The Philippine government is planning to triple the minimum access volume (MAV) allocation for pork in a bid to address the shortfall in the commodity, which is caused by the highly fatal animal disease that is the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said during Laging Handa briefing on Monday that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is now studying the possibility of not only doubling but tripling the MAV allocation for pork.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar (Photo credit:

Right now, the country’s MAV allocations for pork meat stood at 54.2 thousand metric tons (MT).

MAV refers to the volume of a specific agricultural product that is allowed to be imported with a lower tariff as committed by the Philippines to the World Trade Organization (WTO).  

Pork imports falling within the MAV are levied a 30 percent tariff, while the out-quota tariff is 40 percent.

In 2020, the Philippines imported 256 million kilograms of pork, composed largely of fats, bellies, pork cuts, offals, and skin. Of this, 54,000 MT enjoyed a lower tariff because of MAV.

In January alone, 1.18 million kilograms of pork entered the country under MAV, data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) showed.

Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) Chairperson Rosendo So said the local pork industry doesn’t have a problem with the government’s plan to increase the country’s pork imports “as long as they pay the right tariff and are properly inspected at the first border”.

“We fear the same in poultry. Avian flu is already everywhere but we still have to quarantine facility at the borders,” So said.

The persistence and spread of ASF in the Philippines are what’s causing the deficit in the supply of pork in Metro Manila and nearby areas, triggering price increases beyond the suggested retail price (SRP) set by the government.

As of Friday, the prevailing price for pork ham stood at P360 per kilogram (/kg), while it is P400/kg for pork belly.

This, while the SRP for these commodities were set at P260/kg and P280/kg, respectively. 

The other day, the Philippines also reported the first case of ASF in Visayas, after being spared and being the lone island region not hit by the virus for more than a year since the country first reported the first ASF outbreak in Luzon. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (