Philippine pork producers critical of government decision to increase imports

After Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to increase pork imports and cut tariffs to address a supply crunch, domestic producers threatened to cease operations.

29 March 2021, at 11:23am

According to reporting in Bloomberg and ABS-CBN News, President Duterte recommended increasing pork imports by 350,000 metric tonnes after 1.9 million pigs, about 15% of the country’s herd, was lost to African swine fever (ASF) in 2020. President Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said that the move would, “… immediately augment the supply of pork, stabilize increasing prices and address pressing issues on food security.”

However, the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines (ProPork) threatened to stop operations if the government cuts import tariffs or increases imports, saying that there is no need to pursue this type of action. The group claims that the current trade rules give importers wide leeway to operate. They also warned that pork imports could undercut the domestic industry at a time when it is trying to rebuild from multiple outbreaks of ASF.

ProPork is calling on the government to extend the temporary price cap for pork and chicken until 8 April and compensate pork producers who have been hit by ASF.

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