Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao bucks lower corn duties

The government should consider the situation of Filipino farmers struggling to sell their produce and should not move to lower tariffs and raise the minimum quota for imported corn.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao has objected to the proposal to cut the most favored nation tariffs for imported corn, from 35 percent to 5 percent for in-quota imports and 15 percent for out-quota imports.

The retired boxing champ-turned-presidential bet pointed out that Filipino farmers were suffering because of the entry of smuggled and cheap agricultural imports.

“For me, it’s not right to lower the corn tariff because corn imports will flood us, just like what happened with the rice importation before. Our corn farmers, especially here in Isabela, will suffer. That should not happen because they will suffer,” Pacquiao said.

He went on: “They are already complaining about difficulties in selling palay, and we will add corn to the mix. Let’s consider the welfare of our farmers. We should value them more and help them.”

He made the remarks on Thursday in Isabela, which produces the bulk of the country’s corn supply.

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