Latest Stories

Tax perks for Thai firm under fire

House committees question 6-yr exemption from taxes, import duties

CONTESTANTS chase locally grown pigs, to be slaughtered for a feast, during Benguet Foundation Day last month. The province is among several in Luzon that have struggling backyard hog-raising industries that a hog raisers’ group said are now being threatened by a Thai company’s entry. EV ESPIRITU/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

DAGUPAN CITY—The House committees on agriculture and on food security have asked the Bureau of Investments (BOI) to suspend the tax incentives granted to a Thai food giant, according to a swine industry leader.

Rosendo So, chair of the Abono party-list group and director of the Swine Development Council, said on Thursday that the House committees conducted a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether the government erred in granting a six-year tax holiday to the Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, a food conglomerate which has invested in a local poultry farm project.

The BOI granted CP Foods a pioneer investor status, which would allow it to enjoy six years of tax holidays for raising and manufacturing hog meat products, and from four to seven years in financial benefits for poultry products.

Pioneer status

The status also provides CP Foods the privilege of not paying tariff on imported feed ingredients, equipment and other materials needed for the operations of its hog and poultry farms.

So attended the House committee meeting but the Thai firm did not send any representative.

“The committees found plenty of irregularities in granting [CP Foods a pioneer investor status that would allow it to build a poultry enterprise at the heart of Central Luzon’s meat trade],” he said.

He said among the irregularities are the apparent acquisition of over 100 hectares of property in various parts of Central Luzon, which CP Foods would use to develop its poultry project.

“Foreigners cannot own lands in the country, and CP Foods is a 100-percent foreign-owned company. How was it able to acquire pieces of land?” So said.

The Thai firm first started business in Cebu in 2007. It has since bought properties in Floridablanca and the City of San Fernando in Pampanga; Gerona, Tarlac; Jaen, Nueva Ecija, and Bataan, according to reports.

What lands?

So released a statement detailing the outcome of the committee meeting. It said Department of Agrarian Reform Director Nestor Floranda had testified he was unaware of lands being developed for the Thai firm because 80 percent of agricultural lands in Luzon have been converted into agrarian land and distributed to farmers.

So said the ambiguities in the regulation of CP Foods also imperiled local hog and poultry raisers.

“The Department of Trade and Industry did not specify that CP Foods was required to sell its meat products to the processing plants, so it could sell its products instead in the wet markets and would therefore compete with the local hog raisers,” So said.

“The playing field is clearly uneven and very disadvantageous to the local farmers, if [CP Food’s incentives] push through. We are not against CP Foods operating in the country but the company should not be given the perks and privileges that would kill the local industry,” he said.

He also questioned CP Food’s pioneer investor status because, he said, it is not introducing meat producing technology.

CP Foods is expected to invest between P4 billion and P7 billion and provide jobs to 1,800 workers. But So said it may displace up to seven million workers in the hog and poultry sectors.

In the group’s statement, several congressmen were quoted as saying they were demanding an investigation of the grant of a tax holiday and other incentives to the Thai firm. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods , Food , Livestock , Tax , Thailand

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Marketplace