Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr appealed to pork sellers to continue selling pork amid the threat of a pork holiday as suggested by some trader and consumer groups.
“Sinusuportahan po natin yung advocacy na alternative pork choices pero nakikiusap po kami sa ating mga nagtitinda, sana po ipagpatuloy ninyo ang pagtitinda ng baboy,” said Secretary Roque in a press briefing on February 8, 2020.
The Palace official assured that the national government has taken steps to help pork traders, including getting pork supply from Visayas and Mindanao and in ASF-free areas in Luzon. As a matter of fact, a group of swine producers in Cotabato has committed to supply 10,000 heads of hogs per week in Metro Manila, said Secretary Roque.
“Gobyerno na po ang mag-aangkat niyan at gobyerno na rin po ang magpapakalat niyan sa merkado so hindi naman po tayo magkukulang. At ang presyo po ng baboy na inaangkat sa South Cotabato ay nasa P145 per kilo,” Sec. Roque said.
Further, Sec. Roque said that apart from importing from Visayas and Mindanao and in ASF-free areas in Luzon, the government will also provide transportation subsidy for the transport of pork products.
“Yung mga manggagaling ng Mindanao, gaya nitong galing sa South Cotabato mayroon na po tayong P21 [per kilo] na subsidy na binibigay para sa transportasyon. Mayroon po tayong P15 [per kilo] na para sa mga baboy na manggagaling sa Visayas. Mayroon din po tayong P10 [per kilo] para sa mga baboy na manggagaling sa iba’t ibang parte ng Luzon na walang ASF,” said Roque.
Moreover, Roque said that the government has made financial or loan assistance available to pork vendors and assured that if importing from Visayas and Mindanao will not be enough, then the government can also import from abroad as a last recourse.
On another matter, Roque revealed in the same press briefing that he asked for the inclusion of those with co-morbidities in the prioritization for the vaccination against COVID-19, which was approved and adopted by the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group.
“Yung may mga co-morbidities na hindi kasama sa unang mga katergorya, alam nyo po talagang pinaglaban ko po ito dahil mayroon po tayong comorbidity at gusto na natin mabakunahan. So alam naman po natin na sa siyensya lahat yung may diabetes, may mga high blood, may mga heart disease ay matindi po ang mga tama ng COVID kaya naman pinaglaban natin na talagang mabigyan sila ng prayoridad,” Roque said.
On the topic of vaccines, Metro Manila Mayors Oscar Malapitan of Caloocan, Toby Tiangco of Navotas, and Joy Belmonte of Quezon City presented the vaccination plans of their local government units (LGUs). Mayor Malapitan said that his LGU is aiming to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its citizens or 1.1 million individuals, and that the city government is already in the process of establishing vaccine storage facilities.
Mayor Tiangco, on the other hand, said that his LGU already has its cold storage facility in place, and is targeting to have more than 100,000 of the city’s adult population to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, Mayor Belmonte underscored her city’s vaccine confidence campaign to aid those who are still hesitant about the vaccines and the vaccination, as Quezon City is aiming to vaccinate 70 percent of its adult population or 1.6 million individuals. ### OPS-PCOO