By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking at safeguard measure as it looked to help the local poultry raisers, who have been seriously injured due to supply glut abetted by uncontrolled importation of chicken.
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said he was in discussion with Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol on the possibility of implementing safeguard duty on chicken imports.
“We are double checking now if there si a need to bring back the safeguard measure on chicken imports,” Lopez said.
He cited that local poultry raisers are currently in pain following falling chicken prices to as low as P90 per kilo at the supermarket.
But Lopez said that the government will look at the long term stressing there is a need to help grow the small poultry raisers, not just the big corporations.
“We will help them,” he stressed.
As of November 2018, importation of chicken leg quarter already reached 61,434,860 kilograms as against the whole of 2017 with only 44,834,405 kgs.
Earlier, Piñol has called on the stakeholders to agree among themselves to increase the farmgate price of chicken by at least P10 every week until such time they are no longer incurring losses.
Farmgate prices of chicken had fallen to about P38 per kilo in some areas in the country, keeping farmers from earning higher incomes, which could push them to quit raising chickens.
Another measure the DA is looking at to help local poultry raisers from continued loss is to control imports and to export chicken and eggs.