‘Far from Solomonic’ but ‘best we can get,’ Lacson says on pork imports deal
MANILA — The compromise agreement on pork import policies is “far from Solomonic,” but it was the best hog raisers and the Senate could get, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Wednesday.
“Personally, and based on the common data that the hog industry and the senators have, I am not satisfied but for practical reasons, that is the best that we (and the hog raisers) can get,” Lacson said in a message to reporters.
“For one, the compromise is far from Solomonic. Also, there are two legal issues involved that have to be resolved as well,” he added but did not elaborate.
Lacson was reacting to Senate President “Vicente “Tito” Sotto III’s disclosure that a compromise deal had been reached between the Senate and government’s economic managers over pork importation.
“We had to strike a balance between accepting a formula in the reduction of inflation and the protection of the local swine industry,” Sotto initially said in a Viber message to reporters.
But in a phone interview later, the Senate leader revealed that the government agreed to set the cap on imported pork at 254,000 metric tons (MT) compared to the original plan to raise it to 404,000 MT from the current 54,210MT.
Senator Joel Villanueva, meanwhile, explained that “policymaking has always been a search for the middle ground, on how to maximize the gain, and lessen the pain.”
“If it ends up better than what was originally proposed it is because of a Senate that never relented and an executive branch that listened,” Villanueva stressed in another message to reporters.
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