MANILA, Philippines — Senator Franklin Drilon together with Senator Cynthia Villar and Senator Francis Pangilinan are pushing for the passage of a joint resolution of Congress that seeks to stop Executive Order (EO) No. 128 which lessens the tariff on pork importation and increases the cap on pork imports by 650%.
“By law, the authority of the President to fix tariff rates while Congress is not in session can be withdrawn or revoked by virtue of a joint resolution,” Senator Drilon said.
Drilon added that he would file a joint resolution for the Executive Order’s repeal amid an ongoing Senate investigation of allegations of corruption in the importation of pork and other agricultural products.
The senators had doubts that the Department of Agriculture had strong basis in recommendation of increasing the minimum access volume (MAV) for imported pork.
Drilon stated the senators’ stand that EO 128 and not the African Swine Flu virus, would be the one to kill the backyard hog raisers.
“The irrational and drastic decision to increase the MAV serves as a final ‘nail in the coffin …,’” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson also expressed his doubts over Malacañang’s move to submit EO 128 while Congress was on recess.
“Did the President even attempt to call for a special session of Congress so we can act on this recommendation increase or adjust the MAV? Isn’t it suspicious that the recommendation was submitted to the Senate on March 26, the last session day before the Lenten break, and there will be no session until May 16?” he asked on Senate hearing on Monday.
Reporting by: Marcus Perez