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Sablay Salceda: GMA assures livestock farmers she ain’t pushing for zero tariff on meat

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House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo clarified Wednesday that she did not advocate for the importation of meat products at reduced tariff rates.

In a statement sent to House reporters, Arroyo said there are “more substantive drivers of inflation” than meat products as cited by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“Last night, the Speaker’s office received an inquiry from Sinag (Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura) Chair Rosendo So on whether or not Speaker GMA was advocating for the importation of meat products at reduced tariff rates,” the statement reads.

“Upon clarification with the Speaker, she clearly stated that she is not advocating for the importation of meat products at reduced tariff rates considering that there are other more substantive drivers of inflation as cited in the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority) survey,” it added.

According to the PSA, the inflation hit a five-year high of 5.7 percent due to the rise in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

It was Albay Rep. Joey Salceda who claimed that Arroyo wanted zero tarifs on meat as part of her anti-inflation strategy proposed to President Rodrigo Duterte.

These measures include cutting down tariff on fish imports to zero; for the National Food Authority to buy 500,000 metric tons of well-milled rice; and for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to increase by an additional 25 basis point its key rates.

Salceda is Arroyo’s special focal person for Counter-Inflation Measures. (PNA)