Pork & Chicken Producers Assure Steady Supply11 May 2012
PHILIPPINES - The hog and chicken raisers said that there is no shortage in the supply of pork meat, saying even the Department of Agriculture and Palace earlier claimed that there is enough supply of pigs and chicken for local markets.
According to The Manila Times.net, Rosendo So, chairman of Abono party-land convenor of the Swine Development Council also belied allegation that the sector is out to blackmail the government for threatening to hold a five-day pork holiday if it does not make good of its commitment to address the problem of rampant smuggling of meat.
Hog and chicken producers also lashed back at “unnamed” leaders of the Alliance of Food Processors for accusing them of economic sabotage.
The group in a statement said that the illegal importation of misdeclared meat is threatening the livelihood of backyard farmers and agricultural workers in allied trades.
“We want to protect the interest and survival of the local hog and poultry industries which are facing extinction (because of) unabated smuggling of pork and chicken by unscrupulous importers,” said Mr So.
“We implore the government to go after unscrupulous importers who are engaged in technical smuggling. We are neither blackmailing the government nor are we engaged in economic sabotage,” he added.
So also said that it is the crooked importers, in connivance with the corrupt customs and agriculture personnel, who are the ones sabotaging the economy because they do not only deprive the government of billions of pesos in revenues, but they also causing the collapse of the local growers, including the allied industries.
“Accusing us of engaging in economic sabotage is not only unfair but uncalled for. We just want to protect the local industries from unfair trade practices of unscrupulous meat importers. They are the real economic saboteurs,” he said.
So also noted that the government has been losing P3.7 billion in annual revenues due to technical smuggling of pork and chicken where unscrupulous importers misdeclare their importations to avoid paying higher tariff of 40 per cent.
“The illegal importation have killed 20 per cent of the P25-billion backyard industry and not paying the proper tariff to the government,” So pointed out.
On his part, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said that the bureau has now on alert status over the importations of frozen food.
Mr Biazon, who attended the recently concluded Hog Raisers Convention in Cebu City, assured the bureau’s all out efforts to curb frozen food smuggling, particularly meat.
He said that all BOC operating units will closely monitor and/or conduct full examination on all frozen food importations, even as he also ordered a review of the records of the country’s past frozen meat importations.
“We are now going through the past records of importations of the country’s top ten food importers to check whether all their importations were covered with the required import permits from the Department of Agriculture [DA], or whether these importers did not import beyond the approved volume granted to them by the DA,” Mr Biazon said.
Biazon said that he is not discounting the possibility of connivance among customs officials, officers of other agencies involved in the regulation of the country’s meat importation and importers.
ThePigSite News Desk