At least P17B pork smuggled under Aquino admin, says hog industry
The livestock industry demanded a stop to the unabated smuggling of hog meat and parts which has grown to at least P17 billion since 2010, and insisted on stricter measures which include the approval of a bill declaring the smuggling of agricultural commodities as economic sabotage.
The livestock sector, in a statement addressed to President Aquino that came out as printed advertisement, said it is only under the Aquino administration that their group experienced so much losses.
They also decried the loss of 80,000 jobs due to smuggling.
They said the hog inventory from backyard farms in the past six years has dropped to 7.95 million from 9.54 million in 2010.
“Now even, commercial hog farmers are affected by smuggling,” said in the statement.
Citing reports from trading partners, they said 202 million kilos of pork were smuggled from 2010 to mid-2015, which translates to P9 billion in revenue losses.
Last year, they said technical smuggling resulted in the illegal entry of 252 million kilos of hog meat, 70 percent of which were misdeclared as offal, fat, rind and skin.
This resulted in another P8 billion in revenue losses because while imported hog meat is levied 40 percent, offal and lesser valued other parts are imposed only a duty of 5-10 percent.
They said prices of hog meat have dropped so low, especially during the last Christmas season, due to smuggling.
The livestock sector reminded Aquino about their issues since the first day of his presidency. They said all the meetings with government agencies, congressional hearings and approved resolutions led to nothing.
“For the first time, all of us from the livestock industry including allied sectors are one in asking the Aquino government to end smuggling,” they said.
They demanded the following:
Stricter enforcement of the “quarantine first policy” prior to the payment of duties to ensure the safety of imported food and agricultural products;
A 100 percent quarantine test and inspection at the port of entry on imported pork or meat with 5-10 percent declared tariff, on the imports of the top 10 meat importers last year, and the imports of first-time importers;
Stricter rules on the accreditation of importers, including a declaration on where imported offal, fat, rind and skin will be used; and financial report on accredited importers for the past five years certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Securities and Exchange Commission;
Stricter enforcement of labelling requirements by the agricultural and health departments; and
The immediate signing of an approved bill declaring the smuggling of agricultural commodities as economic sabotage.