The Philippine Tariff Commission is studying an agricultural group’s request to increase the tariff on imported pork.
The Agricultural Industry Association (Sinag) has asked the commission to raise the tariff to 40 percent for in-quota or your minimum access volume entries to be charged by the lower tariff this year.
About 44 percent of the request is for out-quota or those that exceed the minimum access volume.
It even agreed that the Senate and the Department of Finance would make the tariff only 15 to 20 percent for the in-quota and 20 to 25 percent for the out-quota.
“Hindi talaga kailangan na binabaan ‘yong taripa na nirekomenda sa NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) and [economic] team,” said Sinag Chairman Rosendo So.
Hog raisers once again demanded that President Rodrigo Duterte declare a state of national calamity so that the Department of Agriculture can provide the indemnification fund to those who died of swine due to African swine fever (ASF).
“‘Yong mga tinamaan, dapat bigyan na lang nila ng subsidy kung paano matutulungan makapag-alaga muli. ‘Yong mga tatamaan pa ng ASF, ‘yan ang sinasabi nating bayaran ng P10,000 kada ulo,” said Nicanor Briones, vice president of Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines.
Request to raise tariff on pork being analyzed
But according to Agriculture Spokesperson Noel Reyes, instead of indemnification, only insurance will be provided.
“In place of indemnification, insurance na lang. Libre na nga eh, P5,000 to P10,000 na ang insurance coverage. ‘Pag namatay, maximum P10,000,” said Reyes.
The pig farmers also challenged the government to monitor smuggling.
“Dapat transparent sila kung sino-sino ang bibigyan ng import permit ‘yang minimum access volume na 254,000 metric tons. Hindi ‘yong naso-solo ng 4 na mukhang sila ang may cartel sa importation,” said Briones.
“Kung pwede ay magkaroon ng panibagong committee na magha-handle ng pagi-issue ng import permit, hindi lang DA,” he added.
The group also asked the government to arrange first border control or inspection of every meat entering the country to ensure that they do not carry the virus.
But Agriculture Secretary William Dar insisted that there is a first border inspection in place.