The Philippines is hoping to see the entry of as much as 140,000 metric tons (MT) of imported pork under the minimum access volume (MAV) as part of efforts to bring down meat prices in the country.

This developed following the recent approval by the inter-agency MAV Management Committee (MMC) of the guidelines on the “calibrated utilization” of additional MAV for imported pork meat to immediately boost domestic supply and to temper the inflationary effect of high prices of fresh pork.

The resolution was unanimously approved by the six-member MCC to temper rising food inflation that was pulled up by high pork prices, mainly due to decreased hog population, as a result of the African Swine Fever (ASF) since mid-2019.

“There is a need to immediately address the current supply gap in pork meat, and to provide consumers with adequate and affordable food and to lower inflation,” the inter-agency MMC said. MMC is composed of the departments of agriculture (DA), finance (DOF), trade and industry (DTI), science and technology (DOST), and agrarian reform (DAR), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

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).

Under MMC Resolution No. 1, Series of 2021, the recently approved MAV+ scheme will be divided into two tranches.

During the first batch, the government will allow the entry of 140,000 MT of pork under MAV from July to October, while the remaining 60,000 MT should arrive from November 2021 to January 2022.

All pork imports under the MAV+ scheme is open to all interested importers at a first-come, first-served basis, according to the MMC resolution. A maximum limit of 50 full-container load (FCL), approximately equivalent to 1,250 MT, is allowed per application per importer.

The inter-agency committee also allowed “certain flexibility” in the issuance of permits by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) to ensure the full utilization of the additional volume within the current MAV year, February 2021 to January 2022.

It was last month when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Executive Order No. (EO) 133 that raised the MAV for pork imports by 200,000 MT from its previous level of 54,210 MT.

In May, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the 200,000 MT of pork will result in an unprecedented increase in pork imports in the Philipines, adding that the government should instead focus its efforts and resources on improving local food production to address rising food prices.

Source: Manila Bulletin (