Davao’s peking duck exporter cited for violation

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A very promising business that exports Peking duck is in peril after the City Government of Davao wanted its duck dressing plant closed down for allegedly operating without a business permit.

No less than Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gave the warning to Maharlika Agro-Ventures owner and Mindanao Business Council chair Vicente Lao to cease operation of its plant in Tamugan, Davao City for lack of a business permit.

It was learned that Lao’s application for a permit was disapproved for lack of endorsement from the City Council.

In an interview by the media last week, Duterte said that “no business should operate if it has no permit”.

The mayor said that Lao’s company started operating despite the absence of a business permit from the city government.

“You cannot circumvent the law. It is not proper that you operate even if your permit is still being processed. No business should operate if it has no permit. If you have no permit, you should stop,” Duterte said.

In a telephone interview, Vicente Lao however said that they have already applied for all the necessary requirements including building and zoning permits and have already paid around P600,000 to the City Government in taxes and fees.

He explained that the new requirement for a dressing plant to secure an approval of the City Council is however what’s holding them.

Lao said they already consulted with some councilors what to do while the Council approval is still pending and they were told to “just continue operation” as the City Council will soon pass a resolution approving Maharlika’s request.

“We applied for everything and paid for it already. But there is a new requirement that needs SP resolution, so we asked the councilors what to do, we were told to just continue operation,” Lao said.

Lao admitted that while their construction in Tamugan is ongoing, they also have started their “dry run” on a portion of their dressing plant there. He said they have not received a cease and desist order from the city so far.

Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte however said that they could not easily grant approval for the dressing plant as it is located inside the Tamugan watershed area which is a declared protected area.

“Ang problema ana ang reclassification sa iyahang yuta nga gibutangan sa negosyo kay naa sulod sa protected area. Ang iya gibasehan kay ang 1978 nga zoning ordinance, nga kaduha naman na ammend ang ordinance. Mao nay naka-apan diha kay ang city planning gihatagan sya ug approval. Kung ang City Council imong pangutan-on, illegal gyud sya ang he is already operating since September 2013,” Vice Mayor Duterte said.

The young Duterte said that the city will be issuing a cease and desist order anytime soon.

Last March 7, the firm signed a 12-month Sales Agreement Contract with Aono Fresh Meats Ltd., and Daigo Tsucho Co., Ltd to be the buyer and sole distributor of Maharlika Peking duck products in Japan, at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.

Maharlika is also supplying 15 to 20 tons of duck meats to restaurants in Manila every month.

The company is the first in the country to export Peking ducks. Every month, it impors about 3,000 breeder ducks from Cherry Valley, United Kingdom. These imported ducks proceed to the breeding farm and hatchery in Bukidnon.

From the farms, day-old ducklings are transferred to growing farms in Manolo Fortich and Arakan Valley. Forty-five days old ducks are harvested and transported to the dressing plant in Tamugan, Davao City. They are then processed, blast-frozen, and vacuum- packed.

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DAVAO BREAKING NEWS is a non-stock, non-profit website owned and operated by the AFP-PNP PRESS CORPS SOUTHERN MINDANAO which is an organization of tri-media practitioners based in Davao Region coming from print, television, radio and online news companies.

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