By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Francis Pangilinan urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) on June 12, Friday, to prioritize local poultry production over imports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Pangilinan thanked DA Secretary William Dar for clarifying that the government did not order the local broiler industry to limit their production.
“Kagaya ng ating mga kababayan, nabahala rin kami nang mabalitaan ang panukalang ito ng BAI (Like our countrymen, we were also concerned when we heard this proposal by the BAI),” Pangilinan said.
The senator said he is also one with the appeal of local poultry farms.
“Sa panahong mas kailangan nila ng kabuhayan, hindi makatarungan na tatanggalan sila ng pagkukunan ng kita (In a time when they need livelihood, it is unjust that we will limit their source of income),” he said.
“Unahin ang lokal (Prioritize what is local). Ang kailangan sa agrikultura ay suporta, hindi paglilimita (What the agriculture sector needs is support, not limitations),” he appealed.
The United Broilers and Raisers’ Association (UBRA) earlier slammed the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) for supposedly telling them to “self-regulate and limit” their production while it continued to allow the importation of poultry products.
Dar said later that what happened was a “miscommunication” and there was no order to lessen local poultry production. BAI director Ronnie Domingo also clarified that the “self-regulation” advice was due to an oversupply of the staple food in certain areas and for them to “spread out.”
Pangilinan asked the DA to issue a memorandum clarifying the agency’s position on the matter, so that smaller poultry farms will be informed.