TerraFirma director Amor Maclang, PMFTC external affairs director Bayen Elero-Tinga, Pilmico president and CEO Sabin Aboitiz, FVP and chief resource officer Maribeth Marasigan, VP for feed sales Hendel Cabral
Aboitiz subsidiary Pilmico Foods, PMFTC (formerly Fortune Tobacco), and TerraFirma recently entered into a partnership to promote high-value crops for the country’s farmers and fishermen under the Mahalin Pagkaing Atin (Love Our Food) program.
“As most of the goods from other countries are cheaper, the tendency for consumers will be to prefer imported goods over our own locally grown produce,” said Sabin Aboitiz, president and CEO of Pilmico, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Equity Ventures.
“That's obviously going to pose a huge problem for us. Even the multitude of humble farming folk will suffer the impact of such a scenario,” he added.
Asked to comment on imports from China, Aboitiz replied, “Imports are good. They keep a check on local prices. You will only import if it makes sense because the price is good.”
Aboitiz qualified, however, “Imports are good, as long as it's not all imports and no local industry. I don't have a problem with imports as long as they pay their duties. I have a problem with imports that come in under the radar—then it's not fair.”
The Asean Free-Trade Agreement (AFTA) takes effect soon, dissolving tariff borders. Goods from neighboring countries will easily penetrate Philippine borders as Asean merges into a single trading market.