As the Philippines lowers its pork import tariff, stakeholders urge government to boost supports for local industry

Groups in the Philippines are urging the government to increase supports for local hog raisers as an Executive Order that slashes the tariff on pork imports comes into effect.

20 April 2021, at 11:42am

According to reporting in ABS-CBN News, Ramon Clarete, a fellow from the Foundation for Economic Freedom says that the Department of Agriculture should boost supports for the Philippine swine industry. This includes improving photo-sanitary protocols to detect outbreaks of African swine fever and assisting pig producers as they repopulate their herds.

“Support to the producers, yes I think that is lacking, and that should be improved by the Department of Agriculture. They will also need resources so I think they should be going back to Congress and asking for additional resources to spend, especially on repopulating,” Clarete said.

President Duterte and the Department of Agriculture say that increasing pork imports under EO 128 can augment domestic supplies while the country rebounds from outbreaks of African swine fever. The order has proved controversial, with lawmakers and local pig raisers calling for the order to be recalled.

Clarete explained that though the tariffs have been lifted, the Philippines probably won’t immediately receive huge volumes of frozen pork. This is because neighboring countries are struggling with their own outbreaks of African swine fever.

Clarete also said that the country needs to increase its cold storage capacity to accommodate the increased volumes of pork.

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