DA treading carefully amid calls for pork, chicken import ban
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it will review recommendations by farmers and some politicians to impose a total import ban chicken and pork, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Thursday.
“You have to understand that we have to really study the proposal to ban the importation of chicken and pork. It will have a backlash,” Mr. Piñol told reporters, when asked to comment on proposals to impose a total ban on chicken and pork due to oversupply, as well as the potential threat of African Swine Fever (ASF).
“We will be sued by World Trade Organization members,” Mr. Piñol added in the event of a ban.
Earlier, Ilocos Governor Imee R. Marcos called for a total ban on imports of pork and chicken, to help domestic hog and poultry raisers.
“We should suspend importation to give our local and backyard raisers breathing space to recover from their losses. There’s an oversupply of pork and chicken,” Ms. Marcos said.
Farmers’ group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) has called for a total ban on imports from Europe, while the Pork Producers Federations of the Philippines (ProPork) urged DA to impose a total ban on imports from all countries, to prevent the possible entry of ASF.
“We need to review the best course of action. I cannot simply order a ban on imports,” Mr. Piñol said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio