Instead of senators, President Rodrigo Duterte may want to direct to some 80,000 hog raisers and their dependents his appeal to give Executive Order 128 a chance, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.
Lacson said the Senate has no choice on the matter at this time because the reduced tariff rates and increased in-quota minimum access volume (MAV) under EO 128 are already in effect.
“First, the Senate has no choice since the reduced tariff rates and the increased in-quota MAV have already taken effect,” he said in a statement, after Malacanang asked senators to give EO 128 a chance.
“The appeal might as well be directed toward the 80,000 backyard hog raisers, their families, farm hands and all others now being affected by the EO, both directly and indirectly,” Lacson added.
Also, Lacson said the Senate could have given its inputs based on its consultations and research – had there been inter-departmental courtesy consultations.
“Kung meron lang sanang nangyaring inter-departmental courtesy consultation, since EO 128 is a consequence of a delegated authority granted by Congress to the President anyway, we could have given our input based on our own consultations and research,” he said.
He reiterated that the National Economic and Development Authority’s conclusion that demand for pork has not changed in spite of the pandemic is flawed.
Lacson recalled during the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing that the 50% contraction registered by the hotel and restaurant operations should easily affect demand, since some 8.2 million foreign tourists who came to the Philippines before the pandemic are now eating pork somewhere else outside the country.
“Thus, at 15 kilograms of pork consumption per capita as estimated would mean 120 million kilograms less pork. That should be substantial enough to consider when they came up with the 350,000,000 kilograms in additional in-quota MAV allocation,” he said.