“First, the Senate has no choice since the reduced tariff rates and the increased in-quota [Minimum Access Volume] have already taken effect,” Lacson said.
“Kung meron lang sanang nangyaring inter-departmental courtesy consultation, since EO 128 is a consequence of a delegated authority granted by Congress to the president anyway, we could have given our input based on our own consultations and research,” he added.
Lacson insisted that the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) conclusion that the demand for pork has not changed amid the pandemic is “flawed.”
“As I had pointed out during the [Committee of the Whole] hearing, the 50% contraction registered by the hotel and restaurant operations should easily affect demand since at the pre-pandemic 8.2 million foreign tourists are now eating pork somewhere else outside the country,” he said.
Senate has to give Duterte’s EO on imported pork tariff a chance: Lacson
“Thus, this means that at 15 kilogram pork consumption per capita as estimated would mean 120 million kgs of less pork. That should be substantial enough to consider when they came up with the 350,000,000 kilograms in additional in-quota MAV allocation,” Lacson added.
Last week, three senators said they would file a joint resolution to repeal Duterte’s signed Executive Order 128 where the 30 percent import tariff within the import quota or minimum access volume (MAV) will be one year reduced to 5 percent, while the 40 percent tax beyond the MAV will be only 15 percent.
“By law, the authority of the president to fix tariff rates while Congress is not in session can be withdrawn or revoked by virtue of a joint resolution… Our local hog raisers suffered a double blow in the last two weeks and it is the duty of Congress to stand up for them,” said Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon.
Drilon was accompanied by Sen. Cynthia Villar and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan in filing the joint resolution.
According to the senators, if the permitted pork import is 400,000 metric tons from the current 54,000 metric tons, imported meat will flood in and the country’s 80,000 pig farmers will lose even more.