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Meat vendors at Naga City People’s Mall air plaints vs pig buyers from other places

By Jason B. Neola

NAGA CITY --- The Naga City Meat and Chicken Vendors Association has urged Mayor Nelson Legacion to declare this city off limits to pig buyers from other places due to the scarcity of swine here.

The vendors lamented that they could no longer afford to buy live hogs as raisers are selling them at higher prices to buyers who are from other regions and Metro Manila.

MEATY MATTERS. A group of meat vendors at the Naga City People’s Mall meet with Mayor Nelson Legacion on Jan. 19 to bring to the attention of the mayor their concerns about their day-to-day business operations. JBN/VIC VILLAFLOR/CEPPIO

Legacion, however, told the vendors that doing so would violate the principles of free enterprise, individual rights and unrestricted competition.

He instead advised the meat vendors to offer the local hog raisers here the same price that the outsiders have been offering them. “In that way we can be able to compete well with these pig buyers who make the supply of live pigs in our locality to become more limited,” he said.

Legacion even told the meat vendors that simple establishment of rapport with hog raisers in the city would also be of help to get the deal done.

The shortage of pork being experienced today was already foreseen by the Department of Agriculture. It estimated that by the end of 2020, the country will not have enough pork for 43 days.

Alex Templonuevo, regional technical director of National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), in an interview last Monday, Jan. 18, said the shortage of live swine and pork products in the city and other Bicol provinces can be traced to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak now reaching the Bicol provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon.

Latest report from NMIS said that the country is facing its third wave of ASF outbreak with no cure in sight for the highly contagious swine disease.

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