MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has welcomed the signing of Executive Order (EO) 123 retaining the tariff rate of imported mechanically deboned meat (MDM) of chicken and turkey at 5 percent until end-2022.
In a statement Monday, the DTI said retaining the tariff rate for imported MDM will keep suggested retail prices (SRPs) of processed and canned meat products.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez has earlier supported the retaining of MDM tariff at 5 percent as there are no local producers that needed to be protected.
“There is no need to increase the tariff to 40 percent because there are no local producers to protect. Since MDM is the main cost component in low-priced canned and processed meat products, any tariff increase will only lead to the inflation of cost and prices of most canned meat products that are also part of basic goods in our SRP,” Lopez said.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the new EO last Jan. 15.
“The new EO amends EO 82, signed by the President in June 2019, which prevents the tariff rate to reverting to a high of 40 percent at the beginning of 2021 amid the lapse of the country’s Quantitative Restriction (QR) privileges and the eventual enactment of the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203) on 31 December 2020,” the DTI said.
In previous statements, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) said reverting imported MDM’s tariff to 40 percent will increase prices of hotdog and canned meat products by 12 to 17 percent.
“These products are what the majority of the Filipino consumers buy, and during these challenging times, we want to ensure that their access to these basic goods will not be affected by tariffs and price increases,” the DTI chief added.
Meanwhile, PAMPI thanked President Duterte for recognizing the petition of the group to keep the prevailing 5 percent tariff on MDM poultry.
“The EO is consistent with the government’s well-defined policy to promote the domestic manufacturing sector, generate employment, protect consumers, and ensure economic growth,” PAMPI said in a statement.
PAMPI president Felix Tukinhoy Jr. added canned products using MDM are always included in relief food packs that are produced by PAMPI members and distributed by government agencies to Filipinos during emergencies due to natural calamities and disease outbreaks.
“MDM is not locally produced. It is a primary raw material in the production of processed meats such as hotdogs, sausages, canned meat products, and similar items which provide the protein needs of our people at affordable prices,” Tukinhoy said. (PNA)