President Rodrigo Duterte signed two executive orders Saturday, modifying the rates of import duty on pork products and rice.
Upon the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority Board, the President signed EO 135 to temporarily reduce the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates on imported rice and EO 134 to further modify the MFN tariff rates on imported pork products, the Office of the President said in a statement.
EO 134 raises the MFN tariff rates on pork products “in recognition of the plight of all concerned sectors and stakeholders, including the local hog industry,” the OP added.
Duterte’s decision to increase the tariff on imported pork came following appeals to reverse EO 128, signed on April 7, that imposed temporary tariff reduction on fresh, chilled, or frozen pork products.
EO 128 reduced the tariff rates on pork imports within the minimum access volume (MAV) to 5 percent for the first three months upon the effectivity of the order, and 10 percent for the next nine months from the current rate of 30 percent.
Under EO 128, pork imports outside MAV were reduced with a lower tariff of 15 percent for the first three months, and 20 percent for the succeeding nine months from the current rate of 40 percent.
EO 134 now supersedes EO 128 and raises pork imports within MAV to 10 percent for the first three months and 15 percent for the next nine months.
Pork imports outside MAV increase to 20 percent for the first three months, and 25 percent for the succeeding nine months.
“Given the continuing spread of African swine fever and its adverse effects, the adjusted tariff rates aim to strike a balance between the objective of making pork products available and affordable, and the concerns of all stakeholders especially the recovery of the local hog industry,” the OP said.
EO 135 lowers the MFN tariff rates on rice to 35 percent from 40 percent within MAV, and 50 percent outside MAV for a period of one year.
Reducing rice tariff, the OP said, would help “diversify the country’s market sources, augment rice supply, maintain prices affordable, and reduce pressures on inflation”.
“The tariff reduction took into consideration the increase in global rice prices, and the uncertainties surrounding the steady supply of rice in the country,” it said.
EOs 134 and 135 are seen to ensure food security and protect consumers, the OP said.
Malacañang has yet to release copies of the EOs.
On Monday, Duterte signed EO 133 raising MAV for pork imports to 254,210 MT for 2021 from the current 54,210 to “immediately address the current supply gap in pork meat, to provide consumers with adequate and affordable food, and to lower inflation”.*PNA