‘Done deal’: Adjusted pork import tariffs, reduced cap ‘good as approved’ – Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — Adjustments in the minimum access volume (MAV) on imported pork and its reduced tariff rates are already “good as approved,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Thursday.
“Palagay ko good as approved na ‘yan kasi no’ng magusap kami ni [Finance Secretary] Sonny Dominguez that I gave him the go signal as far as the Senate is concerned and some of the leaders of the hog raisers that we talked to, he said ‘Right now, right this moment, I will inform the President’,” Sotto told reporters in an online interview.
“That’s what he said. It’s a done deal,” he added.
Sotto earlier announced that senators and the government’s economic managers have finally reached a compromise on the MAV for pork imports and its tariff rates, which lawmakers and hog raisers earlier said could kill the domestic pork industry.
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), the agreed MAV on pork was set at 254,000 metric tons (MT), lower than the original proposal of 404,000 MT, from the current level of 54,000 MT.
Meanwhile, the tariff on pork imports under MAV was reduced to 10 percent, from the current 30 percent, for the first three months of implementation. It will be raised to 15 percent in the succeeding months.
For pork imports outside MAV, the rate was cut from the present 40 percent to 20 percent for the first three months and 25 percent in the succeeding months.
Sotto, in the same online interview, said the compromise on these policies balanced the need to ensure the protection of the local hog industry and the government’s aim to reduce inflation, which can be driven up by high pork prices.
“We were able to strike a balance between the plight of the backyard hog raisers and the local producers and also the intention of the economic managers na magkaroon ng pagkakataon na ma-reduce yung inflation [for them to have a chance to reduce inflation],” the Senate president said.
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