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‘Hotdog prices likely to go up’

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 6/12/2019 Louella Desiderio
a close up of food: ‘Hotdog prices likely to go up’ © AFP ‘Hotdog prices likely to go up’

MANILA, Philippines — Consumers should expect prices of meat products such as hotdogs to increase if the government decides not to maintain the low tariff rate on imported mechanically deboned meat (MDM) or separated meat of chicken which is being used as raw material by meat processors, a food manufacturing firm warned.

“If the government will not put it back to the five percent [tariff], we expect that consumers all over the country will see a price hike of at least 20 percent on the mid-priced to the economical priced hotdogs,” Frabelle Group of Companies president Francisco Tiu-Laurel Jr. told reporters.

Last year, the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) filed a petition asking government to keep the most favored nation tariff rate on MDM of chicken at five percent.

While the PAMPI sought for the retention of the low tariff rate on MDM, poultry growers on the other hand, have called on government to raise the tariff on imported MDM to 40 percent as a form of protection for local growers.

In 2012, the 40 percent tariff on MDM was reduced to five percent as a concession to the quantitative restriction (QR) on rice imports.

Under Executive Order 23 issued in 2017, the tariff rates on agricultural products including chicken MDM must be brought back to its previous levels once the QR is removed.

The Rice Tariffication Law which took effect last March, has replaced the QR on rice imports.

It was earlier reported that PAMPI was questioning the Bureau of Customs’ move to impose a 40 percent tariff on chicken MDM as the group said an EO would be needed for the change in the tariff rate to be in effect.

Laurel said the imposition of 40 percent tariff on chicken MDM  has not yet affected the firm’s production operations.

“We’re going to feel the effects maybe starting next month on our own production because we still have stocks from the old tariff,” he said.

“I believe the government is looking into our association’s request to maintain the five percent on the chicken MDM only and we hope the government would sign retroactive incentive to lower it back to five percent to benefit Filipino consumers,” he said.

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