Govít woos importers to plug pork shortfall


By: Karl R. Ocampo, Philippine Daily Inquirer

February 16, 2021


The government is pinning its hopes on importers to augment the expected pork shortfall in the country as the African swine fever (ASF) continues to ravage the nationís hog population.


Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that Filipinos were at risk of a 400,000 metric ton (MT) shortage this year. In a phone interview, Agriculture Undersecretary William Medrano said members of the private sector would be given allocation to bring in the needed supply.


Based on prevailing world prices, the estimated volume needed is valued at P60 billion at $3 a kilo.


Industry insiders who talked to the Inquirer speculated that this could explain the governmentís moves to cut tariffs and expand the pork allocation under the minimum access volume (MAV) as a means to encourage importers.


The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier announced that it was planning to raise the MAV allocation for pork to 388,790 MT from 54,000 MT.


Similarly, a 12-month tariff reduction has also been proposed. The DA recommended that pork imports under MAV be imposed a 5-percent tariff for the next six months and a 10-percent tariff for the succeeding six months from the current rate of 30 percent...


Two-tier tariff policy ...