Farmers to gov’t: Stop implementation of pork import tariff reduction

Farmers today urged the Senate and House of Representatives to immediately intervene and stop the implementation of Executive Order No. 128 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte that temporarily modifies the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff rates of import duty on fresh, chilled, and frozen meat of swine. The said EO was signed by Duterte on April 7 while Congress and Senate are on recess. Dapat mapigilan ang pagpapatupad ng tariff reduction sa pork imports.

KMP said while the EO was issued to address the existing pork supply shortage, stabilize the prices of pork meat and minimize inflation rates, the measure will do the opposite as it will further harm the domestic pork industry and producers.

The peasant group said the EO that will allow tariff reduction on pork imports from the current 40 to 30 percent to 20 to 5 percent for one year will impact a total loss in revenues of as much as PHP14-billion as estimated by domestic hog raisers and producers.

“Tariff reduction and increased MAV of pork imports are not the solutions. These policies will lead to the total devastation of the local pork industry as we know it and will further undermine our local production and food security in the long-term,” according to said Rafael Mariano, chairperson emeritus of KMP and chairperson of Anakpawis Partylist.

KMP supports the urgent appeal and demand of hog raisers and producers against MAV expansion and tariff reduction that will eventually lead to more loss of jobs and livelihood in the pork industry and allied industries including poultry, corn farmers, and coconut farmers. Tariff reduction on pork imports will surely impact the country’s agricultural development.

The farmers’ group asserts that tariff reduction and further importation are also not foolproof assurances of lower pork prices. Pork prices have become even more exorbitant, now reaching almost Php400 per kilo.

“The government must heed the urgent demands and sincere appeal of hog raisers, producers, and farmers against tariff reduction and MAV expansion of pork imports,” Mariano concluded.

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