PHILIPPINES - The Philippine Department of Agriculture has said there is no shortage of chicken but supply was temporarily tightened as growers were affected by the onslaught of typhoon 'Glenda' last July.
"We do not have shortage of chicken. The problem is in the supply distribution," DA Assistant Secretary Leandro Gazmin pointed out during the weekly forum, Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City.
Director Dennis Arpia, spokesman of DA, said in the same forum that there is a slight effect in the supply distribution. Region 4-A or the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) area in Southern Luzon was severely hit by typhoon "Glenda." Calabarzon is the second largest chicken supplier in the country.
"Chicken business can easily recover because it needs 28 to 32 days only to raise it," he pointed out.
News reports said that poultry farms in the provinces of Quezon, Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas lost some five million chickens -- worth around PHP 250 million -- as typhoon Glenda lashed these areas in July.
Arpia said the growers are still adjusting their operations following typhoon Glenda.
"We are producing on a daily basis, and it will only take 28-32 days to grow chicken. So there’s no reason for a shortage in supply of poultry products until Christmas season," he stressed.
He also said that Region 5, being the number one chicken producing region in the country, was not affected by the recent typhoon.
Arpia emphasized that there is no shortage in the supply of chicken in the country, but acknowledged the tight supply due to the current situation.
Meanwhile, Mr Gazmin also assured the public that eating chicken is safe because we do not import chicken from China.
Mr Gazmin said that there is a total ban of bird importation from China and they are strictly monitoring this to safeguard consumers.
"If you have information that there are smuggled chicken from China, please let us know so that we can make appropriate action," Mr Gazmin said.
There are reports that a certain percentage of chicken being sold by a known food chain in the country comes from China.