Restore import tariffs, meat producers urge | Inquirer News

Restore import tariffs, meat producers urge file image

Local meat producers pleaded with the government to restore the tariffs on imported meat products, arguing that the tariff cuts “did not significantly lower the price of pork,” caused the government some P12 billion in revenue losses, and resulted in great hardship on the local swine industry.

But meat traders also acknowledged inflationary pressures that may arise and agreed to maintain the increase in minimum access volume (MAV) that allows traders to import more pork until end-December to address the supply deficit.


“We have lost almost P12 billion for the collection of our tariff but for the retail price, it is not significantly lower,” said Rosendo So, chair of Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), during the Tariff Commission’s public hearing on the proposals seeking to modify the tariff rates on fresh, chilled or frozen pork meat.


Sinag noted in its price monitoring that liempo (pork belly) is sold at P370 a kilo as of March, higher than P330 a kilo a month ago. Likewise, pork ham (kasim) is priced at P350 a kilo, up from P315 a kilo in February.

Based on the Department of Agriculture’s price monitoring as of Thursday, prevailing retail prices of pork ham and liempo in Metro Manila are P340 a kilo and P370 a kilo, respectively.

National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Mercedita Sombilla recognized that the executive order signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year fell short of meeting its objective of arresting soaring prices, but she claimed the order stabilized pork prices.

“True enough, it did not happen. But what happened—which is very, very crucial and which is very significant—is the stabilization of prices. If we did not have this additional supply, we may have rocketing prices of meat in those periods where production was still not coming up,” said Sombilla.

“When we stabilize the prices and when we are able to maintain the rise of inflation, that already affects the purchasing power of consumers. That alone already is helping the consumers,” she added.

No benefit to hog raisers

Chester Warren Tan, president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc., said hog raisers did not benefit from the imposition of reduced taxes on meat sourced from abroad and, at the same time, Filipino consumers end up paying more instead of saving money to buy pork products.


“We are not requesting to raise the tariff but reimpose the original tariff on meat imports,” said Tan.

Paolo Pacis, who represented the Meat Importers and Traders Association (Mita) during the public hearing, said the government should retain lower tariffs on imported meat until end-December as prices of pork in international markets had surged by 50 percent and the price spike was projected to remain until the early part of 2023.

This would also fill the supply gap as the country’s hog inventory declined by 22.34 percent in 2021 and by another 4.53 percent in 2022.

“Now, this increase was already being foreseen even before the conflict in Ukraine. The Ukrainian conflict only exacerbated the increase [because it happened] right away, but the increase was already forecasted by the international meat trading houses and it was projected to increase even up to the beginning of 2023,” he added.

Economic managers earlier proposed extending the lower tariff of 15-percent in quota and 25-percent out of quota with minimum access volume of 200,000 metric tons until December this year.

Both the Mita and the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. sought the retention of reduced tariffs but the Mita expectedly wanted to incorporate lower duties into the 2021-2025 tariff schedule.

The separate executive orders raising the MAV and imposing slashed duties on pork imports aimed at stabilizing local supply and bringing down prices of pork products will lapse in the middle part of 2022.


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

DOF backs Neda on higher pork imports, lower tariffs until December 2022
PH gives up P3.6B in lower pork tariff but prices remain
P21.75 billion in rice, pork import duties collected in 2021

TAGS: importation, MAV, meat, tariff, Tax

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.