‘Double dead’ effect: Duterte urged to recall order lowering pork tariffs
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to recall his order lowering tariffs on imported pork, saying this will have a “double dead” effect on the local hog industry and government revenues.
“On behalf of the hog raisers, we urgently appeal to the president to reconsider and recall such executive order,” Lacson said as the Senate opened its investigation into the food security crisis brought about by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak and alleged anomalies on pork importations.
“Botcha o double dead ang epekto ng EO (executive order) 128. Bakit? patay ang lokal na industriya ng baboy patay din ang koleksyon ng taripa ng gobyerno,” he added.
(There will be a double dead effect. Why? It will kill the local hog industry and the government’s tariff collection.)
President Rodrigo Duterte last week signed Executive Order No. 128 temporarily reducing 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.
But Lacson argued that the supply of pork in the country for the last three years has been enough to address the Filipinos’ demand for the product.
Data presented by the senator during the hearing showed that the annual average consumption of pork from 2018 to 2020 was at 1.85 million metric tons (MT) while the annual average local production was 2.25 million MT.
“Where’s the shortage? ‘Di ba malinaw na higit pa sa sapat ang supply?” Lacson asked.
(Isn’t it clear that the supply is more than enough?)
“Lumalabas na hindi na kailangan pang mag-angkat ng kahit isang kilo na kukunin sa 54,210 MT in quota na MAV dahil ang official records na ang nagsasabi na sobra sobra nga ang lokal na produksyon ng humigit kumulang 403,000 MT or 403 million kilos kada taon upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng bansa,” he pointed out.
(It turns out we don’t need to import a single kilo since official records show an excess in local production at 403,000 MT which can already meet national demand.)
Further, he said that the government stands to lose P3.6 billion in revenues from April to December 2021 with the implementation of EO 128.
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