Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) slams the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) on what the group called a deceptive pronouncement in a Congressional hearing today. NEDA Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla defended increasing pork imports by pronouncing that it is set to pull down local pork prices from the current P400 to P224 per kilo.
“NEDA lies yet again, imports do not pull down prices. We have seen this with rice, and with fish. This is the exact same promise that these same economists have made to justify the Rice Liberalization Law, yet rice prices remain inaccessible today and rice farmers suffered at least P90 billion in losses.” KMP National Chairperson Danilo Ramos says.
NEDA in 2018 pronounced that enacting Rice Liberalization Law would pull the retail price of rice to P27 per kilo. This price was never met.
KMP pointed out that pork prices continued to increase even during peaks in pork importation, such as in 2010, 2014, and 2018. “The only certain thing that these pork imports will do is devastate the local pork industry. National economic development silang naturingan pero wala sa puso nila ang pagpapaunlad sa lokal, puro imported, puro sa dayuhan,” Ramos adds. He further notes that Sombillo was also among the NEDA officials who defended allowing the unlimited importation of rice.
“Whatever data or statistics these economists look at, so long as they are under the clutch of neoliberal blinders, they will remain pro-foreign and pro-big business, hence anti-Filipino and anti-poor,” Ramos ends.
Farmers are supporting House Joint Resolution No. 37 and a resolution from the Senate Committee of the Whole directing the withdrawal/termination of Executive Order No. 128 that will allow the reduction of pork tariffs from 30 percent to 5 percent.
View here. April 19. Congress Hearing on Pork Prices