GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 30 Sept) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 is targeting to start before yearend the construction of a P100-million modern regional abattoir complex here.
Dr. John Pascual, DA-12 livestock coordinator, said they have started the preparatory works for the implementation of the project, which will be built in Barangay Sinawal.
He said they formally opened last week the bidding for the construction of the facility, which is funded under the Socsksargen Area Development Project’s Food Security Program.
“The bidding and awarding process will take about two months so the construction phase will likely begin by December,” he said.
Pascual said the project will mainly involve the development of an AA-grade abattoir as well as packaging and storage facilities.
It was designed by the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry, through the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), he said.
The NMIS said AA abattoirs have sufficiently adequate facilities and procedures that make their products suitable for sale in all markets.
When completed, Pascual said the abattoir will serve as the main processing facility for pork and other meat products that will be shipped outside the region.
He said it will specifically cater to the processing of cut pork meat products that will be shipped starting next year to various markets in the Middle East.
Pascual will leave for Dubai in late October to finalize the arrangements with the Philippine Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the entry of “pork-in-a-box” products in its key cities.
The pork products will be mainly marketed to the estimated one million Overseas Filipino Workers who are currently deployed in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other areas of the UAE.
DA-12 initially certified eight companies in the region for the planned pork shipments to the UAE.
Six of these companies are based in this city while the two others are located in nearby South Cotabato.
Region 12 is presently the country’s leading producer of “pork-in-a-box” products.
Data from the DA-12’s Veterinary Quarantine Services showed that the region produces around 120,000 heads of excess hogs annually that were valued at around P1.09 billion.
In terms of pork, the area produced around 12,000 metric tons a year that were valued at P1.97 billion.
About 28 percent of the area’s hog produce ends up at the Matutum Meat Packing Corp based in Polomolok town in South Cotabato, 26 percent to Metro Manila and 13 percent to Cebu.