administration.?—LBG/KG, GMA News

This article DA's Dar: Measures in place to bring down prices of pork, other products was originally published in GMA News Online.

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