BSP: Timely importation of pork to cut inflation rate

THE timely importation of pork could trim the country’s average inflation rate by at least 3 percentage points, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

“If the importation is done in a timely manner. It can help reduce the average inflation, probably by almost 3 percentage points from the average for the year,” Zeno Ronald Abenoja, senior director at the central bank’s Department of Economic Research, said during a virtual briefing on Thursday.

To recall, the central bank sees inflation rate averaging 4.1 percent this year, faster than its 2-4 percent official target range.

Abenoja’s statement is a response to the question about the impact of Executive Order (EO) 128 on future inflation.

Signed last April 7, EO 128 reduced the import duties on fresh, chilled or frozen pork to 5 percent from 30 percent under the minimum access volume (MAV) quota for three months. The rate will be raised to 10 percent for the succeeding nine months.

Pork imports outside MAV, meanwhile, will be slapped with a lower tariff of 15 percent for the next three months and 20 percent for the succeeding nine months from the current 40 percent.