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Farmers to Get Help to Meet New Regulations

by 5m Editor
16 June 2009, at 9:02am

PHILIPPINES - The Agriculture Department is to help the poultry sector meet environment and local regulations.

BusinessWorld reports that the Agriculture department will help poultry growers meet requirements of the Environment department and local governments.

The official statement also quoted Agriculture Assistant Secretary, Salvador S. Salacup, as saying, "We have asked the poultry sector to itemise the list of their concerns so that we can help them coordinate with the Environment department and other concerned government agencies regarding new requirements."

In a meeting with Environment officials last week, poultry stakeholders led by Gregorio A. San Diego, Jr., president of the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) raised concerns like stiff requirements for permits and clearances and sudden changes in local government zoning ordinances. Mr San Diego said these factors increase their operating costs.

"Our members have a hard time getting environmental compliance certificates (ECC)," Mr San Diego said.

Julian D. Amador, director of the Environmental Management Bureau, said during the meeting that securing an ECC should not require expensive studies.

Moreover, he said: "We will streamline the issuance of the ECC to three weeks from 75 to 120 days. We want that by July."

"I have already talked to poultry raisers and I told them to write their concerns in paper for me to answer it. They should cite their concerns and then we can come out with policies," Mr Amador said.

UBRA's Mr San Diego said the poultry industry is also weighed by "double taxation" due to local government "passage tax," which requires poultry firms to pay a certain amount when passing through an area.

BusinessWorld cites Bureau of Agricultural Statistics data that in the first quarter, output of the poultry sector, which accounts for 15.18 per cent of total agriculture production, rose 4.08 per cent to 12.837 billion pesos compared to the same period last year.