The Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked over P290 million for the construction of world-class slaughterhouses, processing and trading facilities to make the livestock and poultry sectors more competitive both in the local and international markets.
In a press conference, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the amount will be used for the construction of one “AAA” slaughterhouse, processing and trading facility pork producers; one “AAA” dressing facility for poultry raisers; and two “AA” slaughterhouses for the domestic market.
He said that the P120-million “AAA” dressing facility, which will start operations by next year, will be put up in Bamban, Tarlac.
“It has a capacity of 3,500 heads per hour and will help poultry raisers to slaughter their animals and produce cheap and high-quality chicken that would cater to local and international markets,” he said.
Meanwhile, the P15-million “AAA” slaughterhouse, processing and trading facility for hogs—with a capacity of 250 heads a day—will be constructed in Tanuan, Batangas.
The agriculture department will also spend P10 million for the establishment of an “AA” slaughterhouse for livestock and poultry in Tayug, Pangasinan; and another “AA” abattoir and trading center for livestock will be established in Candon, Ilocos Sur, with a capacity of 100 heads a day.
“The establishment of ‘AA’ slaughterhouses will open windows of opportunities for the creation of jobs and increasing the income of livestock and poultry farmers and food processors, and eventually improve the local government units’ [LGUs] income potential,” the Alcala said.
“We are also looking at approving additional two triple A slaughterhouse for chicken next year. The establishment of these will help our livestock and poultry growers, especially our backyard raisers,” he said.
The department said that it will continue to provide technical and financial assistance to livestock and poultry farmers and LGUs in strategic areas of the country to further promote livestock and poultry production.
Earlier, the government said that it is eyeing new overseas markets for livestock and poultry products to prepare the country’s farm sector ahead of the removal of trade barriers under the Asean Free-Trade Agreement. Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Among the possible markets include Papau New Guinea, South Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia for the exportation of livestock and poultry products.
At present, the Philippines is facing tough competition from Thailand and Vietnam, but the DA stressed that Manila can take advantage of its status as a avian influenza- and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-free source, in order to establish better trade relations now.