MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has posted collections amounting to P3 billion from swine meat imports under a reduced tariff system, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
In a statement, the DOF said that the BOC reported 197 million kilograms (kg) of pork imports from April 7 to Nov. 12 this year.
However, the bureau estimated that it has foregone some P3.4 billion in revenues as of November due to the decreased tariff scheme.
The reduced tariff system was implemented in the second quarter of this year to boost the supply of pork and stabilize its retail prices in the domestic market.
To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte had issued a series of executive orders (EOs) that took effect starting April 7 to lower pork import tariffs and increase the allowable import volumes of the meat to help stabilize the domestic supply and prices of this food staple for the benefit of Filipino consumers.
Executive Order (EO) No. 128, which lowered pork import tariffs to 5 percent within its minimum access volume (MAV) and 15 percent outside MAV for the first three months, was in effect from April 7 to May 14.
EO 134, which superseded EO 128, set tariffs on pork imports under the MAV to 10 percent for the first three months, and 15 percent in the next nine months.
For imports outside the MAV, the tariffs are 20 percent for the first three months and 25 percent in the succeeding nine months.
The one-year effectivity of EO 134 began on May 15, 2021.
“To compute for the effect of the two EOs, we multiplied the dutiable value of meat by 25 percent—less 5 percent and 15 percent—which were already paid for EO 128, and multiply the dutiable value by 20 percent and 15 percent for EO 134. The result showed a revenue loss of P3.4 billion,” BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said during a recent meeting with DOF.
Guerrero said the volume of pork imports started spiking in March and continuously grew in April to May, but dropped starting June.
The volume of pork imports in April, the month when the two EOs took effect, grew 500.46 percent, from 4.07 million kg in the same month last year to 24.45 million kg.
“This dramatic increase in pork import volumes continued in May, when a total of 36.5 million kg entered the country, representing a 506-percent hike from the 6.02 million kg imported during the same period in 2020,” the BOC said.
In June, the bureau said that pork imports reached 33.62 million kg, which was 531.39 percent more than the 5.32 million kg brought into the country during the same period last year.
“Pork imports continued its steady drop in July, when volumes totaled 31.18 million kg, which was 370.4 percent more than the 6.63 million kg, recorded in the same month of 2020,” it added.
The agency also noted that in August, pork imports increased 271.59 percent year-on-year, and dropped to 164.55 percent in September and 78.47 percent in October.
The volume of pork imports was 6.41 million kg in August 2020 and 23.82 million kg in August 2021; 9.73 million kg in September 2o20 and 25.73 million kg in September 2021; and 10.85 million kg in October 2020 and 19.36 million kg in October 2021.
From November 1-12, pork imports of 7.47 million kg were lower by 11.64 percent compared to last year’s 8.46 million for the same period.