‘The role of traders will be gone here’
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued four orders to keep a promise to rein in food prices by opening the floodgates to the importation by the private sector of agriculture and fishery products and their efficient delivery to consumers.
According to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the orders would allow the importation of rice, chicken, pork and fish, among other products.
Roque said the President issued Administrative Order (AO) No. 13, removing nontariff barriers and making it easier to import agricultural products. It took effect on Tuesday.
The order would make it easier to accredit importers, allow importation of products in excess of the minimum access volume and permit bulk users to directly import sugar.
The AO did not set a timeframe. Roque said it would be indefinite as “it was important to fight inflation.”
“We will determine when this will end,” Roque said.
Roque said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea would check monthly whether agencies were heeding Mr. Duterte’s order.
Three other orders were issued for the immediate release of all imported food products.
Roque said Memorandum Order No. 26 “included the need for the government to have its own markets so that the role of traders will be gone here.”
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