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Duterte signs EO lowering taxes on imported pork

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, April 7, signed an executive order reducing import taxes on chilled and fresh pork meat to address the supply shortage and soaring prices.

Executive Order (EO) No. 128 temporarily reduces the most favored nation (MFN) tariffs on fresh, chilled, or frozen pork meat for a year. It will take effect as soon as the EO is published in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper.

The modified MFN rates are shown below.

The EO would somewhat act as Duterte's next remedy for high meat prices, as his price ceiling order is set to expire on Thursday, April 8.

Pork prices posted an inflation rate of over 20% last March, indicating that vendors struggled to comply with the price cap.

Data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed that pork prices in Metro Manila hovered between P350 and P380 per kilo, higher than the imposed limit of P270 to P300 per kilo.

Hog raisers had also staged a pork holiday to protest Duterte's price cap and the proposal to lower tariffs on imported pork.

Groups like the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) have repeatedly denounced the bid to lower tariffs, insisting that the shortfall can be imported at current rates.

"This action will not make pork more affordable for our countrymen and it further cripples a hog industry that is already suffering from the DA's mismanagement of the ASF (African swine fever) outbreak," SINAG chairman Rosendo So said. – with reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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