The Department of Agriculture (DA) plans to slow down the issuance of new import permits for meat products until there is a drop in cold storage inventory.
This is part of the planned rationalization of the meat industry, which DA and local hog and poultry producers and importers have agreed to undertake to prevent an oversupply, DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.
“Pending the rationalization of the industry, we may have to go slow on the issuance of new import permits. If we continue with the volume of importation right now, the market will certainly choke and everybody will lose money,” Piñol said. He clarified that DA will not be stopping importation, only rationalizing it.
“As of the moment, we will have to determine how much supply there is in the cold storage, and there is no point bringing in more stocks if the market is flooded already,” Piñol said.
According to data from the National Meat Inspection Service, Piñol said there are about 27.805 million kilograms of chicken and 34.33 million kilograms of pork currently stored in cold storage facilities. The stored meat products are good for about three months.
Piñol said slowing down the issuance of import permits by the Bureau of Animal Industry will depend on the volume of meat inventories. Rationalizing the meat industry, meanwhile, could start after Holy Week when DA engages a professional research group to study the meat supply and demand situation.
“[The rationalization program] will be a stakeholder-based decision. Nobody will be disadvantaged here; everybody will be involved in the decision-making,” the DA chief pointed out.