Pork producers in the Philippines are threatening a 5-day pork “holiday” unless something is done about what they describe as “rampant smuggling of meat.” The producers say the smuggled meat is usually sold at lower prices and putting local producers out of business. They held production off the market for two days last weekend in protest of the government’s lack of action. The lack of acceptable response from the government is behind the planned five-day holiday and poultry producer say they will join the pork effort.
The Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines says meat imports have increases substantially and thirty percent of those imports are undeclared or under-declared. A number of dummy corporations have been set up to import meat and some importers have been falsifying declarations saying meat is fat or offal and therefore subject to a five-percent tariff instead of a 35 percent tariff.
The heads of the National Meat Inspection Service and Bureau of Animal Industry have been relieved of their duties, the pork producers say changes need to be made at the Bureau of Customs as well.