Speaker Arroyo says no to low tariff on meat imports
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is against the importation of meat products at reduced tariff or tax rates.
Arroyo, an economist, said this in a statement released Wednesday, stressing that there were “more substantive drivers of inflation” than meat products as cited in the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) survey on Tuesday.
“Last night, the Speaker’s office received an inquiry from Sinag Chair Rosendo So on whether or not Speaker GMA was advocating for the importation of meat products at reduced tariff rates. Upon clarification with the Speaker, she clearly stated that she is not advocating for the importation of meat products at reduced tariff rates considering that there are other more substantive drivers of inflation as cited in the PSA survey,” read the statement sent to reporters.
Sinag stands for the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura, a leading agricultural group in the country.
Arroyo also raised the issue during her meeting with Sinag members in Quezon City.
“Yung nababasa ninyo sa peryodiko, sa news, napag-usapan na yun at sabi ng Department of Agriculture hindi pwede ibaba ang taripa ng meat at syempre we are not advocating this,” she told the Sinag members.
“It’s not a matter of friendship but what economically makes sense and whatever the arguments, the DA the tariff on meat cannot be put down so it will not,” she added.
The government has reported that the inflation went up to 5.7 percent in July. It was the fifth straight month that the rate of price increase breached the Central Bank’s 2 to 4 percent target for this year.
READ: Inflation peaks to new over 5-year high of 5.7% in July
The PSA attributed the increase in prices of basic goods and services to a 7.1-percent year-on-year increase in the price of food and nonalcoholic beverages, as well as to higher fuel and transport costs.
READ: Food, fuel costs push up inflation
The PSA also said the following commodity groups caused the higher prices in Metro Manila:
• Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, up 21.9 percent year-on-year
• Transport, up 8.9 percent
• Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, up 8.2 percent
• Food and non-alcoholic beverages, up 7.2 percent
• Health, up 4.5 percent
• Clothing and footwear, up 2.4 percent
• Recreation and culture, up 1.1 percent
• Communication, up 0.6 percent
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