Duterte approves review on pork importation expansion

Marje Pelayo   •   February 4, 2021   •   549

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s pork supply has been greatly affected by the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) resulting in skyrocketing prices of pork products hitting even higher than P400 per kilogram. 

To address the problem, the Department of Agriculture (DA) plans to study some measures to expand the minimum access volume (MAV) on pork imports.

The MAV pertains to the allowable volume of agricultural products that may be imported with low tariff. At present, the MAV for pork is only 54,000 metric tons.

This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to approve the recommendation to conduct more study and find other ways to expand the MAV.

“Now, as for the projections of pork supplies for this year, the Department of Agriculture estimates that with a demand of 1,618,355 metric tons and the projections of the 2021 supplies, we will need to begin the process of reviewing the MAV,” Nograles said,

In the meantime, more pork is being transported to Metro Manila from Visayas and Mindanao.

“Pinag-aaralan na po natin yan, at alam naman po natin ang proseso. Ang presidente ang mag-authorize niyan, and Congress will be given 15 days to concur with the decision. Pero tinitingnan po natin muna kung sapat ang suplay galing sa Visayas at Mindanao at ibang parte ng Luzon,” Nograles noted.

Also, the Chief Executive has approved the creation of a sub-task group on economic intelligence to deal with smugglers, profiteers and hoarders of agriculture products.

The group will be led by the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Kung mayroong mga grupo o negosyante na pinagsasamantalahan ang pandemya para pagkakitaan ang taumbayan, hindi po ito palalampasin,” Nograles concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

P3B revenues collected from pork imports under reduced tariff, increased MAV system

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has posted collections amounting to P3 billion from swine meat imports under a reduced tariff system, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In a statement, the DOF said that the BOC reported 197 million kilograms (kg) of pork imports from April 7 to Nov. 12 this year.

However, the bureau estimated that it has foregone some P3.4 billion in revenues as of November due to the decreased tariff scheme.

The reduced tariff system was implemented in the second quarter of this year to boost the supply of pork and stabilize its retail prices in the domestic market.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte had issued a series of executive orders (EOs) that took effect starting April 7 to lower pork import tariffs and increase the allowable import volumes of the meat to help stabilize the domestic supply and prices of this food staple for the benefit of Filipino consumers.

Executive Order (EO) No. 128, which lowered pork import tariffs to 5 percent within its minimum access volume (MAV) and 15 percent outside MAV for the first three months, was in effect from April 7 to May 14.

EO 134, which superseded EO 128, set tariffs on pork imports under the MAV to 10 percent for the first three months, and 15 percent in the next nine months.

For imports outside the MAV, the tariffs are 20 percent for the first three months and 25 percent in the succeeding nine months.

The one-year effectivity of EO 134 began on May 15, 2021.

“To compute for the effect of the two EOs, we multiplied the dutiable value of meat by 25 percent—less 5 percent and 15 percent—which were already paid for EO 128, and multiply the dutiable value by 20 percent and 15 percent for EO 134. The result showed a revenue loss of P3.4 billion,” BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said during a recent meeting with DOF.

Guerrero said the volume of pork imports started spiking in March and continuously grew in April to May, but dropped starting June.

The volume of pork imports in April, the month when the two EOs took effect, grew 500.46 percent, from 4.07 million kg in the same month last year to 24.45 million kg.

“This dramatic increase in pork import volumes continued in May, when a total of 36.5 million kg entered the country, representing a 506-percent hike from the 6.02 million kg imported during the same period in 2020,” the BOC said.

In June, the bureau said that pork imports reached 33.62 million kg, which was 531.39 percent more than the 5.32 million kg brought into the country during the same period last year.

“Pork imports continued its steady drop in July, when volumes totaled 31.18 million kg, which was 370.4 percent more than the 6.63 million kg, recorded in the same month of 2020,” it added.

The agency also noted that in August, pork imports increased 271.59 percent year-on-year, and dropped to 164.55 percent in September and 78.47 percent in October.

