Duterte paves way for importing agri goods
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the removal of non-tariff barriers and the streamlining of administrative procedures on the importation of agricultural products.
The directive is contained in Administrative Order No. 13, which Duterte signed last September 21, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday.
AO 13 says it is meant “to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment.”
Through the order, Duterte is authorizing the National Food Authority (NFA) Council to approve rice importation beyond the minimum access volume (MAV) allocated to the private sector.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), meanwhile, has been ordered to issue the appropriate Certificate of Necessity to allow importation of adequate volumes of fish to augment the 17,000 metric tons of fish imports already being distributed in the market.
The AO also mandates the Bureau of Customs to prioritize the unloading and release of imported agricultural products.
For their part, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the DA are tasked to improve logistics, transport, distribution and storage of agricultural products to reduce input costs.
Duterte also mandated the DTI, NFA, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to compose a “surveillance team” that will monitor importation and distribution of agricultural products and ensure distribution to warehouses and retail outlets.
The signing of the order came after the inflation clocked in at 6.4 percent in August, the fastest in over nine years since inflation hit 6.6 percent in March 2009. /cbb
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