Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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BritCham lauds Senate’s move to ratify Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act

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The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) welcomes the Senate ratification of the bicameral conference committee report of the Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act–mandating stringent policies and penalties for smugglers, hoarders, cartels, and profiteers.

BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson consistently called on its quick passage, having been tagged as one of the priority bills of the Marcos administration.

British Chamber of Commerce Philippines Executive Director and Trustee Chris Nelson. (THEPHILBIZNEWS File Photo)

“The passage of the Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Act remains a key priority. We know there have been some discussions that could be passed, hopefully before Congress adjourns in June. We have some concerns in terms of the amendment of import entries that should be looked at but overall, the need is to pass this act,” Nelson said in an interview.

The rising concern brought by the impacts of El Niño and the African Swine Fever (ASF) affects local farmers and consumers due to inflation and supply challenges. Further noting the upward trend of inflation which rose to 3.8% in April 2024 from 3.7% in March 2024, Nelson also echoed the statement of the Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Ralph Recto.

“Inflation is still the biggest worry. If we can reduce inflation, GDP growth will be higher,” Recto said.

In line with this advocacy, the British Chamber also calls for fully implementing Executive Order No. 50, mandating the extension of lowered tariffs on pork and other agricultural commodities. Nelson emphasized their recent efforts to ensure food security and ease inflation in the country by closely working with the UK Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) which has cited the Philippines as the UK’s second-largest pork export market in Asia next to China.

The British Chamber recognizes the strong potential of the agriculture sector of the UK and the Philippines which can be utilized to establish partnerships to further enhance its ever-growing bilateral trade relations which grew to £2.8 billion in total trade in goods and services, marking the Philippines as the UK’s 59th largest trading partner.

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