The volume of pork imports was 6.41 million kg in August 2020 and 23.82 million kg in August 2021; 9.73 million kg in September 2o20 and 25.73 million kg in September 2021; and 10.85 million kg in October 2020 and 19.36 million kg in October 2021.

From November 1-12, pork imports of 7.47 million kg were lower by 11.64 percent compared to last year’s 8.46 million for the same period.

Local hog industry laments competition with low-priced imported pork

Marje Pelayo   •   August 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Local hog raisers are complaining about competing with imported pork in local markets that is considerably cheaper than their produce.

“Hindi po namin kaya ang presyo ng imported. As of now, if we follow the price of imported, all of us will lose money, not only here in Luzon but in Visayas and Mindanao,” said Chester Warren Tan, president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc.

Tan said they are spending huge amounts of money on buying imported feeds for their hogs.

Based on data presented by Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo during the hearing in Congress on Tuesday (August 10), the price of frozen pork ranges from P220 to P250 per kilogram in supermarkets.

“All 84 stores within the National Capital Region are participating in the Presyong Resonable dapat all frozen meat,” Castelo said.

But based on the data gathered by the Department of Agriculture (DA) from local wet markets, the price of pork ranges from P320 to P360 per kilogram.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said, once imported meat gets into the local market, the price of pork is expected to drop.

“As volume comes sa supply augmentation nga natin out of the MAV plus, itong period hanggang October nga po ay merong naka-calibrate na 140,000 metric tons. If many of these will arrive slowly it will also impact the prices of local pork,” Dar explained.

This alarms local hog raisers.

“As local producers umaasa po kami sa fresh sa wet market. Kung ang gusto po ng Department of Agriculture na mangyari is to push sa wet market yung frozen product, ano ang mangyayari sa local producers? Ibig sabihin huminto na lamang kami,” said Tan.

But the DA said there are existing programs designed to help local hog raisers.

One is the agency’s repopulation program for hog raisers affected by the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) and the DA’s P42 billion loan program.

As of August 10, only 29 barangays still have active cases of ASF in the country which is a big improvement, according to the DA.

Meanwhile, a total of 468 municipalities have been declared ASF-free. Nevertheless, Dar said the problem is still here.

“I did not claim that wala ng problema sa ASF. Meron pa rin tayo. Lingering nga. Itong ASF has contributed so much in reducing the supply and inventory,” he said.

Thus, the DA Secretary is asking Congress to provide them an additional P6.6 billion funding  to help the local hog industry recover from the impact of ASF.

“Kasama of course ang Kongreso kasi kayo ang nag-approve. P1.5 billion lang. So will that be enough for repopulation? No. We need additional P6.6 billion this year,” Dar said. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

BAI sees drop in cases of African Swine Fever

Marje Pelayo   •   June 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported a total of 176 cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country in the past month.

The number is lower than the 1,773 cases recorded in August 2020 at the beginning of the outbreak and in April 2021 when the agency logged 520 cases.

As of June 4, there are nine provinces with a total of 19 barangays that still have cases of ASF virus.

These are:
Leyte – 9
Ilocos Norte – 2
Northern Samar – 2
Abra – 1
Apayao – 1
Mountain Province – 1
Cagayan – 1
Eastern Samar – 1
Davao Occidental – 1

“Mahigit 300 (local government unit) na po yung walang reported cases ng ASF for a period ranging from 90 to 180 days ang more,” said Dr. Reildrin Morales, OIC, BAI.

BAI said that areas cleared of ASF may now start repopulating their hogs provided that they coordinate with their local veterinary office or they can visit directly to BAI offices.

Currently, there are 10 farms in Luzon that conducts clinical trial for a potential vaccines against ASF.

“Kung magiging maganda po yung performance nung tina-trial nating bakuna ang isa po sa direksyon natin ay mag mass vaccination tayo lalo na doon sa high risk areas,” Morales said.

As per BAI report, half the number of affected hog raisers have already been compensated which reached a total of P1.55 billion.

BAI projects that it will take about two to three years before the Philippines can finally take control of ASF, especially with the help of local government units.

By declaring a state of calamity due to ASF, the LGUs may now utilize their respective calamity fund for their response efforts against ASF. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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