President Duterte is willing to review the executive order imposing a temporary tariff cut on pork imports after two months of implementation.
For now, the Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President has appealed to senators to give the tariff cut a chance to augment local pork supply and bring down prices.
The senators earlier adopted a resolution asking the President to recall the order lowering pork tariffs amid concerns it would harm the local hog industry.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is asking the esteemed members of the Senate to give Executive Order No. 128 a chance and consider its intended effects, which include addressing the shortage in swine meat, stabilizing the price of pork meat, and minimizing inflation rate, as mentioned by the Department of Agriculture and the President’s Economic Team,” Roque said.
“Let us revisit the EO in two months to assess whether the aforesaid intended effects have been realized/met,” he added.
Roque assured that the government is also committed to protecting the welfare of the hog industry as well as consumers.
“We are one with the Senate in ensuring the recovery of the local swine industry and the attainment of sufficient domestic pork production,” he said.
The President earlier expressed readiness to recall the EO on lower tariffs on pork imports once the domestic supply improves. He said he understood the sentiment of senators who wanted to protect the local hog raisers. But he told them that the EO can be easily revoked once the local prices go down.
Under EO 128 signed last April 7, the import tariff for fresh, chilled, or frozen pork will be 5 percent for the first three months under the minimum access volume (MAV) quota, 10 percent for the 4th to 12th month. After 12 months, it will return to the 30 percent tariff rate.
The rates for pork imports beyond the quota will be reduced by 15 percent for the first three months, 20 percent for the 4th to 12 months. The rate will be back to 40 percent after a year.
The President’s order on the pork import tariff aims to address the pork supply shortage, stabilize prices of pork meat, and minimize inflation.
The issuance of the EO came days after asking Congress to increase the MAV for pork imports this year by 350,000 metric tons.