Gov’t data belies P2.4-B swine project addressed hog lack

MANILA, Philippines – Data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) belied claims by Quedancor’s officials that the P2.46-billion Swine Program (QSP) was put up to address the shortage in hog production in 2003.

Figures culled by GMANews.TV from the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed that there was in fact an increase in the gross supply of swine when the QSP was implemented in 2003.

The BAS data showed that when the QSP was implemented in 2003, domestic production of pork was at 1,384,575 metric tons (MT), which was higher by 3.9 percent to 2002’s 1,332,347 MT.

During Thursday’s press conference at the Danarra Hotel in Quezon City, Agriculture Undersecretary Bernie G. Fondevilla told reporters that the QSP was launched to increase the supply of pork, which he said declined in 2003.

Ang programa pong ito ay naglalayon na pataasin ang produksyon ng ating mga baboy, kasi n’ong 2003, on record, bumaba ang production ng pigs. So it was thought that by this program, with the Quedancor extending credit to growers, ay mapapataas pong muli ang production ng ating mga baboy,” said Fondevilla, who is also the chief of staff of DA Secretary Arthur Yap.

(This program aimed to increase swine production, because in 2003, the production decreased. So it was thought that by this program, with the Quedancor extending credit to growers, swine production could again be increased.)

However, data from the BAS contradicted Fondevilla’s statement. Hog production “in live weight,” had actually increased in 2003 by 3.95 percent to 1,734 MT from 1,668 MT in 2002.

Ironically, the BAS data showed that in 2004 – a year after the QSP was implemented – hog production “in live weight” decreased by 1.44 percent to 1,709 MT from 2003’s 1,734.

GMANews.TV computed the yearly demand of pork and compared it with gross supply from 2000 to 2006. The computation showed that gross supply (production plus importation) consistently exceeded domestic demand or consumption.

Year
Gross Supply (MT)
Demand (MT)
Surplus (MT)
2000
1,244,874
1,015,694
229,180
2001
1,287,910
1,056,741
231,169
2002
1,357,984
1,111,008
246,976
2003
1,414,004
1,156,113
257,891
2004
1,399,689
1,142,247
257,442
2005
1,446,356
1,167,223
279,133
2006
1,502,433
1,207,178
295,255

Yearly demand was computed through multiplying the consumption of carcass per capita in kilograms with the annual projected population based on the 2000 Census by the National Statistics Office, and converting the results from kilograms to metric tons.

Based on GMANews.TV’s computation, the total domestic demand for pork in 2003 stood at 1,156,113 MT, while gross supply was 1,414,004 MT.

This meant that at the time when the program was implemented by the Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corp, an attached agency of the DA, there was no shortage of supply, but a surplus of 257,891 MT of pork.

Fondevilla on Thursday told GMAnews.TV that there were about 20,000 growers who were provided credit from the QSP for backyard and commercial breeding and fattening of swine. He said increasing swine production was the “rationale” behind the QSP.

Later in the day, after GMANews.TV got the swine production data from the BAS Web site, Fondevilla was asked why his statement contradicted the BAS statistics. He said “the perception” was that swine production decreased in 2003, and that it was the information he got from Quedancor officials.

Earlier, lawyer Harry Roque questioned the QSP, quoting a report from the Commission on Audit that Quedancor was involved in the P1.1-billion “ghost deliveries” of swine to poor farmers.

The lawyer also alleged that the QSP could have been used for the campaign kitty of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the May 2004 presidential polls as Quedancor’s supervision was transferred to Malacañang from the DA during an election year.

Fondevilla countered Roque’s claim. He said Quedancor was transferred to the Office of the President through Executive Order 322 only in July 2004, or two months after the May polls. 

GMANews.TV

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