Solon files resolution urging DA, Neda to maintain tariffs on corn imports

A lawmaker has filed a resolution urging the Executive branch to maintain tariff rates for corn as this will encourage farmers to continue planting the crop.

House Deputy Speaker Rufus B. Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City filed House Resolution (HR) 2289 which called on the Department of Agriculture (DA), the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) and the Tariff Commission to “defer lowering of corn tariff and maintain tariff rates for corn.”

HR 2289 noted that the DA formed a technical working group (TWG) to “study the lowering of corn import duties to provide access to cheaper animal feeds in the agriculture sector.”


The DA has repeatedly defended the creation of the TWG, saying its role is to study and explore the possible reforms in the country’s tariff structure of yellow corn and identify necessary measures to protect farmers if tariff reforms would be pursued.

The DA emphasized in numerous events that the creation of the TWG was not meant for the sole purpose of lowering yellow corn tariffs but to make the industry competitive through productivity-enhancing and safety net measures.

HR 2289 noted the opposition of various groups, including the Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PhilMaize), Bayanihan sa Agrikultura, and the United Broiler Raisers’ Association, to the proposed tariff structure reform.

“The state should recognize the need to keep our local farmers motivated, encourage them to continue planting, and keep their production stable by implementing a more strategic approach to balance enterprise resource planning,” according to the resolution, which was filed on October 11.

Last month, the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. (PAFMI) urged the government to review the current tariff structure for yellow corn imports, particularly for non-Asean yellow corn imports which are slapped with a 50-percent tariff. The group said government should consider reducing the tariff to temper the increase in animal feed costs.

With the current tariff structure, PAFMI said imported corn from non-Asean countries “is bloating the Philippines’s import costs to unrealistic levels.”

The country has a three-tiered tariff structure for corn: 5 percent for imports from Asean member-countries, 35 percent for supply falling under the minimum access volume (MAV) committed by the country to the World Trade Organization, and 50 percent for imports over MAV.

“At a 50-percent tariff, feed corn imports could lead to a landed cost as high as P30.10 a kilo,” PAFMI said. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/09/29/feed-millers-push-for-review-of-tariff-structure-for-yellow-corn-imports/)

Corn growers led by PhilMaize opposed the proposal of feed millers to reduce the tariff on yellow corn imports, arguing that the measure will only benefit a “few” and may even be detrimental to the domestic corn industry. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/09/30/corn-growers-vs-feed-millers-bid-to-cut-tariff-on-yellow-corn/)

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