Agriculture chief sees 23% drop in imported pork prices
MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary William Dar expects the price of imported pork to go down by 23 percent with the latest proposed amendments to the executive order reducing pork tariffs and setting the cap on pork imports subject to lower duties.
Dar said the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry were still calculating the suggested retail price of imported pork based on the final tariffs, and might release these this week.
The computation is based on the compromise reached between the country’s economic managers and senators who had objected to the low tariffs set in the President’s Executive Order 128 due to concerns raised by local hog raisers.
Under the EO, the tariffs for imported pork would range from 5 percent to 20 percent, which critics said were too low.
But under the agreement between senators and economic managers, the tariff on pork imports under MAV would be reduced to 10 percent for the first three months, and to 15 percent in the next nine months.
For pork imports outside MAV, the tariff would be reduced to 20 percent for the first three months, and to 25 percent in the succeeding months.
The MAV on pork would be increased to 254,000 metric tons instead of 404,000 metric tons.
But the President would have to approve the agreement.
Dar said he expects new executive orders on the reduced tariffs and the MAV.
“Now, with these twin measures of MAV, plus the lowering of the tariff of imported pork and pork products, we see that in general, pork prices, imported pork prices would go down to a level of about 23 percent,” Dar said at the Laging Handa briefing.
The reduction in the tariff on imported pork was meant to address the shortage in the country’s pork supply due to African Swine Fever.
Dar addressed the complaint that the DA had been slow to protect the local hog industry from ASF.
According to him, the DA has been continuously strengthening efforts to prevent the entry of tainted pork.
He said the Bureau of Animal Industry and Bureau of Customs check cargo manifests and then inspect the shipments.
Another measure implemented is the conduct of spot tests for ASF, he said.
He said that as long as the pork was legally imported, the virus would not be able to enter the country.
But problems could arise with smuggling, he said.
He noted that the country has porous borders which means some items could pass through without being checked.