Recognizing the huge number of seven million eggs it generates daily, Senator Cynthia A. Villar on Tuesday sought to name the town of San Jose in Batangas as the “Egg Basket of the Philippines.”
Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on Agriculture and Food, filed Senate Bill No. 2044, or “An Act Declaring the Municipality of San Jose in the Province of Batangas as the Egg Basket of the Philippines,” to support her proposal.
She cited Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report showing that of the 49.09,000 metric tons of eggs coming from CALABARZON region, 705 metric tons of eggs are from San Jose, Batangas on a daily basis.
The PSA report also indicated that about 150.29,000 metric tons of eggs were produced from January to March last year.
The Batangas Egg Producers Association also estimates that San Jose produces 705 metric tons of chicken eggs daily.
As of June 2020, there are more than 342 registered independent poultry in San Jose.
It was reported that egg production in San Jose started as a backyard industry during the 60s. Overtime, egg farmers from this town evolved into “agripreneurs” through the help of innovative agricultural practices.
Amid the challenges, including the oversupply of eggs in 2009, egg farmers of the town, through the leadership of Batangas Egg Producers Cooperative (BEPCO), developed new products from eggs like liquid and frozen eggs.
In 2017, when the industry was besieged by bird flu infestation, which adversely affected the livelihood of the San Jose egg farmers, a collaboration was entered into between BEPCO, the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the Department of Science and Technology, under the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy Program (CRADLE) to figure out what could be done with the surplus of eggs.
This collaboration resulted in the development of egg white powder which is ideal for baking cakes and breads. It can also be used in making mayonnaise and meringue.
Through the concerted efforts of the San Jose egg farmers, their egg industry continued to be the source of increased income which generated thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
San Jose, a first class municipality, celebrates “World Egg Day” annually during the month of October to spur egg consumption in the country and to enhance the industry’s production and marketing efficiency.
In 2016, the town even attempted to set a Guinness record for the longest line of fresh chicken eggs in trays – around 6,000 eggs were placed along the 2-km stretch of Macalintal Avenue.
During this time of pandemic wherein we are facing a health crisis due to Covid-19, Villar noted that eggs could help boost our immune system.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods, a very good source of inexpensive, high-quality protein and other nutrients.