Agribusiness group urges hike in pork offal tariff
(The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - An umbrella group of agribusinesses yesterday urged government to increase the tariff on pork offal to protect the interest of domestic producers.

According to the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), the Tariff Commission and the inter-agency Committee on Tariff and Related Matters should increase the existing tariff on fresh/chilled offal of swine from seven percent to 35 percent, and other frozen offal of swine from 10 percent to 35 percent.

The CTRM is chaired by the Secretary of Trade and Industry and is co-chaired by the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority. Its members are the Executive Secretary, Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Transportation and Communications, Environment and Natural Resources, Budget and Management, Finance, Governor of the Central Bank, and the chairman of the Tariff Commission.

SINAG said higher duties should be imposed on pork offal so as not to compete with local supply.

The group insisted there is now abundant supply of pork offal in wet markets because of growing demand for pork cuts.

Pork offal comprises pig parts such as ears, feet, tails, hearts, tongues, thick skirts, thin skirts, cauls, throats, thymus glands, kidneys, lungs, brains, pancreas, spleens, spinal cords and other parts discarded after processing of meat cuts.

SINAG chair Rosendo So said pork importers easily make money from pork offals because these are used in cooking Filipino comfort food and bar chow.

“These pork parts are wastes to most countries and therefore are easily sourced from pork-exporting countries, but our unique culinary taste for sisig, chicharon, tokwa’t baboy and other beer chow have given smugglers another venue to make profit at the expense of the local industry and revenue generation from the government,” said So.

SINAG alleged that excess importation of pork offal is also used for technical smuggling of prime cuts through over-declaration of offal imports and under declaration of prime cut imports.

“Technical smuggling (false declaration of prime meat as offal) is evidenced by the fact that there is an over-declaration of the amount of offal imported to the country and, on the other hand, a considerable under-declaration of the amount of imported swine (prime) meat which has a 35-percent tariff,” said So.

SINAG said importers are already making huge profits from imported offals purchased by importers at $1 per kilogram, around P44 per kilogram.

The group said the imposition of a five percent tariff means an addition of only P2 per kilogram of imports. These are then sold at the prevailing local price of P130 per kilogram at the wet markets.

Raising the tariff to 35 percent would mean an addition of P15.40 per kilogram of imports.

“We have already formalized our request to both the Tariff Commission and the CTRM and we are hoping that they will heed our demands not only for the interest of the local industry but also for the much needed revenue generation of the government. We are only correcting the mistakes of previous governments in lowering tariffs, way below what is required by the World Trade Organization (WTO),” said So.

 

BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES EXECUTIVE SECRETARY GOVERNOR OF THE CENTRAL BANK OFFAL PORK TARIFF TARIFF COMMISSION
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