The Philippine Association of Feed Millers (PAFMI), the largest association of feed millers in the country, strengthens its call for the standardization of corn tariffs.
This is amidst the local agricultural groups’ statement pleading President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to reject the Executive Order that will lower tariffs on rice, pork, corn, and chicken. The Department of Finance (DOF) has likewise been pushing for legislation that seeks to improve local meat production through tariff
According to the Department of Agriculture – National Corn Program (DA-NCP), yellow corn production in the country is at over seven million metric tons, of which 84% is used for animal feeds and food production. In total, the demand for yellow corn is estimated at nearly 9.5 million metric tons.
While the Philippines is 64% corn sufficient, the country still needs the help of importation to support the three million metric ton deficit.
“Corn plays a vital role in ensuring that local livestock farms and even fisheries are able to give the best quality feeds to their animals,” says PAFMI president, Edwin Mapanao. “We are committed to supporting the current administration in its efforts to ensure that the community has access to high- quality food at accessible prices. We are one with President Bongbong Marcos as he works to address the increasing prices of goods, all while prioritizing the stability of livelihoods for the Filipino people,” he adds.
While different agricultural groups have raised concerns that tariff reduction for rice, meat, poultry, and corn will negatively impact farmgate prices with imports flooding the local market, PAFMI shares that, unlike meat and rice, which are both finished products, implementing the five percent standard tariff on yellow corn, a raw material, may help the directive of strengthening and supporting local production of meat, eggs, and fish. “With corn as the most preferred feed energy source, it is crucial that we ensure that the demands of the industry are met so we can produce quality meat, poultry, and eggs for Filipino consumers at affordable prices. One of the ways we can achieve this is by keeping the tariffs low and allowing importers to help fill our supply gaps,” Mapanao continues.
According to PAFMI, focusing on making yellow corn more widely available, affordable, and accessible will help the food value chain in our country grow more sustainably and the reduction of tariffs will not have any adverse effects on local corn farmers since as long as the quality of domestically produced yellow corn adheres to the prescribed standards, feed millers will continue to prioritize locally sourced produce.