Duterte signed Executive Order No. 82 on June 13, retaining the lower tariffs to cushion the impact of higher prices of goods on consumers.
Michael Varcas
No price hike for hotdogs, poultry products
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There will be no increase in the prices of hotdogs sourced from fowl and similar processed meat products after President Duterte retained the lower tariffs on some poultry products.

Duterte signed Executive Order No. 82 on June 13, retaining the lower tariffs to cushion the impact of higher prices of goods on consumers.

The EO retained the current most favored nation (MFN) tariff rates on imported mechanically deboned meat (MDM) or separated meat of chicken at five percent, and meat and edible offal of turkeys not cut in pieces at 20 percent.

The MDM is vital raw material used in meat processing. It is a paste-like meat product produced by forcing pureed or ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.

“The present economic condition warrants the continued application of the reduced rate of duties on certain agricultural products to mitigate the impact of high prices of goods,” the EO read. ?In 2017, Duterte issued EO No. 23, prolonging the temporary reduced rate on certain agricultural products as a concession to trade partners, who allowed the Philippines to extend the quota on rice imports.

The extension of rice imports quota was meant to protect Filipino farmers from cheap imported agricultural goods. ?The reduced rates under EO 23 were supposed to take effect until June 30, 2020 or until such time that a measure amending the law on rice tariffication is enacted, whichever comes first.

The National Economic and Development Authority recommended to retain the tariff rates under EO 23 for mechanically deboned chicken and turkey meat and its offals. ?Because of EO 82, the lower import duties on the poultry products will remain until Dec. 31 next year.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the EO would ensure low-cost processed meat products for consumers.

Welcomed

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) welcomed the EO, saying Duterte’s move to retain lower tariffs reflects the government’s efforts to spur the growth of the local manufacturing industry.

“We assured DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and our consumers that we will not increase our prices,” PAMPI president Felix Tiukinhoy said in a text message to The STAR.

PAMPI earlier said an increase in tariff rates from five percent to 40 percent would escalate prices of hotdogs and canned meat products that contain MDM by 12 to 17 percent.

“MDM chicken is a vital raw material in the manufacture of processed meat products and is not locally produced. This action sends a strong signal to local and foreign investors that the investment climate in the Philippines is fair, attractive and competitive,” he added.

PAMPI noted that the meat processing industry fully supports government’s efforts to promote economic growth while ensuring affordable food products to its people.

It was also PAMPI that filed a petition asking government to keep the tariff rate on MDM of chicken at five percent.

While PAMPI sought for retention of the low tariff rate on MDM, poultry growers on the other hand, have called on the government to raise the tariff on imported MDM to 40 percent as a form of protection for local growers.

It was in 2012 when the 40 percent tariff on MDM was reduced to five percent as a concession to the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice imports.

Under EO 23, the tariff rates on agricultural products including chicken MDM must be brought back to its previous levels once the QR is removed.

PAMPI said the use of MDM in the country as raw material ingredient for processed meat has contributed to the affordability of the protein source, especially in challenging times of high inflationary effects caused by a number of uncontrollable factors.

The MDM has been used since the late 1960s in certain meat and meat products such as hotdogs, luncheon meat and sausages and does not compete against table grade meat. – With Alexis Romero

PRICES OF HOTDOGS PRICES OF POULTRY PRODUCTS
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