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SET AT 404,210 MT

DA’s proposal to hike minimum pork imports volume awaiting Duterte signature

The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) proposal to increase the minimum allowed volume of pork imports this year to augment local supply and effectively stabilize prices is now awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s go signal.

“We have submitted to Malacañang  the resolution by the MAV (minimum access volume) advisory council, recommending to increase the MAV for pork for 2021,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said during the House joint committees on Agriculture and Food and Trade and Industry hearing on rising pork prices on Tuesday

“It’s now awaiting [the] President's signature,” Dar said.

The Agriculture chief said the MAV will be increased to 404,210 metric tons (MT) from the current 54,000 MT.

Dar said the increase of the MAV is part of the DA’s plan to augment domestic supply to address rising pork prices.

The DA has earlier said that pork supply deficit this year is expected at almost 400,000 metric tons

To recall, Duterte earlier approved plans to study the possibility of hiking the country’s pork imports to boost domestic supply.

Minimum access volume refers to the volume of a specific agricultural commodity that may be imported with a lower tariff. This is a commitment of the Philippines to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to facilitate trade between countries.

Prices of pork in Metro Manila wet markets shot up to as much as P420 per kilo for liempo, and P400 per kilo for pigue and kasim last month as supply ran low due to the African swine fever.

To address the issue, President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a price ceiling in the capital region for 60 days starting February 8 upon the recommendation of DA.

The price ceiling is P300 per kilo for liempo, P270 per kilo for kasim and pigue, and P160 per kilo for dressed chicken.

The Philippines opened 2021 with a 3-million drop in the total swine inventory, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported, as the government scrambles to boost supply amid the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

Preliminary data released by the PSA showed that the total swine inventory was estimated at 9.72 million heads as of January 01, 2021 versus the 12.80 million reported the previous year. Broken down, 71.1% were raised in backyard farms while the remaining 28.9% were from commercial farms.

Apart from increasing the minimum volume of pork to be imported, the DA is also proposing to lower tariffs from 30% to 5% for this year.—AOL, GMA News