THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has commended local flour millers for its commitment to stabilize supply of flour in the market to maintain prices of pan de sal and other bakery products.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala welcomed the move by the Philippine Association of Flour Millers Inc. (Pafmil) as it commits to provide more supply of flour to maintain its price—as well as stabilize the prices of pan de sal, tasty bread and other bakery products.
“In a letter dated July 18, Pafmil has assured that they will maintain the price of flour at present levels during the effectivity of the provisional antidumping duty,” Alcala said.
He also said that Pafmil President Sabin Aboitiz also assured that the millers’ group would maintain higher inventories to supply the market efficiently and without delay.
Earlier, Pafmil millers filed a petition to increase the tariff on imported flour to 20 percent, from the current 7 percent. The group is particularly against the import of cheap flour from Turkey, which has been easing out local flour millers.
Ric Pinca, Pafmil executive director, said that the dumping activities by Turkish flour importers violate the World Trade Organization rules to which most countries—including the Philippines and Turkey—abide by under the world free-trade regimen.
Dumping occurs when a country exports a commodity at prices lower than its domestic prices. When a country exports products at dumping prices, it is engaged in unfair trade.
“Thus, we are up against a group of flour exporters engaging in unfair trade,” he said.
Pafmil clarified that the antidumping petition is only against Turkish flour, noting that their appeal is a reply to Turkey’s unfair trade activity. At present, there are Indonesian flour, Vietnamese flour, Australian flour and even Indian flour being exported to the Philippines.