Senator Kiko Pangilinan on Saturday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to sit down in a dialogue with leaders of hog-raising industry groups to better understand their plight and put in place the right solutions to save the local industry.
“Sabi ng mga hog raisers sa Senate hearing kahapon, walang nag-consult sa kanila. Baka pag narinig at nalaman ng Presidente ang sitwasyon ng African swine fever mismo sa mga magbababoy, ma-ideklara na niya agad ang state of calamity, at siya na mismo ang mag-rescind ng EO 128,” said Pangilinan, referring to the Executive Order temporarily lowering tariff rates on imported pork.
“We believe the President is not deaf and blind to the woes of our local hog raisers. If he talks to them, he would see the reality on the ground,” he said.
Pangilinan noted that local hog-raisers’ advocates had written Malacañang at least twice seeking an audience with the President.
Battered for years by the African swine fever, local hog raisers are mired in a sorry situation worsened by neglect and wrong government decisions like massive pork importation, Pangilinan said.
“Willing silang makipagtulungan, pero kailangan nila na makinig ang gobyerno sa kanilang mga panukala para masolusyunan itong problema ng ASF,” he added.
On Thursday, April 15, the Senate committee of the whole unanimously approved a resolution calling on the President to withdraw his EO 128.
The local industry, as well as lawmakers and various groups, have opposed the order, saying it will spell doom on the Filipino hog raisers and will not necessarily lead to lower prices in the market.