By Billy Begas
Deputy Speaker Eddie Villanueva sensed that rent-seeking individuals in pork importation sector and in the government connived to make profits for themselves at the expense of our 68,000 local hog producers.
Villanueva made the statement as he urged President Rodrigo Duterte to terminate Executive Order 128, which increases the volume and lowers the tariff on pork imports basically “killing” the local hog industry.
“The circumstances which led to the issuance of such order that allows unhampered importation of pork more than our country’s demands are suspicious,” Villanueva said.
He explained that it was not established that the local producers cannot meet the demand and the volume of allowed pork to be imported has no basis and excessively more than the consumption demand of the country.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) show that the annual average production of Filipino hog industry is pegged at 2.25 million metric tons (MT), much higher than the 1.85 million MT average annual consumption of Filipinos.
Villanueva said that the “fictitious nature” of companies involved in pork importation “seems indicative that this is done in connivance with scrupulous individuals in the government”.
The Representative of CIBAC said he will file a resolution to appeal to the President to abrogate EO 128.
“Dito sa amin sa Bulacan, bagsak na bagsak ang kabuhayan ng mga magbababoy. Wala na din silang ganang magpatuloy sa negosyo kasi tatalunin lang sila sa presyuhan ng mga imported na karneng baboy at kulang din ang ayuda ng gobyerno para tulungan ang industriya. Kaya, kami ay nanawagan sa mas makatwiran, mas pinag-aralan at mas may pagsa-alang-alang na polisiya para sa ating mga magbababoy. Umpisahan natin iyan sa pagbasura ng Executive Order 128 at sundan ng konkretong suporta ng gobyerno para matulungan ang mga magbababoy na nawalan ng mga alaga dahil sa sakit na African swine fever na makabawi uli,” the House leader added.
The high price of pork in the market is being blamed on the shortage of supply.