House to summon BOI, DTI officials

THE House committees on agriculture and food security will summon officials of the Department of Trade and Industry and Bureau of Investment (BOI) to a joint congressional inquiry, to shed light on the alleged grant of a seven-year tax holiday, tax incentives for importation and other perks to Charoen Pokphand, a company from Thailand.

Rep. Agapito Guanlao (Butil Party-list) said the BOI should also explain its move allowing the operation by the Charoen Pokphand of a P2 billion Thai Agricultural project, which provides for the establishment of hog and poultry farms in the country.

Guanlao said the plan could be what the local hog industry leaders and
Swine Development Council called “the last nail on the coffin of the local hog trade.”

In his privilege speech, Guanlao said the BOI granted the perks to Charoen Pokphand despite protests from local hog growers.

Guanlao said the BOI has granted the firm a 30-percent tax incentive to
allow it to import corn and raw feed materials.

Aside from the seven-year tax holiday, Guanlao said the Thai company would also enjoy tariff free importation of parent hogs, machines, corn and other feed ingredients, thus gravely affecting the corn and sugar cane farmers.

Guanlao said it is lamentable that the BOI appears to have put aside the interest of the local industry, which is still suffering from the negative effect of the losses amounting to P28.5 billion because of technical smuggling in the past three years.

“It is time for Congress to start a deep probe into this at the soonest possible time,” Guanlao declared.

Guanlao said the lower house should give emphasis to the statement made by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala that the entry of Charoen Pokphand, which is 100-percent foreign owned, will have an adverse impact on the backyard hog industry.

Guanlao also revealed that the plan apparently was not in consultation with the agriculture department.

Rosendo So, director of the Swine Development Council, said the CP project would establish and operate hog stock farms in Tarlac and Pangasinan, and six broiler farms in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija. These projects plan to start operations in February 2013.

So, who also chairs the Party-List group Abono, said aside from hog and poultry raisers, related industries like the cultivation of corn and sugarcane — both ingredients of animal feed — would be affected.

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