President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday reduced import duty rates on pork as the country’s hog industry continued to grapple with the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

Duterte, in Executive Order (EO) 128, temporarily cut the most favored nation (MFN) tariff rates on certain pork products.

The EO reduces tariff rates on pork imports within the minimum access volume to 5 percent for the first three months; 10 percent for the next seven months and 30 percent after the 12th month.

The president said there was an “urgent need to temporarily reduce the (MFN) tariff rates on fresh, chilled or frozen meat of swine to address the existing pork supply shortage.”

The tariff cuts, which affect both in-quota and out-quota imports, also aim to stabilize prices of pork meat and minimize inflation.

The country’s local pork output has been reduced due to the African swine fever outbreak.

On Feb. 1, Duterte imposed price caps on chicken and pork products: P270 per kilo for pork pigue, P300 per kilo for pork liempo and P160 per kilo for dressed chicken.

The price caps will expire on April 9. John Ezekiel J. Hirro