MANILA – Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is open to any options that will address pork supply problems in the country, citing that Executive Order (EO) 128 is a temporary measure targeted to address the constraints.
“Again, our minds are not closed. We want to achieve together our goal of making sure that there is a reasonable and affordable pork and other feedstock for our consumers, our inflation rate is not damaging to our economy in the long run, and that definitely there is support to the pork-producing industry,” he said during the virtual hearing of the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday.
The hearing was held to discuss EO 128, which temporarily cuts import duty on fresh, chilled, or frozen swine meat for a year to help address supply issues brought about by the African swine fever.
The EO, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed last April 7, reduces levy on pork imports under the minimum access volume (MAV) from 30 percent to 5 percent for the first three months upon the EO’s effectivity, and 10 percent in the succeeding nine months.
Tariffs of pork imports outside of MAV were proposed to be reduced from the current 40 percent to 15 percent for the first three months, and 20 percent for the succeeding three quarters.
Dominguez said the EO is an emergency measure targeted to ensure adequate supply of pork in the country and to help stabilize pork prices.
This as prices of pork has risen to over PHP300 a kilo from around PHP200 before the supply issues and has contributed to the elevated domestic inflation rate.(PNA)