Press Release
April 27, 2021


Sen. Grace Poe challenged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to regain the trust of hog raisers by working together towards long-term instead of band-aid solutions.

"There's much trust that was lost between the DA and its stakeholders that really needs to be rebuilt. I think this is a fundamental factor that will enable the success of any future endeavor," said Poe.

Stakeholders from the local hog farming sector have raised concerns on the minimum access volume (MAV) that was set without proper consultation since they were apparently kicked out of the MAV advisory council meeting last February.

Executive Order No.128 that was signed earlier increases the MAV for pork imports to 350,000 metric tons (MT) from 54,210 MT and lowers pork tariffs from 30 percent to a mere five percent that would incur a P13.68-billion loss in government revenues.

Poe described the DA and the Bureau of Customs' inspection of meat at the borders as "porous", which resulted in a devastating three million pigs lost to the African swine fever (ASF).

"There will be instances when things like this will happen again. I hope that the answer is not always to allow certain sectors to get away with so much profit at the expense of the income that can go to the government which can very well be spent on other programs that are needed for our countrymen," said the senator.

Poe earlier expressed her intention to set aside funds for animal disease detection and research facilities in the upcoming budget discussions to better prevent another wave of ASF and provide long-term solutions for the agriculture sector.

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