MANILA -The British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) on Wednesday said it was supporting proposals to extend the lower tariff rates on major agricultural products, especially on pork, hoping that the measure would be maintained until next year.
The BCCP said it was part of the business group’s advocacies to help ensure food security and supply for consumers.
“The British chamber is in full support of this potential extension. We know that it will help maintain affordable prices on the food items, and also highlight food security in the country,” BCCP executive director Chris Nelson said in a statement.
He said it would help deal with inflation, as well as with issues concerning the overall global supply chain.
Nelson said the extension would also help in strengthening the trade relations between the Philippines and the United Kingdom, given that the European country exported 30,000 tons of UK pork to the Southeast Asian country last year.
“We’re really hoping that the lowered tariff rates will be maintained as this would definitely reinforce UK-Philippine trade relations,” Nelson added.
President Marcos issued Executive Order no. 10 in late December last year, extending an even earlier issuance — Executive Order No. 171 — which reduced import duty rates on fresh, chilled, or frozen pork, as well as of corn and rice.
The extension was until Dec 31, 2023, with the Department of Finance (DOF) saying it was implemented to control inflation and ensure food security in the Philippines.
The DOF said they are eyeing a review of the measure next month to assess if an extension was necessary and if it would still cover all the commodities that were stipulated under the latest issuance.