Duterte approves review of MAV on pork amid projected shortage this year
President Rodrigo Duterte has given the go-signal to increase the importation of pork products to cover the projected shortfall for this year which has already been affecting market prices.
In the "Virtual Presser," Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture to review the Minimum Access Volume or MAV as the demand for pork supplies this year is at 1,618,355 metric tons.
MAV refers to the volume of quantity of a specific agricultural commodity that may be imported with a lower tariff.
"Given that the current Minimum Access Volume or MAV is 54,210 metric tons, the DA has recommended studying that the MAV be expanded just enough to cover the projected shortfall for the year," Nograles said.
He said the MAV Management Council is yet to discuss the additional pork supplies that need to be imported and this has to be approved by Congress also.
"What we're going to do if ever would be only a temporary solution; temporary way for us to ensure that the prices would not really surge, that it would not affect our inflation, the food prices, and all other economic repercussions that may happen if we're not going to guard against it," the official said.
He noted that the government also needs to protect the local hog suppliers and producers, especially the small ones.
The government has been attributing the shortage of pork supply to African swine fever that has been affecting some areas in the country.
"ASF is like COVID of hogs. We're facing COVID; the hog industry is also facing a different virus. So, we're really having challenges when it comes to supply," Nograles said.
Duterte has issued an order placing a cap ceiling in the prices of some pork and chicken products for two months.
With the price cap, the affected sector has threatened to have a pork holiday.
While it is up to Agriculture Secretary William Dar to address the threat for pork holiday, Nograles said if it happens, this will affect the various stakeholders.
In a separate televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that imported pork being sold in supermarkets are also subject to price ceiling.
Supermarkets will also be required to place a label that the pork products are imported, he said.
Aside from the possible increase in the MAV for pork supplies, Duterte also gave his nod on the DA's recommendation to create a sub-task group on economic intelligence to go after smugglers, profiteers and hoarders of agricultural products.
Nograles said the group will be led by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry
The members are the Department of Justice; Department of Interior and Local Government; National Bureau of Investigation; Philippine National Police; Bureau of Customs; Philippine Competition Commission; National Security Council; and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency. Celerina Monte/DMS