The Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries gathered poultry and livestock stakeholders, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)- Tariff Commission and concerned Department of Agriculture (DA) offices in a video conference led by DA Assistant Secretary for Livestock Dr. William Medrano on June 17, 2020 to tackle the international rules on importation.
Aside from the importation rules, the industry stakeholders also raised the issues related to COVID-19, supply and prices of chicken. Among the topics raised were the following:
* Agricultural trade policies:
> liberalized Philippine trade regime for agricultural products
> trade remedy measures can be applied if certain conditions are met, such as RA 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act
> the need for DA to undertake a motu proprio initiation of a preliminary general safeguard measure investigation to know if there is a probable cause that importation of chicken meat has caused injuries to domestic industry and warrants imposition of special safeguard measure
> The Philippines need to abide by the rules and guidelines of the international agreements it has acceded to promote fair trade among its trading partners.
> If importation will not be stopped, the government should ensure that a system is in place that would protect the domestic industry.
> United Broiler Raisers’ Association (UBRA) requested DTI and DA to help secure data regarding the support extended by other countries to their agricultural industries, such as the safeguard measures implemented by Indonesia and Thailand to protect their local meat industry.
> DTI will check if there were studies conducted relative to undervaluation of imported meat products and look for specific measures that were implemented in Thailand and Indonesia to prevent the entry of US poultry meat in their countries.
* COVID-19-related issues:
> According to the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc., several processors are already sourcing their chicken and/or pork meat requirements from local producers since before the implementation of ECQ.
> A need for collaboration between local producers and processors is important to ensure availability of chicken and pork supply requirements.
> DA to help ensure availability of cold storages for domestically produced and imported meat products, especially during the fourth quarter of 2020
> Veterinary drug industry said that some medicine and vaccine suppliers have lost their market since most companies already reduced their workforce
> Based on UBRA, the prevailing prices in the market are at PhP145-155/kilo, which is lower compared to the reported prices ranging from PhP180-190/kilo. The average farm gate price is at PhP85/kilo.
> Chicken leg quarters sold online is priced only at PhP80-100/kilo which is far cheaper than local produce at around Php140/kilo.
> Corn industry noted that the success and losses of the local poultry industry will have a domino effect on the feeds industry, especially to the corn farmers/producers.
> DA Corn and Cassava Program is requesting the Philippine Association of Feed Millers to provide data on supply and prices of chicken to help assess the corresponding impacts of the current issues on poultry and feeds industry.
> A unified database system for poultry and swine information should be established and accessible to all concerned stakeholders