Senator Kiko Pangilinan estimates that the government will lose about P11 billion in tariff revenue should the pork tariff be reduced from 30 percent to 5 percent.

“Ang estima namin mga P11 billion eh,” Pangilinan said in a media interview on how much the government may lose on its plan to cut tariff in response to the African swine fever (ASF) which has reduced pork supply and raised pork prices.

“At ‘yung taripa, ang layunin nyan (ay) para ‘yung industriya na apektado ay pwedeng gamitin ‘yung pondo para mabigyan ng suporta,” the veteran legislator added.

The seasoned lawmaker said this means the source of financial support for the domestic hog-raisers will also be reduced.

“Mawawala din ‘yung suporta sa magbababoy kung ibababa ang taripa. Eh talagang mayroong malaki, tiba-tiba, ang kumikita rito. Binaba na ang taripa, tinaas pa ‘yung volume nung pwedeng i-import,” the senator said.

Based on his computations, at the current 30 percent in-quota tariff, the collections for imported pork would be P13.8 billion, assuming the Minimum Access Volume for pork is increased to 404,210 metric tons.

If the tariff is reduced to 5 percent, the collection would be P2.3 billion, a difference of P11.5 billion.

If the tariff is reduced to 5 percent, the collection would be P2.3 billion, a difference of P11.5 billion.

Former Congressman Nicanor Briones, who is the president of the Agriculture Sector Alliance of the Philippines and vice president for Luzon of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines gave the same estimate on the projected government revenue loss during the February 22 hearing of the Senate Committee of Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform on rising food prices.

Pangilinan earlier delivered a privilege speech and filed a resolution urging the President to declare a state of calamity due to the severe impact of ASF on the swine industry.

The resolution was later adopted by the Senate.

The declaration of a State of Calamity would allow the government to augment the funds of the Department of Agriculture for calamity relief and rehabilitation, providing indemnity funds for hog farmers and additional funding for biosafety measures.

He said this would address the lack of funds of the DA on the ASF outbreak response.

“Ang sinasabi ng DA, P2.6 billion lang ang pondo nila ngayon for 2021 sa African swine fever. Ang budget nila na estima nila para matugunan ito ay halos mahigit P8 billion. So may halos P6 billion na kulang,” Pangilinan said.

“Affected hog farmers should be given cash for work opportunities.”

He also suggested that affected hog farmers should be given cash for work opportunities.

“Habang malaki ang nawala nilang kita dyan sa babuyan nila dahil naubos, nangalahati na, bigyan sila ng cash for work para meron pa rin silang kinikita at panggastos sa araw-araw at sila ang imobilisa para sa border control, biosafety protocol, pagbabantay, pagdi-disinfect, etc. At ‘yung pondo na ‘yon, manggagaling nga sa calamity fund,” he stressed.

The Senate recently adopted a resolution calling for the constitution of the Committee of the Whole to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the food crisis brought about by the severe impacts of the ASF outbreak.


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