The Department of Finance (DoF) said the Bureau of Customs (BoC) has noticed a rise in pork imports as a result of a series of executive orders (EOs) that decreased tariffs on arriving swine meat shipments and temporarily raised the allowed import volumes.
The DoF said in a statement on Tuesday that pork imports increased to 76 million kilograms (kg) from April to early June, citing a BoC report. Imports for combined in-quota and out-quota shipments between April 9 and June 11 accounted for 69 percent of the total 110 million kg of swine meat brought into the country from January 1 to June 11.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero was quoted in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd as noting that importers took in 24.45 million kg of pork in April, another 36.5 million kg in May, and 15.14 million kg from June 1-11.
According to him, shipments in April 2021 were 500 percent higher than imports of 4.07 million kg in April 2020, while shipments in May 2021 were 506 percent higher than imports of 6.02 million kg in the same month last year.
In-quota (inside minimum access volume or MAV) shipments totaled 10.46 million kg in April, 10.47 million kg in May, and 2.78 million kg from June 1 to 11.
Out-of-quota imports totaled 14 million kg in April, 26.03 million kg in May, and 12.36 million kg from June 1 to June 11.
“For the period April 9 to June 11, 2021, the BoC posted a total collection of 846.96 million pesos. We estimated the revenue losses from EOs 128 and 134 to have reached P1.356 billion for this period,” Guerrero also stressed.
The Finance department explained that EO 128, which lowered pork import tariffs to 5 percent within its MAV and 15 percent outside MAV for the first three months was in effect from April 7 to May 14.
EO 134, which superseded EO 128, meanwhile, set tariffs on pork imports under the MAV to 10 percent for the first three months, and 15 percent in the next nine months.
BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA