TUBLAY, Benguet – The municipal government stands firm in regulating the operation of the lucrative chicken dung trade in two barangays, Acop and Ambassador, amidst separate petitions from concerned residents in the barangays opposing and favouring the said business.
Vice Mayor Armando Lauro said the local government is currently validating the veracity of the signatures to separate petitions opposing and favouring the conduct of the chicken business before making concrete actions that would guarantee the legitimacy of their operations.
“We have to be extra careful in dealing with the prevailing situation so that we will be able to effectively and efficiently address issues and concerns surrounding the conduct of the chicken dung trade,” Lauro stressed.
At present, there are ten sites, five each in barangays Acop and Ambassador, which are allowed by the municipal government to conduct the chicken dung trade.
Lauro admitted there are only two to three sites where the chicken dung is being done that are being petitioned by concerned residents but there are also separate petitions that favour the trade in such areas, thus, the need for the local government to be careful in disposing the pending matters.
Under a local ordinance regulating the conduct of the chicken dung trade in the municipality, the local government gets P1.00 for every sack of chicken dung being sold in the locality with P0.50 going to the barangay concerned and another P0.50 being remitted to the coffers of the town.
According to him, the municipal government is earning more or less P1 million from the taxes being paid to the local government by the chicken dung traders.
Lauro explained those intending to pursue the chicken dung trade in the locality must first secure the endorsement from the municipal council before the mayor will be issued the required business permits, thus, the council is empowered to scrutinize such applications in order to make sure that there will be no problems to be encountered by the interested traders in their proposed areas of operation.
“We need to further conduct the proper investigation before we will be handing down our decision on the pending petitions. We will take matters into considering and we will leave any stone unturned,” Lauro said.
For over a decade now, chicken dung trade remained a lucrative business in the municipality because vegetable farmers continue to use the dung as fertilizer in order to enhance the production of their agricultural crops.
Lauro cited the important contributions of the chicken dung trade in the generation of income for the local government, employment opportunities for local residents and enhancement of economic activities and sources of livelihood for the people in the different barangays.
He appealed to concerned sectors in the municipality to give time for the municipal council to scrutinize the pending petitions for or against the chicken dung trade considering that they will put together the issues and concerns before handing down their verdict whether or not to allow the chicken dung trade in various areas of the municipality.
By Dexter A. See