Senate urges Duterte: Declare state of nat’l calamity over ASF
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Monday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a state of national calamity due to the “severe impact” of the African swine fever (ASF) on the hog industry.
This, after senators, adopted Senate Resolution No. 676, which cites the possible use of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund and Quick Response Fund to supplement the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) efforts to contain and manage ASF.
Pursuant to a provision under the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA), the president “may also declare and use savings in their respective appropriations to augment actual deficiencies, which may be additional requirements for a program, activity or project in view of a declaration of a state of national calamity, incurred for the current year in any item of their respective appropriations.”
Lower tariffs on pork
The resolution also opposed the recommendation of the DA to the president to lower tariff rates and increase the minimum access volume (MAV) of imported pork products.”
If approved, the DA proposal would reduce the tariffs slapped on pork to as low as 5 to 15 percent over the next six months and 10 to 20 percent for the next six months, from in-quota and out-quota rates of 30 to 40 percent.
It would also raise the volume of pork imports under the minimum access volume (MAV) to 404,210 metric tons (MT) from 54,000 MT. Lower tariffs are imposed on imports under MAV.
But this proposal has been met with opposition from several groups and lawmakers.
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