THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is pushing for the construction of a slaughterhouse near its Cagayan de Oro port in a bid to lure hog and cattle growers to ship processed meat rather than transporting livestock all the way to Manila.
PPA General Manager Oscar Sevilla said the agency has already initiated talks with its port operator in Cagayan de Oro, Oroport Cargohandling Services Inc., for the construction of a slaughterhouse that will be offered the shippers.
“I have already talked with the cargo handlers there who said they would arrange for a meeting with the hog raisers, so maybe they can come up with the idea of building their own slaughterhouse,” Sevilla said.
He said reports reaching the PPA office in Manila said some of the vessel callers in Cagayan de Oro are already refusing to load livestock after authorities have reined in on their operations due to environmental and sanitation concerns.
Hogs or cattle that were discharged from their respective farms cannot be brought back on health issues. As a result, hogs are just sold in the local market for a much cheaper price if they are refused to be loaded.
Sevilla said the cost of shipping livestock could go down if these are slaughtered first and shipped instead in refrigerated containers.
Cagayan de Oro is one of the biggest suppliers of hogs and cattle nationwide, with Manila as its biggest customer.
Sevilla’s comments came a year after Solid Shipping Lines declared it would stop carrying livestock from Mindanao to Manila after port authorities in the Manila North Harbor and the Philippine Coast Guard called their attention on sanitation issues.
At some point, authorities prevented them from discharging their livestock. This alarmed the Department of Trade and Industry on supply-chain issues and was able to convince Solid to reconsider its decision.
Solid has since tried to minimize the carriage of livestock and sold some of their cargo to Magsaysay’s Lorenzo Shipping Corp. and NMC Container Lines. Still, only a handful of vessel owners want to carry livestock as these can contaminate other food items.
Livestock are still being shipped from other parts of the country to the city center or to Manila as market buyers still prefer newly slaughtered hog or cow rather than those coming from cold storage.
photo by wandergypsy