MANILA — The Meat Importers and Traders Association (MITA) on Thursday urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to cut pork import tariff in the next 5 years to ensure food security and cool down inflation.
A similar measure was also approved by former President Rodrigo Duterte to fill the gap when meat prices soared due to supply disruptions brought by the African swine fever.
"The conditions that warranted the issuance of EO134 still exist today and in fact has gotten worse for the Philippines as well as for the global landscape," the group said in a statement.
Duterte issued Executive Order 134 S2021 in 2021 which reduced the duty rates on pork. It was effective until December of that year.
"Thus we appeal to Your Excellency to issue a new Executive Order and reinstate the import duty rates on pork of 5 percent in quota and 15 percent out quota for a duration of 5 years," MITA told Marcos.
The group stressed that ASF remains a risk to the domestic swine industry. It also said there is a 1 to 3 percent reduction in sow numbers in major pork producing regions in the world, including those in Europe and North America.
"This is unprecedented and will result in a global reduction of pork supply and consequently, higher prices for a number of years," the group said.
This is on top of other inflationary headwinds such as rising grain, feed and transport costs, MITA said.
Reducing tariffs is an immediate solution while the country is strengthening its local agriculture to achieve food security, the group said.
Several countries such as New Zealand have reduced tariffs on pork, it added.
— With a report from Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News