Pork producers group fear effect of reduced pork import tariffs on local production

Marje Pelayo   •   April 8, 2021   •   208

MANILA, Philippines – The Pork Producers Federation considers pork importation as a big threat to the local hog industry.

The grim sentiment follows the recent signing of Executive Order 128 which reduces pork tariff by 25 percent for the first three months upon effectivity, and 20 percent for the succeeding 12 months.

The government used to impose a 30 to 40 percent tariff on imported pork.

But with the new order, the low prices of imported pork will be in competition with the price of local pork which could discourage hog raisers from producing.

“Marami ang titigil pati hog raisers. Mauuna ang commercial raisers then next year bantayan niyo, sigurado lalong walang supply ng baboy sa lokal at sigurado magmamahal ang mga bilihin bago mag eleksyon,” said Nick Briones, the federation’s vice president for Luzon.

For the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG), there is no assurance that supply of pork in the world market will be bought at a lower price.

“Nakikita natin pag wala nang stocks sa local, itataas din ng international. Ang magbebenta sa ating bansa itataas din nila ang presyo,” said SINAG president Rosendo So.

The government also imposed suggested retail prices (SRPs) on imported kasim and liempo at P270 and P300 per kilogram respectively.

But an importers’ group said that with the reduction of tariff, consumers would now be able to purchase imported pork for P300 per kilogram in the market — this is under the assumption that traders and vendors will not take advantage of the situation and add high mark-ups.

The group added that the tariff reduction should be extended.

“We suggest to the NEDA na itong reduction tariff should not be for one year only. Dapat gawin nilang five years kasi talagang itong problema is not going to go away in one year,” said Jess Cham of the Meat Importers and Traders Association.

The Agriculture department reiterated that their priority program is still the repopulation of hogs.

“Hindi lang importation ang tinitingnan natin. Importation is the last resort, augmentation lang iyon,” Secretary William Dar said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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