The tariff cuts on imported pork under Executive Order 128 is expected to result in P14 billion loss in government revenue, according to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

A customer pays for pork at a roadside market stall in Mandaluyong City, Manila, the Philippines, on Sunday, March 14, 2021. (Bloomberg)

“Only the importers are happy about this development,” said KMP Chairman Emeritus Rafael Mariano, who previously served the Duterte Administration as Agrarian Reform Secretary.

The reduction in the pork import tariff was one of the proposals submitted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to Duterte as part of the agency’s effort to address the rising meat prices in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

The rising meat prices were triggered by the shortfall in the supply of hogs, which was badly affected by the prevalence of African Swine Fever (ASF).

President Duterte signed EO 128, Wednesday, April 7, temporarily reducing tariff rate on imported pork.

EO 128 reduces the import tariff for fresh, chilled, or frozen pork to 5 percent from 30 percent under the minimum access volume (MAV) quota for three months.

Based on the EO, the MAV rate will be increased to 10 percent in the next nine months then it will return to the 30 percent tariff rate after a year.

For pork imports outside the quota, the tariff rate will be cut to 15 percent from 40 percent for the first three months.

It will be raised to 20 percent in the next nine months and will be back to 40 percent after a year.

DA is also hoping to get Congress’ approval for its proposal to increase the MAV allocation for pork imports from 54,210 metric tons (MT) to 404, 210 MT, a proposal that also got the support of Duterte.

“DA chose to abandon local pork producers [with these proposals],” Mariano said. “As if adding insult to injury, the government favored importation over strengthening of local production.”

He also said that over importation of fresh, chilled, and frozen pork will not lower pork prices since consumers prefer to buy fresh swine meat fresh from retailers and markets.

KMP is now calling on government to set aside more funds for hog repopulation and indemnification to ASF-hit raisers.

Source: Manila Bulletin (