Philippine President Marcos orders govt agency to ease import process of agri products to ensure food security


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to undertake measures easing the administrative procedures on importing agricultural products and removing non-tariff barriers “to address increasing domestic prices of commodities.”

“It is imperative to further streamline administrative procedures to foster transparency and predictability of policies on the importation of agricultural products in order to help ensure food security, maintain sufficient supply of agricultural goods in the domestic market, and improve local production,” Marcos said in a statement released by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Sunday.

His order is also in line with the four-page Administrative Order No. 20, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on April 18, which emphasized the persistence of administrative constraints and non-tariff barriers causing “continued increase of domestic prices of agricultural commodities despite existing measures.”

Based on the explanation provided by the PCO, non-tariff barriers are “policy measures, other than customs tariff, that restrict trade, including but not limited to quotas, import licensing systems, regulations, and red tape.”

Aside from this, Marcos likewise instructed DA, along with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the Department of Finance (DOF), to ease the procedures and requirements “in the licensing of importers, minimize processing time of application for importation, and exempt licensed trades from submission of registration requirements,” among others.

Meanwhile, the chief executive also ordered the DA, DTI, Philippine Competition Commission, and law enforcement agencies to create a surveillance team tasked to ensure the implementation of the AO.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to undertake measures easing the administrative procedures on importing agricultural products and removing non-tariff barriers “to address increasing domestic prices of commodities.”

Other agencies included in this team are the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Justice, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine National Police.

Moreover, the agricultural agencies, along with DTI, DOF, and BOC, are required to submit a quarterly report on the AO’s implementation. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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