There is no problem whatsoever with the supply of chicken in the country.
This is the statement asserted by Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. (BAVI) president Ronald Mascariñas following the price caps imposed on chicken and pork. “Walang problema ang supply ng manok,” he told veteran broadcaster Raffy Tulfo of TV5 last Wednesday.
Mascariñas then went on to say how the poultry industry was caught off-guard after being included in the government action to solve the problem with pork prices.
“Malaking kinagulat namin kung bakit kami napasali. Ang problema ay ang kakulangan ng karneng baboy dahil sa ASF (African Swine Flu),” he shared. “Kaya sa taas ng presyo, ang mga tao, dahan-dahang lumipat sa manok.”
Earlier, president Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 124 which set price ceilings of P160 per kilo of dressed chicken as well as P270 per kilo of “kasim/pigue” and P300 per kilo of “liempo” for 60 days.
BAVI’s always amiable executive, however, reiterated that there was no need for such price cap for chicken. As he put it, this time in an interview with radio stalwart Deo Macalma of DZRH, “Ang supply ay sapat. Yung demand, tumaas dahil yung dating baboy ang binibili ay bumibili na ng manok kaya may pressure sa supply, but there is enough supply.”
With such government measure, though, Mascariñas said there is a possibility of a headache coming courtesy of chicken prices.
“Sa amin, kaya namin yung [price ceiling], but ang mas nakararaming commercial raisers, sana tingnan din ang kapakanan nila,” explained Mascariñas in Damdaming Bayan. “Ang problema lang natin is supply ng baboy dahil sa ASF, pero dahil dito, malamang mapipilitan ang mga [chicken] commercial raiser na tumigil o magbawas muna. Sa 160 kasi, hindi sila mabubuhay dun.”
Instead, the BAVI boss urged the government to take down the price ceiling or, if not possible, raise it by P30. “Ang panukala namin e kung pwede, tanggalin ang price cap. Ngayon, kung ‘di talaga pwede, itaas man lang sa P195 kasi sa P160, magkakandalugi-lugi talaga ang mga magmamanok,” he detailed in Wanted sa Radyo.
In the end, while Mascariñas was adamant that BAVI will keep marching forward, he also hoped that smaller commercial raisers can stay by their side.
“Dati, baboy lang ang problema, pero sa ganito, sa darating na mga buwan, pati manok, magiging ganun na rin ang sitwasyon,” he said. “Kami, for as long as may kita kami, kahit konti, tuloy kami. Lahat ng Chooks-to-Go, bukas yan hanggang ngayon, pero ang malaking maaapektuhan dito ay yung commercial raisers. Sana, tingnan din ang kapakanan nila.”