TRADE Chief: retained 5% tariff on imported MDM to maintain SRP of processed and canned meat products

MANILA- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier reported that the Committee on Tariff and Related Matters, co-Chaired by DTI and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, recommended to the President to keep the MDM tariff rates to 5% to avert any increase in production cost of mass-based canned and processed meat products.   

  President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued EO 123 that retained the 5% tariff rate on imported mechanically deboned meat (MDM) instead of increasing it to 40%. The retention of 5% MDM tariff prevented any huge price increase in the processed and canned meat products.  

MDM, a vital raw material used in the processing of low-priced canned goods, is a meat product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.  

This decision has been finalized with President Duterte’s signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 123, s. 2020 entitled, “Modifying the Rates of Import Duty on Certain Agricultural Products Under Section 1611 of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act” on 15 January 2021. 

The DTI chief supported the issuance of the new order and said, “Keeping the tariff rates at 5% will keep the cost down for processed meat manufacturers and avert unwanted and untimely price increases in processed meat products.” 

“There is no need to increase the tariff to 40% because there are no local producers to protect. Since MDM is a main cost component in low-priced canned and processed meat products, any tariff increase will only lead to the inflation of cost and prices of most canned meat products that are also part of basic goods in our SRP.” He explained

The President issued EO 123 upon the recommendation of DTI and NEDA together with other agencies in the NEDA Board Committee on Trade and Related Matters. These include the Departments of Budget and Management (DBM), Finance (DOF), Agriculture (DA), Energy (DOE), Transportation (DOTR), Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go likewise supported the move to retain the tariff rate for MDM.   

The new EO amends EO 82, signed by the President in June 2019, which prevents the tariff rate to reverting back to a high of 40% at the beginning of 2021 amid the lapse of the country’s Quantitative Restriction (QR) privileges and the eventual enactment of the Rice Tariffication Law (RA 11203) on 31 December 2020.

In support of the government’s efforts to promote economic growth while ensuring affordable food products to its people, Sec. Lopez reiterated, “Our priority has always been to protect the best interest of the consumers and promote their general welfare, especially at this time of the pandemic.” 

“These products are what the majority of the Filipino consumers buy, and during these challenging times, we want to ensure that their access to these basic goods will not be affected by tariffs and price increases,” he added. 

 Based on the information coming from PRU of DTI

MJ Olvina- Balaguer of DZMJ Online, Makabuluhang Jornalismo your hapiness channel

+639053611058, maryjaneolvina@gmail.com

DTI, DA tap LGUs to strengthen price monitoring of Agri Products 

Following the issued Joint Memorandum Circular No. 3 series of 2020 where the role of Local Price Coordinating Councils in the LGUs are being strengthened to manage the unreasonable and excessive price increase of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities (BNPCs), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the Department of Agriculture (DA), discusses with Metro Manila Mayors to assist in strengthening the price stabilization of Agricultural products in their respective jurisdictions.  

This is in view of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) issued Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for Basic Necessities in Wet Markets in the National Capital Region (NCR) through Administrative Circular No. 17 series of 2020 where SRP is implemented in the listed agricultural products in order to lessen the current difficulties of the public brought about by the pandemic and from the series of calamities during the last months of 2020.  

While the DA presented to the LGUs their plans to strategize and stabilize food supply and prices in the wet market such as intensifying price and supply monitoring, enforcement and adjudication by the LGUs and DA; increase of shipments of hogs from ASF-Free areas in Luzon; expand KADIWA programs in partnership of various Agricultural federations; impose Price Ceilings on pork and chicken, and etc., Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, being the Chief of National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC), suggested for the LGU Market Masters to seek a dialogue with retailers and “viajeros” on SRP implementation and come up with a registry of stakeholders involved in the Agri products’ supply chain (from farm to retail) to further investigate or clarify price spikes in the market. 

“DTI’s Consumer Protection Group (CPG), through its Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) and regional monitoring teams, will also be on the ground and assist the DA towards ensuring reasonable prices in the market”, Secretary Lopez underscores.   

“DTI also reminds consumers to be vigilant in the prices of Basic Necessities in the market and report if there are any price discrepancies through Consumer Care Hotline 1-DTI (1-384) or email consumercare@dti.gov.ph“  CPG Undersecretary Castelo added 

For the list of DTI issued SRP for Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities consumers may visit DTI website at  https://www.dti.gov.ph/konsyumer/latest-srps-basic-necessities-prime-commodities/ and for List of SRP for Basic Necessities in Wet Market in NCR, consumers may visit DA website through  https://www.da.gov.ph/laws-and-issuances/administrative-circulars/ (end

Fruit-based processed food in-demand in Europe, says study  

Healthier lifestyles and less sugar consumption in Europe create opportunities for Philippine fruit-based processed food. Dried and frozen fruits, as well as fruit purées, have the biggest potential in these markets.  

The results were from the study, entitled “Market Intelligence EFTA [European Free Trade Agreement] for the Philippines,” conducted in 2020 by the Swiss Import Promotion Program (SIPPO), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) and the Embassy of Switzerland in the Philippines.  

“DTI thanks the Swiss Embassy and SIPPO for partnering with us in these market studies. We will use the results to become more strategic in the products we promote in Europe,” said DTI Undersecretary Adbulgani Macatoman.  

“I hope that Filipino entrepreneurs take this opportunity to enter or expand their market presence in the European market,” he added.  

The three-part study looked into the viability of Philippine textiles, natural ingredients, and processed food to the European market, especially to EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The Philippines and EFTA signed a free trade agreement that has been in full force since January 1, 2020.  

Dried fruit  

Mango is one of the top dried fruits, sold on its own or in mixtures with tropical and European fruits. On the salty side, banana chips are preferred, either on their own or mixed with nuts.  

Philippine entrepreneurs who want to enter or expand in this market should prepare a tailor-made marketing program to target potential buyers.  

Frozen fruit  

Europe is the largest market for frozen fruit and vegetables in the world, representing nearly 50% of the total world imports. Large importing and consuming markets such as Germany, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom offer opportunities for exporters from developing countries. Besides using the frozen fruit in their inland processing facilities, these countries also play an important role as trade hubs re-exporting to foreign markets.  

Fruit purees  

Europe is a large and growing market for tropical fruit purées. The thriving market for beverages consumed at home or out-of-home, the segment of convenience food, the ice-cream, and baby-food industry, and the jams and marmalades industry are creating a growing demand for fruit purees. Organic certifications will also help boost buyer interest.  

Nuts  

Pili nuts have been found to have good nutritional value for well-balanced diets. This makes them popular for end consumers looking for a healthy lifestyle. Targeting high-end markets this product has good potential since the lower market segments are populated with other tropical nuts.  

Maximize social media  

Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are the leading social media platforms in European markets. The study recommended that Philippine companies work on their social media presence in the mentioned platforms.  

Tailor-made market research, sharing “the story behind” the products, and highlighting a Unique Selling Proposition for processed foods will increase the sales of the Philippine products in European markets.  

For export assistance, email the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau at exports@dti.gov.ph.  DTI-EMB offers product consultation, market intelligence, business matching sessions, among others.  

View the entire study link: https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countries/countries-content/philippines/en/SIPPO_MarketStudy_Philippines_ProcessedFood_final.pdf