President Rodrigo Duterte issued yesterday an executive order temporarily modifying the rates of import duty on pork products to address the impact of the African swine fever (ASF) on the country’s hog industry.
Under EO 128, Duterte stressed the need to take immediate steps to allow the domestic swine industry to “fully recover and attain sufficient local pork production.”
Duterte approved the National Economic and Development Authority’s proposed temporary reduction of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates on fresh, chilled, or frozen pork products.
“There is an urgent need to temporarily reduce the Most Favored Nation tariff rates on fresh, chilled, or frozen meat of swine to address the existing pork supply shortage, stabilize prices of pork meat, and minimize inflation rates,” the EO read.
EO 128 reduces tariff rates for both in-quota and out-quota imports of pork to boost pork supply in the country and tame prices of pork products.
The latest EO reduces the MFN tariff rate on pork imports within the minimum access volume (MAV) to 5 percent for the first three months upon the effectivity of the order and to 10 percent for the fourth to 12th month from the current rate of 30 percent.
Pork imports outside the MAV will be slapped with a lower tariff of 15 percent for the next three months and 20 percent for the succeeding nine months from the current 40 percent, based on EO 128.
EO 128, which is effective for a period of one year, takes effect immediately upon its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.
“The government recognized the need to immediately address the current shortage in swine meat, and endeavors to strengthen food supply to ensure that Filipinos have equitable access to food, particularly meat,” the order said.
Last month, Duterte asked Congress to approve the proposed increase in pork imports to 250,000 metric tons from the present 54,210 MT to address the rising food prices and boost the supply of pork in the country.*PNA