MEAT SHOP. The Legazpi Livestock Poultry Raisers Agriculture Cooperative (LLPRAC) sells meat products at reasonable prices while using accurate weighing scales. The cooperative buys live pigs from its hog raiser members. (Photo by Emmanuel Solis)

LEGAZPI CITY – A farmer cooperative of livestock and poultry raisers here has put up a meat shop to address unreasonable price hikes and artificial shortage of meat products in the city’s local markets.

Aldin Miña, president of the Legazpi Livestock Poultry Raisers Agriculture Cooperative (LLPRAC), in an interview on Friday said their meat shop is selling products at reasonable prices while using accurate weighing scales.

“Before the creation of the meat shop, we made some dialogue with the meat vendors, including the hog raisers and the group of consumers as we tackled the price scheme of pork to balance the competition of meat products in the market,” she said.

Miña said they made a costing analysis to prevent the continuous increase of the prices of pork in the market that triggers complaints from the consuming public.

"We are selling meat PHP280 per kilo while other meat vendors sell PHP290 up to PHP300 per kilo," he said.

Miña said they are buying live pigs from members of their cooperative at a reasonable price to make sure they can get some profit as part of their livelihood activities.

“We have plenty of supply of pigs from the hog raisers that’s why, we can adjust the price of pork to compete with the higher prices of other meat vendors in the market to the benefit of the consuming public,” he added.

Dr. Emmanuel Estipona, head of the City Veterinary Office (CVO), in a separate interview said 74 hog raiser members of the LLPRAC had already received two female hybrid piglets each as part of the major component of the rapid repopulation, restocking (RRR), and genetic improvement and enhancement (GIE) for the livestock program of the CVO.

He said the recipients were all registered at the LLPRAC and the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) as recommended by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Estipona said 90 percent of the distributed imported pigs to the hog raisers are expected to give birth in August which will give an additional supply of live pigs for the meat shop of the cooperative.

“Legazpi City is the first local government unit (LGU) in Bicol that is implementing the massive repopulation stocking program, in partnership with the UNAHCO Inc., Pigrolac, and Palanca Group of Corporation owned by the family of businessman Robert Palanca,” he added.

He said all the piglets distributed to the hog raisers were registered in the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to ensure they can claim money if their piglets are hit by animal diseases.

Estipona said his office is just waiting for another PHP5-million grant from the DA to be used for the construction of piggery that will be handled and run by the LLPRAC.

The city government would also chip in PHP2 million as its counterpart for buying feeds and other materials needed for the piggery projects, he added. (with a report from Connie Calipay/PNA)