DA to double tariffs on imported rice to aid local farmers

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2019   •   152

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced on Friday (September 20) that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will impose double tariff on imported rice effective end of this month.

“We have to holistically and systematically protect the consuming public and much more, the farmers,” Dar said.

“So, I have taken the necessary steps and the direction in which we will be enforcing doubling the tariff during these times when we have exceeded importing rice beyond the requirement of this country,” he added.

The official said such measure is to address the increasing price of rice in markets in line with the Republic Act 8752 (Anti-Dumping Act of 1999).

The law said anti-dumping duties are imposed on imports which the government determines to be priced below fair market value.

“We will impose a tariff from the present level of 35 percent to 75 percent for imported rice coming from ASEAN countries and double the tariff from those outside ASEAN countries from 50-100%,” Secretary Dar said.

At present, 93% of the country’s rice is locally produced while about 7 to 10% comes from importation.

“We will protect the farmers by not allowing additional importation so that during this main harvest our local farmers will benefit from the respectable prices set by the government,” Dar concluded.

DA increases indemnity payment for pigs culled due to ASF to P5,000

Marje Pelayo   •   October 14, 2019

Culled pigs are hauled toward a collection truck after symptoms of African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected in the Pasong Tamo village of Quezon City, Philippines, 03 October 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Hog raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) will now get P5,000 for each pig culled within the one-kilometer radius from ground zero where the deadly pig virus was detected.

So far, the Department of Agriculture (DA) already recorded more than 40,000 pigs culled due to ASF.

The DA is now strengthening its quarantine checkpoints in different parts of the country to stop the spread of the ASF virus.

On Friday (October 11), around 700 crates of pig products were seized in San Juanico Bridge in Tacloban City from Bulacan amounting to P1.6 million.

According to the Tacloban Veterinary Office, the products were confiscated for lack of necessary documents.

In his social media post, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chair Secretary Manny Piñol questioned why such shipment was able to pass the quarantine checkpoints in Matnog in Sorsogon and in Northern Samar.

The DA, meanwhile, said it is conducting an investigation on the matter.

“That is something that we have to find-out kung bakit nakalusot ito (why it passed slip the quarantine checkpoints),” said DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan.

Meat processors, on the other hand, fear of possible loss in income of up to P55 billion if the government will not impose a more concrete system in banning the transportation of pork products.

According to the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI), their products undergo proper food treatment to eliminate the ASF virus.

“Processed meats are not carriers of ASF,” explained PAMPI Spokesperson Rex Agarrado.

“Processed meats are all processed at temperatures that kill the organism,” he added. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOF coordinates with other gov’t agencies for full TradeNet rollout

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2019

The Department of Finance (DOF) is coordinating with the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the full TradeNet rollout.

TradeNet.gov.ph  will simplify import and export documentary processes covering an initial 7,400 regulated products.

According to the DOF, TradeNet aims to speed up cargo clearances and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the 10 ASEAN member-states.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the DA is a key component of TradeNet since it is one of the regulatory bodies that process permits for imports and exports, particularly of agricultural products such as rice.

“The DA has created project teams for integrating sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) certificates in TradeNet and the ASEAN Single Window (ASW),” he said.

Once TradeNet is fully operational, traders may apply online for import and export permits for commodities such as rice, sugar, used motor vehicles, chemicals (toluene), frozen meat, medicines (for humans, animals, or fish) and cured tobacco, Beltran said.—AAC

DA shells out initial P60M for hog raisers affected by ASF

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2019

A city veterinarian (L) takes a blood sample from a pig in a backyard piggery to test for African Swine Fever (ASF) in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 17 September 2019.  EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted an initial amount of P60M to fund a loan program for hog raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in the country.

Under the loan program, affected hog raisers are entitled to loan up to P30,000, with no interest, and collateral-free.

The initial amount will accommodate around 2,000 hog raisers, with priority given to hog raisers in Rizal, Bulacan and Quezon City.

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, hog farmers may prefer to raise other livestock such as chicken or goat.

They may, likewise, prefer to shift to vegetable farming.

“With this capital to tide them over, affected swine raisers can engage in any appropriate livelihood venture like broiler, layer and goat raising, and vegetable production,” Dar said.

So far, culling operations across infected areas have put down 15,000 pigs.

Hog raisers are paid P3,000 for every animal culled.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, meanwhile, said they still have to cull around 1,000 pigs from Barangay Payatas and Bagong Silangan.

Belmonte said they would ask the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD)— in case their P10M fund falls short — to assist affected hog farmers.

“Once they are cleared, hindi na po tayo papayag na sa Barangay Bagong Silangan at sa Payatas ay magkakaroon ulit ng piggery (Once they are cleared, we will no longer allow anyone from Barangay Bagong Silangan and Payatas to have a piggery),” Belmonte concluded. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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