Palace: Duterte to listen to senators against cutting pork import tariffs
Minimal pork cuts on display are being sold for as high as P350 per kilo at Mega Qmart in Quezon City on April 6, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Palace: Duterte to listen to senators against cutting pork import tariffs

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - April 13, 2021 - 6:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is ready to listen to senators who oppose the lowering of the tariffs on pork because of its possible impact on the local hog industry, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, senate agriculture committee chair Cynthia Villar and Sen. Francis Pangilinan are planning to file a resolution revoking Executive Order No. 128, which will temporarily reduce tariff rates on pork imports to address supply shortage.

Drilon claimed the lower tariffs would "kill" the local hog industry and would lead to billions of pesos in foregone state revenues.

"The president listens to everyone, especially if senators raise their concerns together," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

Roque said senators who are against the lower tariffs have pointed out that the prices of pork are not lowered when sold to the public despite the lower landed cost.

"They cannot understand why there is a need to lower the tariffs since it has not resulted in lower prices of pork products in the market. I think the president will listen to our senators because he listens to everyone," the Palace spokesman said.

The order covers the import duty rates on fresh, chilled, or frozen swine meat. The adjusted tariff rates will be effective for one year. 

The tariff rate for in-quota imports of fresh, chilled, or frozen carcasses and half-carcasses, hams, shoulders and cuts, and other products will be 5% for the first three months upon effectivity of the order, 10% for the 4th to 12th month, and 30% after the 12th month. For out-quota pork imports, the tariff rates will be 15% for the first three months, 20% for the 4th to 12th month, and 40% after the 12th month. 

"There is an urgent need to temporarily reduce the most favored nation (MFN) 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 order read.

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