MANILA (UPDATE) - Removing taxes on fish and meat imports will tame inflation to below 5 percent, the chairman of the House committee on economic affairs said Tuesday.
The government should not think about losses it might incur if it brings tariffs on these products to zero because it will bring relief to consumers, said Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap.
"What is important now is to give them that breathing spell…We have to make sure that they enjoy it," he told ANC's Headstart.
Yap, a former agriculture secretary, said there should also be a "balancing" between imports and protecting local industries.
Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reduce tariffs on fish and meat, said her special focal person for counter-inflation, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said taxes on meat and fish imports could be lowered to 5 percent but the government's economic managers oppose the complete removal of the tariff.
"It may have a positive impact on the consumers but it will hurt our farmers. Supply and consumption is a delicate balancing act that we should perform," he said.
"While we would like consumers to have access to affordable food, we also don't want to put our producers at a disadvantage where they feel that they are being sacrificial lambs just to satisfy the complaints of the consumers."