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DOF favors extending validity of pork MAV+

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FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Monday said he is in favor of extending the validity of the government’s 200,000 metric ton (MT) minimum access volume plus (MAV+) program for pork until the end of next year.

“Yes, I am,” Dominguez told reporters in a Viber message when asked if the Department of Finance (DOF) is amenable to extending the validity of Executive Order (EO) 133, which hiked the government’s MAV for pork.

The pork MAV+ program, under EO 133, is only applicable during the MAV year 2021-2022, which ends on January 31.

Last month, Agriculture Undersecretary Fermin D. Adriano said only about 22 percent or some 44,000 MT of the 200,000 MT pork MAV+ has been availed by importers.

Adriano attributed the anemic utilization of the MAV+ to the numerous non-tariff measures imposed by certain DA agencies, including the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), in the implementation of the expanded import program.

Dominguez also said he is not “entirely satisfied” with the implementation of measures that modified pork tariffs, citing certain “regulations” imposed by the DA and NMIS which hampered government efforts to bring down the retail price of pork.

“Not entirely, as I understand there were regulations by the DA/NMIS limiting the access of imported pork to certain markets,” he said.

Dominguez said the DOF will study the possibility of extending or adjusting the lower pork tariffs stipulated in President Duterte’s EO 134.

Under EO 134, pork imports within MAV are levied a 10-percent tariff for the first three months and 15 percent for 9 months. Out-quota pork imports are slapped with a 20- percent tariff for the initial three months of implementation, which will increase to 25 percent at the start of the fourth month until the 12th month.

EO 134 will expire on May 18, 2022 with pork tariffs reverting to the usual 30 percent for the in-quota volume and 40 percent for the out-quota volume.

Latest data released by the Bureau of Customs showed that as of December 10, the government had lost P3.679 billion in revenues since it lowered tariffs on pork imports.

The BusinessMirror earlier reported that experts, including a Monetary Board member, proposed that lower pork tariffs must be made permanent and that the revenues must be allocated to the development of the domestic hog industry.

Monetary Board member V. Bruce J. Tolentino told the BusinessMirror this proposal must be included in a livestock development bill that will modernize the country’s meat production.

“I believe that they should be included in the discussions for the livestock development law. Look at the total tariff revenues coming from livestock and that should go all to the domestic livestock sector,” he said.

“This way it is clear where the funds for the program are coming from,” he added.

Tolentino noted that there are ongoing discussions between the legislative and executive branches of the government to pass a livestock development law in the current Congress. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/12/06/permanent-tariff-cuts-on-meat-feeds-pitched/)

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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