President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order No. 133 increasing the MAV of pork meat this year to 254,210 metric tons from 54,210 MT
Under EO 133, the MAV is lower than the initial request of 404,210 MT and represents the volume earlier agreed in a compromise by the government’s economic managers and the Senate
Duterte also signed Proclamation No. 1143 declaring a state of calamity throughout the country on account of the ASF outbreak
The declaration allows the government to utilize the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund as well as the Quick Response Fund to finance efforts to curb ASF cases
President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order (EO) increasing the minimum access volume (MAV) of pork meat imports this year as he finally declares a state of calamity throughout the Philippines due to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.
EO No. 133, signed on May 10, increases the MAV of pork meat to 254,210 metric tons (MT) this year from 54,210 MT, provided any unavailable balance at the end of the year will not be carried over to 2022.
The MAV Management Committee is directed to ensure that the allocation of the volume importation “is fair and open to all qualified importers of pork meat, and in accordance with existing rulers and regulations for the implementation of the agricultural MAVs, and other pertinent laws and regulations.”
EO 133 said the increase in MAV is meant “to quell the existing shortage, decrease retail prices, and stabilize inflation…” The MAV refers to the volume of quantity of a specific agricultural commodity that may be imported with a lower tariff.
The MAV under EO 133 is lower than the initial request of 404,210 MT and represents the volume earlier agreed in a compromise by the government’s economic managers and the Senate.
Senators and various local hog raisers groups earlier opposed the plan to increase the MAV and reduce tariffs for pork imports, saying it would put the local hog industry at a disadvantage.
Aside from lowering the increase in MAV volume, the Senate and economic managers also agreed to adjust tariff rates under EO 128, the order that temporarily reduces the most-favored nation (MFN) tariff rate on pork imports within the MAV for a year.
EO 128, signed last April 7, would reduce the MFN tariff rate on pork imports in-quota from 30% to 5% for the first three months upon effectivity of the order, and to 10% for the fourth to 12th month.
Pork imports outside the MAV would be slapped a lower tariff of 15% for the next three months and 20% for the succeeding nine months from the current 40%.
Under the compromise deal, the agreed adjustment is 10% for in-quota pork imports and 20% for out-quota for the first three months; and 15% for in-quota and 25% for out-quota for the remaining nine months.
Also on May 10, Duterte signed Proclamation No. 1143 declaring a state of calamity throughout the country owing to the ASF outbreak. The declaration will be for a period of one year beginning May 10, unless earlier lifted or extended as warranted.
Lawmakers have been urging for the declaration of state of calamity to allow the government to utilize the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund as well as the Quick Response Fund to finance efforts to curb ASF cases.
Under the Proclamation, all government agencies and local government units are enjoined to assist and cooperate with each other, mobilize the necessary resources to curtail the further spread of the ASF, address the supply issue for pork products, reduce retail prices, and jumpstart the rehabilitation of the local hog industry.
Since the first reported case in the Philippines in 2019, the ASF has spread to 12 regions, 46 provinces, and 493 cities, with new cases being reported despite interventions.
About 95% of pork supply in the Philippines is locally sourced, and while the ASF virus does not pose any health risks to humans, there is no known vaccine to prevent it from spreading to the local livestock and destroying the industry.
According to the Proclamation, the ASF has reduced the country’s swine population by around 3 million hogs, caused more than P100 billion in losses for the local hog sector and allied industries, and led to increased retail prices for pork products.