By Mortz C. Ortigoza
ROSALES-The Abono Party-list joined the call of organizations of hog and poultry raisers in the Philippines for the resignation of Efren C. Nuestro as director of the Bureau of Animal Industry in view of outright technical smuggling of pork and chicken products.
Abono chair Rosendo So said the letter his group sent to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala stated that Nuestro has been inefficient in enforcing the fair trade and anti-smuggling policies of the government.
So said that the United Broiler Raisers Association, Hog Raisers Association, Abono Party-list, National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. (NFHFI), and other groups saw how smuggling proliferated under the watch of Nuestro.
They recommend on their letter that government should put a stop on products smuggled from Mainland China because of the bird flu there.
“Under the valuation of imported poultry product at the Bureau of Custom by establishing a more credible and timely monitoring of duty there by the DA as it undermines the Maximum Access Volume (MAV); Exhaustion of monitoring system coming from the PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) and the free ports in Subic and Clark,” the groups said.
So said his groups also sought audience with Secretary Alcala to thresh-out the problems on surplus and over importation.
Meanwhile, So declared as “baseless” the pronouncements of the Poultry Information-Early Warning System (LPI-EWS) of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) that there would be shortage of pork and chicken in December this year and the second quarter of next year.
He said he just discussed recently with DA Assistant Secretary Dave Catbagan that there are oversupply of hogs and chicken even for next year.
He said that his groups plan to bring the predicaments of backyard raisers, who composed 70 percent of the hog industry, who are at a loss when to sell their produce.
Eng. So blames over importation of these products.
According to Dr. Zosimo de Leon of NFHFI while the allowed pork import volume is limited to 54 million kilos under the MAV, import data last year showed that a total of 120 million kilos of pork was imported.
De Leon noted that 90 million of offal, fats, and skin which is subject to tiered tariff of five percent, seven percent, and 10 percent, and 30 million of choice cuts which is subject to a 35 percent tariff.
Eng. So in an earlier interview with this paper said that importers usually declare choice cuts of pork as offal.