The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) clarifies recent articles mentioning that the agency is “proposing” to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to withdraw its position to cut tariff rates on imported pork. Although there is such a petition, it is the industry’s private sector-partners who proposed the reduction of tariff on pork and rice.

This is a result of a virtual consultation on February 2 to discuss the proposed tariff modification on rice and pork importation.

The consultation also aimed to gather inputs, suggestions, and reactions from the private sector-partners on the tariff adjustment proposal that the DA submitted to the Tariff Commission (TC).

This resulted in the recommendation of the private sector-partners from PCAF Committee on International Trade and Export to withdraw from TC the petition for tariff reduction in rice and pork importation due to adverse impacts on the local rice and swine industries.

In response, DA Undersecretary-designate for Livestock Dr. William Medrano said that the Department values the voice of the private sector-partners and that their comments and suggestions are heard and being brought up to the proper authorities.

“While we have to protect our producers, we also have to protect our consumers which is a balancing act. There is a need for us to meet halfway. We must also reduce the inflation brought about by the rising prices of food commodities,” he added.

This year, as early as January 19, the industry’s private sector-partners have been meeting DA concerned officials, through PCAF National Banner Program Committee (NBPC) on Poultry, Livestock, and Corn (PLC), to discuss issues on pork supply, prices and other swine industry concerns.

Dialogues were also conducted at the National Agriculture and Fisheries (NAF) Council on January 21 and at the NBPC on PLC on January 26 about pork supply, prices, control and management of the African Swine Fever with the DA officials.

PCAF, as a governance mechanism of the DA, facilitates broad-based participatory process in the agriculture and fisheries sector, provides the venue for the exchange of views and information on the issues at hand which eventually lead to agreements of the committee. The position taken by the committee is then forwarded to the DA and other concerned agencies.

Over the years, PCAF continuously conducts consultations to discuss issues and concerns affecting the sector. As of this writing, PCAF NBPC-PLC has already passed 12 policy resolutions. ###JC