MANILA: The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) said today it would form a “technical working group” with Malaysia and Indonesia to address its concern over alleged smuggling and dumping of palm oil into the Philippines.
The agreement was reached after the DA on Friday last week sought a temporary ban on palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, saying local coconut and oil palm farmers were hurting from “extremely low” prices due to “dumping” of the commodity by the world’s two biggest producers.
Philippine Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol, in a Facebook post, said he met with Malaysian and Indonesian government representatives yesterday and told them to keep their palm oil exports to the Philippines at levels that would not hurt its coconut and oil palm industries.
Pinol also asked Malaysia and Indonesia to check on reports of the smuggling of crude and refined palm oil into the Philippines, he said.
He also urged Indonesia and Malaysia to open their markets to products from neighbouring Philippines, especially coconut-based products, to “correct the trade imbalance”.