President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order raising the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork imports amid shortage of supply caused by the spread of the African swine fever to over 12 regions in the country.
Duterte signed EO No. 133 on Monday to “immediately address the current supply gap in pork meat, to provide consumers with adequate and affordable food, and to lower inflation.”
“The MAV of pork meat for the MAV Year 2021 of 54,210 metric tons is hereby increased to 254,210 MT, provided that any unavailable balance at the end of 2021 shall not be carried over to 2022,” the EO read.
Under the EO, the MAV Management Committee is directed to ensure that the allocation of the volume importation is fair and open to all qualified importers of pork meat, and in accordance with existing rules and regulations for the implementation of the agricultural MAVs, and other pertinent laws and regulations.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the EO is meant to serve as a “compromise” between the Executive and Legislative departments.
“That is part of the compromise between the Executive and the Senate when it comes to the MAV issue,” he said in a press briefing from Davao City.
Last month, the Senate Committee of the Whole adopted a resolution asking Duterte to revoke EO 128 that reduces the tariff on pork importation over concerns that lower tariffs might kill the local hog industry.
EO 128 allows the tariff rate on pork imports within the MAV to be reduced from the current rate of 30 percent to 5 percent for the first three months and to 10 percent for the next nine months. It will return to a 30 percent tariff rate after 12 months.
Duterte earlier said he is willing to withdraw his executive order reducing pork tariffs as soon as there is an improvement in the country’s domestic supply.
He appealed to the senators to wait for at least two months to see the impact of EO 128 in the local hog industry.
Duterte also signed Proclamation No. 1143 declaring a “state of calamity” throughout the country for one year due to the ASF outbreak.
The ASF outbreak has been responsible for the significant reduction in the country’s swine population by around three million hogs, resulting in more than P100 billion in losses to the local hog sector and allied industries, and leading to increased retail prices of pork products.*PNA