Briones: Averting a chicken crisis

·2 min read

Although fuel prices continue to skyrocket, many Filipinos remain tight-lipped.

Apparently, the whole nation has realized that the matter is out of their hands. And they are right. It is. So there’s no point in pointing fingers.

There were talks of fuel subsidies back in February but I don’t know what has come of that. Maybe they’re already in place. Or maybe not. But there’s no denying the situation has started a domino effect.

Now you might think that would stop members of the public from frequenting popular fast-food joints. That these establishments would report a drop in income in the past several weeks.

I know of two fast-food joints here in Cebu City that have closed. Although it would be unfair to blame their closure solely on the fuel crisis. Surely the devastation wrought by super typhoon Odette at the end of last year and the disruptions caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic could not be ruled out as possible culprits.

But apparently some businesses are not doing so bad. Still, it doesn’t mean people aren’t miserable. And we all know that misery loves company, particularly food. By that I refer to every Filipino’s go-to favorite, the ubiquitous fried chicken. Well, at least those who are not allergic to poultry, anyway.

And yet, in the National Capital Region (NCR), some fast-food joints have been forced to close some of their branches but not for the reason you might expect.

Believe it or not, the problem can be pinned on chickens. Or the lack thereof.

The “highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus subtype H5N1 or bird flu” has decimated entire poultry farms in certain parts of Luzon and Mindanao, which has resulted in a chicken shortage in affected areas.

Imagine, not only do our brothers and sisters in the NCR and Mindanao have to live with exorbitant fuel prices and widespread inflation but they must also deal with a limited supply of chicken, fried or otherwise.

To protect its P12-billion poultry industry, Cebu banned all poultry meat products from areas affected by the bird flu from entering not only the province, but all cities that are identified as part of Cebu.

The Capitol under Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was the first to impose the prohibition in March. Other local government units (LGUs) merely followed suit.

Anyway, Cebuanos have bigger fish to fry like making sure one LGU doesn’t succeed in seceding from the union, so to speak.

But hey, whatever storm that comes the Cebuanos’ way, we can rest assured that a bucket of crispy fried chicken, a plateful of spicy wings, or a steaming pot of tinowang manok will always be within arm’s reach.

If we can afford them.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting