BOC records P3.6B foregone revenues from pork imports in April-Dec

Pork carcass. File photo from the Department of Agriculture.
  • The Bureau of Customs collected P3.3 billion from swine meat imports from April 7 to December 10
  • This reflects revenues losses of P3.6 billion as a result of the temporary reduction in tariffs on the product

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected P3.3 billion from swine meat imports from April 7 to December 10, 2021, and estimates foregone revenues of P3.6 billion for the period arising from tariff cuts on the product.

Executive orders were issued in April and May that cut tariffs on incoming swine meat shipments and temporarily increased the allowable import volumes to address the African Swine Fever’s (ASF) impact on pork meat supply and price in the Philippines.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, BOC said that from April 7 to December 10 this year, pork imports reached 214 million kilograms.

EO 128, signed on April 7, reduced the most-favored nation (MFN) tariff rate on pork imports within the minimum access volume (MAV) to 5% and the tariff on pork imports outside MAV to 15% for the first three months of the order’s effectivity. EO 128 was in effect from April 7 to May 14.

EO 134, signed on May 15, superseded EO 128 as a compromise between the government’s economic team and the Senate in consideration of the effects of the reduced tariff on the local hog industry. EO 134 adjusted the tariff on pork imports to 10% within the MAV or in-quota and to 20% outside the MAV or out-quota for the first three months, and 15% for in-quota and 25% for out-quota from the fourth to the 12th month. EO 134’s one-year effectivity began on May 15, 2021.

READ: Duterte cuts rice import duty, modifies pork tariffs

Meanwhile, EO 133, signed on May 10, increased the MAV for pork imports in 2021 from 54,210 metric tons (MT) to 254,210 MT, provided that any unavailable balance at the end of 2021 will not be carried over to 2022.

READ: EO signed raising pork import MAV to 254,210 MT

Dominguez earlier said he expected revenue losses from lower pork import tariffs to reach P11.2 billion this year under EO 134. Citing estimates from the National Economic and Development Authority, Dominguez said the projected savings of P50.1 billion to be gained by consumers from lower pork prices and the subsequent easing of inflationary pressures far outweigh the state revenue loss from the temporary tariff cuts.

Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the volume of pork imports started spiking in March and continuously grew in April to May, but has dropped starting June. Volumes recorded an increase in August but declined again starting September.