‘Bad news!’ Pork tariff cut to ‘utterly’ disappoint senators, hog raisers – Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — Not only local hog raisers but also senators “will be utterly disappointed” by the pork tariff cut recently ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday.
“The local hog raisers will be utterly disappointed not to mention the members of the Senate! That is bad news!” Sotto said in a message to reporters when sought for comment on Duterte’s executive order lowering pork tariff rates.
“The MAV (minimum access volume) could have been raised but not the lowering of tariff. [T]he reason they are giving for the lowering of taxes is not acceptable. There must be something else. That’s what we want to find out on Monday,” he added.
The Senate Committee of the Whole will open on Monday its investigation into the “tongpats” (kickback) scheme on pork imports. Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier said kickback from the racket could amount to P6 billion per year if the President approves the Department of Agriculture’s proposal to lower tariffs and increase import allocation on pork imports.
The investigation was launched following the adoption of a Senate resolution, which also expressed opposition to DA’s proposal.
On Wednesday, Duterte ordered the temporary reduction of tariffs on pork imports in a bid to resolve the country’s undersupply of pork.
Aside from this, the President also recently recommended, in a letter to Congress, an increase in MAV by 350,000 metric tons in addition to the current 54,210.
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