Philippine lawmakers try to stop President Duterte from cutting pork import tariff

17 lawmakers in the House of Representatives filed a resolution to prevent the implementation of an executive order that would reduce tariffs on pork imports.

14 April 2021, at 9:46am

According to reporting in ABS-CBN News, a group of “multi-partisan” lawmakers is seeking to prevent the executive order from being enacted, saying that it could “kill” the local swine industry. They say that a joint resolution blocking the tariff reduction is being considered by the leadership and could be adopted by the entire House of Representatives.

Executive Order 128 would reduce the tariff on imported pork to between 5% and 10%. Pork importers currently pay a 20% to 30% tariff. The order also increases the total volume of pork that may be imported to the Philippines to 350,000 metric tonnes, up from the current volume of 54,000 metric tonnes.

"We also trust that a similar measure will be filed and adopted by our Senate counterparts to avert this grave disaster that will certainly kill our local hog industry, in particular, and in general the agricultural sector," Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Zarate said.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had said on 13 April that he and two other senators would file a joint resolution that would invalidate President Duterte's order.

President Duterte signed the order to prevent pork prices and inflation from rising. The domestic pork industry is facing supply pressure due to outbreaks of African swine fever.

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