Marcos instructs Department of Agriculture to simplify agricultural product import process

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has instructed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to implement measures to ease administrative procedures for importing agricultural products and remove non-tariff barriers in order to address the rising domestic prices of commodities. This directive was issued to ensure food security, maintain a sufficient supply of agricultural goods in the local market, and enhance local production.

The President’s order aligns with Administrative Order No. 20, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on April 18, which highlighted the presence of administrative constraints and non-tariff barriers that contribute to the continuous increase in domestic prices of agricultural commodities.

Non-tariff barriers, as explained by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), refer to policy measures other than customs tariffs that restrict trade, such as quotas, import licensing systems, regulations, and bureaucratic processes.

Additionally, President Marcos tasked the DA, along with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the Department of Finance (DOF), to simplify procedures and requirements for importer licensing, reduce processing time for import applications, and waive registration requirements for licensed traders, among other directives.

Furthermore, a surveillance team comprising the DA, DTI, Philippine Competition Commission, and law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Customs, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Justice, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine National Police, will oversee the implementation of the Administrative Order.

The agricultural agencies, along with DTI, DOF, and BOC, are also mandated to submit quarterly reports on the implementation of the order.

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