Association Says DA's New Meat Imports Rules Will Not Affect Prices

PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture's new accreditation requirements for meat importers will not affect the supply or the prices of meat in the domestic market, the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (Propork) said Sunday (5 May).
calendar icon 6 May 2013
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In a statement, the association said that the department's new regulations will raise local prices.

According to GMA News, industry leaders also countered the doubts of some of their colleagues, saying that Administrative Order No. 9 will not discourage importers but instead protect the local industry from fly-by-night operators.

"The volume of imported meat in cold storages, based on NMIS [National Meat Inspection Service] data, is at 8.8 million kilos. Add that with local meat production and that gives you 10 million kilos. So how can they claim that AO No. 9 is restrictive when our cold storages are in full capacity?" said Propork president Edwin Chen.

The order's minimum capital requirement of P5 million for meat importers also “aims to legitimize the system because there were undercapitalized fly-by-night meat importers in the past who were allowed to operate prior to this new order," said Daniel Javellana, chairman of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI).

"This new order actually aims to end the loopholes in the process that allows smuggling," he also said.

Chen said the DA consulted the industry for the new capitalization requirement, because many meat importers were undercapitalized.

"P5 million is equivalent to the amount of one 40-footer container van. If you do not have the capital to import at least one container van, then you have no basis to be in this business," he said.

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