The Philippine government is looking into the possibility of giving away chicken for free as the country finds itself with an oversupply of poultry meat, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said today.
Scores of restaurants have either closed down or have scaled back their operations due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, Dar told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo in an interview, leading to the current glut.
“[If this situation] proceeds without intervention, we will have an oversupply good for more than three months by the end of the year,” he said.
He suggested that the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, and Social Welfare distribute food stubs to those affected by the pandemic, and these could be used to buy frozen chicken from supermarkets.
“We give out cash assistance to indigent families and to fishermen, [and] a portion of that cash aid may be [allocated to food stubs] to buy chicken,” Dar said.
Another option, he said, was for local government units to include chicken in food packs to distribute to residents.
The secretary did not specify a timeline when this will be implemented but said he is “ironing out the details” of the measure.
Earlier this month, traces of the coronavirus were spotted in the plastic packaging of frozen chicken wings that were imported by China from Brazil. This spurred the Duterte government to impose a temporary ban on Brazilian chicken imports and urged Filipinos to wash all fresh meat under clean running water before storing or handling them.
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