The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines has welcomed the recent approval to extend the lowered tariff rates on pork and other agricultural commodities until 2028. Along with this is the decision of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to approve the Comprehensive Tariff Program for 2024-2028 to calibrate the current tariff rates and ensure supply and enhance efforts on inflation.

In a recent report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the inflation rate has continued to pose an upward trend, reaching 3.9% in May 2024 from 3.8% the previous month. NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan emphasized the continuous efforts of the government to ease inflation through conducting a review of the current tariff structure of the Philippines to ensure that inflation rate stays within the government’s target band of 2% to 4%.

“The government will continue to implement lasting policy reforms to ensure we address the drivers of food and non-food inflation sustainably. We want to maintain a macroeconomic environment conducive to investment and high-quality job creation—an environment that would allow us to hit the Marcos Administration’s development targets by 2028,” Secretary Balisacan said.

Having advocated for the lowered tariffs for pork in two consecutive years, the British Chamber lauded the move to extend it until the next four years as this will assist in ensuring food security and manage inflation.

“Inflation remains the key issue. And that has been remarked upon by Secretary Recto. If we get inflation low, that would certainly help GDP. In that context, I think that what could be done to help with inflation, is the full implementation of the Executive Order No. 50 on the lower tariffs particularly on pork. We work very hard to get quality pork from the UK here. The numbers are still 5.7% is still a good growth rate. Obviously, everybody wants to see it higher. I think it’s tracking the right way. The key is getting that inflation number particularly on food down,” BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson said.

The British Chamber actively works with the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and relevant national government agencies in the Philippines to introduce British pork in the local market to assist in supply and inflation. Along with this advocacy is its support towards the passage of the Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act to address issues on smuggling, hoarding, and profiteering that greatly affects the local agricultural sector.

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