By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) yesterday warned government against raising tariffs on imported raw materials for meat industry stressing that doing so will increase the price of meat products such as luncheon meat and sausages.
PAMPI has a pending petition before the Tariff Commission seeking to retain the current Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates on imported raw materials for the meat processing industry in order to keep food prices manageable and help ease the inflation rate.
PAMPI issued this statement ahead of a hearing on its petition on Wednesday called by Tariff Commission Chairperson Marilou Mendoza.
The association has sought to keep MFN tariff rates on mechanically deboned meat (MDM) or separated meat of chicken at 5 percent; meat and edible offal of turkeys not cut in pieces, frozen at 20 percent; mechanically deboned or separated meat of turkey at 5 percent; and meat cuts and edible offal of turkeys, frozen, other than livers or mechanically deboned or separated meat at 20 percent. It was Tariff Commisioner Mendoza who called for the public hearing.
PAMPI Executive Director Francisco J. Buencamino said raising the duty on an ingredient that is so widely used may be “ill-timed and ill-advised and will make the Filipino consumer suffer”, pointing out that an increase in tariff rates from 5 percent to 40 percent will escalate prices of hotdogs and canned meat products that contain MDM by 12 percent to 17 percent.
“But if the tariff on MDM stays at 5 percent, this price increase can be avoided. However, other factors such as the strong dollar vs all currencies including Philippine peso, fuel cost increase, labor cost increase and tin can cost increase will put pressure on our costs,” Buencamino said.
The use of MDM or mechanically separated meat (MSM) in the Philippines as raw material ingredient for processed meat allows local producers to keep certain meat products affordable.
It has been used since the late 1960s in certain meat and meat products such as hot dogs, luncheon meats and sausages.