Mindanao leaders warn on Poultry dumping

PHILIPPINES - Business leaders in Mindanao have warned of collapse of the poultry industry in eight months unless government regulators stop the continued entry of cheap chicken legs and thighs allegedly being dumped into the domestic market.

The issue was brought to the attention of government trade negotiators by Roger Navarro of the Bukidnon Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the take-off of regional business consultations on trade negotiations at the Pryce Plaza Hotel in Cagayan de Oro.

Businessmen brought the matter to the attention of Department of Agriculture undersecretary Segfredo Serrano, Tariff Commissioner George Manzano and Bureau of International Trade Relations assistant director Angelo Salvador Benedictos.

Navarro, whose family pioneered the poultry industry in Bukidnon, alleged that leg imports sold at about P40 per kilo have been eroding the margins of domestic poultry raisers in Mindanao including contract growers of San Miguel Foods who raise chickens at the cost of P90 per kilo.

Sixty percent of the nationwide supply of poultry products come from Mindanao.

Discussing the reported dumping during the open forum, chamber leaders in Mindanao informed government officials that the chicken legs and thighs originated from the United States, allowed in due to an obscure agreement.

American poultry producers only sell chicken breasts in the US market.

Legs and thigh quarter rejects have been shipped to the Philippine market since the Department of Trade and Industry opened it to US poultry products last month.

This happened before the Philippines is to open trade talks with US and rules on agriculture trade under the WTO are yet to be set in place.

They told the trade negotiators that they have brought the matter to top officials of DA, the Tariff Commission and DTI.

But given the long process within which those officials act on dumping complaints, many poultry raisers will be dead when government decides on their dumping problem.

Source: Manila Bulletin
calendar icon 29 August 2005
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