Revisit palm oil import tax regime, gov’t urged
MANILA -Two industry groups on Tuesday urged the government to revisit its policy granting duty-free privileges and other tax-exemptions to importers of palm oil for use in animal feeds, alleging that current regulations are being used in technical smuggling and are hurting local industries.
Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) Chairman Jesus L. Arranza said they have already sent a letter last February to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. -who is also the concurrent agriculture secretary- to express their sentiment, and their intent to work with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to put a stop to the illegal use of imported palm olein.
“The DA should also revisit this policy of allowing zero (value added tax) and duty-free importations of palm olein as this is clearly hurting the local coconut and palm oil farmers and producers,” Arranza said in a letter to the President dated Feb 23.
“There should be strict validation relative to such reasons given by importers and effective monitoring on where these importations are actually utilized,” he added.
Arranza, who is also the president of the Coconut Oil Refiners Association (Cora), said he has informed the president even earlier that has documents that may aid the government in going after traders who secured duty and tax-free privileges from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) but used their imports for purposes other than in compounding animal feeds.
He alleged that these palm olein imports ended up in the market as cooking oil or were channeled to biodiesel producers as substitutes to the more expensive coconut oil.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.