MANILA — Seventeen lawmakers from the House of Representatives filed Wednesday a resolution seeking to prevent the implementation of an executive order (EO) lowering tariffs on imported pork in the next 12 months, which some stakeholders said could "kill" the local hog industry.
Representatives of the Makabayan bloc described the move as "multipartisan," adding the joint resolution is expected to be "considered soon" by the leadership and adopted by the House as a whole.
"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 Rep. Carlos Zarate said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon had said on Tuesday he and two other senators would file a joint resolution to invalidate Duterte's order.
Under EO 128, tariff on imported pork would be reduced to 5-10 percent from 20-30 percent in the first 3 months of its enforcement, and to 10 percent in the 4th to 12th month.
The order also increases to 350,000 metric tons from 54,000 metric tons the total volume of pork that may be imported to the Philippines.
The order was signed as the national government sought to curb rising pork prices and inflation due to the African Swine Fever, which hit several local hog raisers and crippled supply.
Drilon said under Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, "the authority of the President to fix tariff rates while Congress is not in session can be withdrawn or revoked by virtue of a joint resolution."
—Reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News