Marcos signs new EO extending lower duty on processed meat products till end-2024

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To keep the prices of hotdogs, luncheon meat and other processed meat products affordable, President Ferdinand R. Marcos signed a new executive order (EO) maintaining the temporary modified rates of import duty for mechanically deboned meat (MDM) of chicken and turkey until next year.

The newly signed EO No.13 extended the effectivity of issuances of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte to temporarily modify the Most Favored Nation (MFN) rates of import duty on MDM of chicken and turkey.

In 2019, Duterte issued EO No. 82, which reduced the MFN rate of MDM products from 40 percent to just 5 percent.

EO 82 was supposed to have lapsed on December 31, 2020 until the former president decided to extend its effectivity until December 31, 2022 through EO 123.

President Marcos, however, has now decided to prolong yet again the adjusted MFN rates, which will now lapse on December 31, 2024.

“There is a need to maintain the reduced tariff rates on mechanically deboned meat of chicken and turkey to ensure the continued supply of essential food products at affordable prices, diversity the country’s market sources and help businesses recover and sustain their operations,” Marcos said.

Marcos signed EO 13 on January 13, 2023, but it was only released to the media on Friday. 

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) will review the said MFN rates after the implementation of EO 13.

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (Pampi) lauded the extension of the current MFN rates, which it said will benefit the majority of Filipinos.

“We would like to thank the President and the Neda Board for fully appreciating the positive impact that the 5-percent tariff on MDM would have on prices of processed meats such as hotdogs, luncheon meats, siomai and other products; on the continued viability of our industry and on the national economy in general,” Pampi President Felix Tiukinhoy said in a brief statement.

Tiukinhoy, however, noted they hope the said MFN rates will only be temporary until local producers of MDM could eventually meet the demand for the said food raw material.  

“We look forward to the day when domestic producers would be able to produce MDM in commercial volumes so that we can revive and expand our support to the local agriculture sector,” Tiukinhoy said.

‘Historical injustice’

Reacting to the issuance of the new EO, Jayson Cainglet, executive director of SINAG, bewailed  what he described as yet another “historical injustice” inflicted to the livestock industry, poultry raisers and local agriculture sector.

In a brief statement, Cainglet said, Again, the economic managers prevailed over the stark realities on the ground. At no point in the last two years that lowering the tariff of mechanically deboned meat [MDM] resulted in reduced prices of processed and canned meat products.”

He added: “Reverting to it’s original tariff rate will have insignificant price increase, based on actual computations.”

“The injustice being suffered by the livestock industry will continue as the concession in lowering MDM tariff was a historical injustice to the livestock industry, poultry raisers and local agriculture sector,” Cainglet said.