July 24, 2020


Philippines' local poultry sector loses US$1.93 billion


The Philippines' local poultry industry and its allied sectors including barbecue stalls have lost almost PHP95 billion (US$1.93 billion) in revenues last year due to chicken meat imports, BusinessMirror reported.


In a an open letter backing the call to suspend meat imports, over 50 industry players involved in broiler, feeds, corn, breeder production revealed that chicken importation last year resulted in foregone sales of PHP94.941 billion for the local industries.


The losses included foregone sales in breeder production, broiler production, feed production, corn production, job losses, hatchery operations, dressing plants, trucking operations, and sales of by-products on ihaw-ihaw (barbecue) stalls.


The losses were estimated based on the displaced number of day-old chicks (DOCs) and broiler production by last year's chicken meat imports, which reached a record-high 338,121 tonnes, according to the letter.


"The present letter attempts to show the revenues or business foregone by the sector. There will be those who would attack it as self-serving," said the open letter addressed to the Executive and Legislative branches of government.


"But even if you divide the total by half, the remaining amount is substantial enough to weaken the industry-along with the thousands of families depending on it especially during these times that we are facing the greatest problem our generation has to face," it added.


The open letter was signed by heads of the United Broiler Raisers Association, Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc., Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc., National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc., Philippine Egg Board Association, Philippine Maize Federation Inc. and Philippine College of Poultry Practitioners.


Signatories to the letter also included the Philippine Society of Animal Nutritionists, Philippine Veterinary Drug Association, PVDA Foundation Inc., Philippine Association of Breeder Layers Inc., Philippine College of Swine Practitioners, among others.


Based on the letter, direct broiler production lost the most revenues at PHP37.006 billion with an estimated 302.746 million heads of broiler being displaced last year.


The losses include so-called "DOC" sales (for day-old chicks) amounting to PHP7.807 billion, feed sales worth PHP21.782 billion, and dressing plant costs worth PHP2.876 billion, according to industries' computations.


Filipino ihaw-ihaw (barbecue) stalls and vendors are the second-most affected by chicken meat imports as they had an estimated lost income from sales of chicken by-products of about PHP15.818 billion, according to the letter.


Based on industry computations, ihaw-ihaw (barbecue) stalls lost PHP5.752 billion worth of isaw (instestine) sales at a PHP10 per piece, PHP4.314 billion in chicken head and neck sales, PHP2.876 billion worth of chicken blood or dugo (blood) sales and another PHP2.876 billion lost revenues in chicken feet sales.


Chicken meat imports, which the industry players noted enter the country as a finished product and bypass the local production process, have also impacted the corn industry and the feed milling businesses, according to the letter.


Based on the letter, lost domestic feed sales from broiler operations amounted to PHP14.086 billion, half of which comprised corn sold to feed millers worth PHP7.139 billion.


The industry players estimated that the loss in domestic corn sales have led to the reduction-by about 138,659 hectares-of the area planted to corn, impacting 106,661 families dependent on corn.


The industry players also claimed that chicken meat importation has resulted in losses of income among poultry industry employees, such as flockmen and supervisors, amounting to a total of PHP3.383 billion.


"At the outset, we respectfully ask for your understanding as to that manner we have been communicating with you-through open letters. We have numerous letters, position papers, and attended countless meetings with the relevant agencies through the years," the letter read, referring to executive and legislative officials.


"We have also been requesting fairness in treatment. Unfortunately, no meaningful results have been made. We have, therefore, chosen to engage with the [government of the Republic of the Philippines], the media, and our people through a humble effort at a public discourse," it added.


The industry players noted that they have been asking for a sound data system in accordance with the Agri-Fisheries Modernization Act so that they could make informed business decisions.