Philippines cuts rice tariff, revises pork duty to ensure supply

Buildings along the Pasig River during dusk in Makati, Metro Manila, the Philippines, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The Philippines’ economy is struggling to gain momentum as elevated numbers of Covid-19 cases hamper reopening efforts and destroy jobs.- Bloomberg

MANILA, May 16 (Bloomberg: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte approved temporary adjustments on rice and pork tariffs to ensure sufficient supply and keep prices from climbing.

The "most-favored nation” tariff rates for rice were cut to 35% for one year, according to a statement issued by the presidential office on Saturday.

Duties on pork products were adjusted to 10% for in-quota imports and 20% for out-quota imports for the first three months, and to 15% in-quota and 25% out-quota for the following nine months.

An executive order issued earlier this year sharply cut pork tariffs on a graduated basis, but was amended to allow the recovery of the local hog industry.

Meanwhile, the Philippines will ease movement restrictions in the capital region and nearby areas as the economy struggles to crawl out of recession and as coronavirus infections ease from a peak in April.

Metro Manila and adjacent provinces, the nation’s economic engine, will shift to the second-lowest level of curbs called "general community quarantine” until end-May, the government said on Thursday.

The South-East Asian nation said it’s expecting 202 million vaccine doses to arrive this year.

Heightened restrictions will still be in place despite the shift to GCQ, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Only essential travel into and out of the capital and surrounds will be allowed.

Public transportation will remain operational at limited capacities and indoor dine-in services will be capped at 20% of venue or seating capacity while outdoor dining will be at 50%. - Bloomberg
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