AT LEAST ten chicken vendors at the Mandaue City Public Market have closed down their stalls due to the increasing prices of chicken as supply dwindled.

Mandaue City market administrator Edgar Seno told reporters on Thursday, June 9, that the chicken vendors had stopped selling almost three days ago.

Seno said the reason for their closure was that the city's local chicken suppliers do not have ample supply.

He said this might be the result of the ban on poultry and poultry-related products.

Mayor Jonas Cortes issued in an executive order (EO) on May 31 banning the said products from Luzon and other parts of Mindanao, where avian influenza viruses have been detected.

Under the EO no. 61, live poultry and live birds, including day-old chicks and gamefowls, pigeons, and pet birds originating from Luzon and Mindanao are banned from entering the city.

The scarcity of supply has resulted in an increase in prices of several chicken products.

Some of the market vendors said that some suppliers have increased the prices of chicken products, prompting them to pass on the burden to their customers.

City veterinarian Karen Merilles, however, assured Mandauehanons that Cebu has enough supply of pork, chicken, and other market goods from local suppliers.

She said the increase may have resulted from the fluctuating prices of petroleum products.

She added that Cebu remains free from the avian influenza (bird flu virus) and African swine fever in pigs.

Data from the Mandaue City Public Market as of their June pricelist shows that whole chicken now sells for P190 per kilo, drumsticks and chicken wings for P210, and chicken thigh for P210, showing an P10 increase from their April pricelist, wherein a whole chicken cost P180, drumsticks and chicken wings for P200 per kilo, and chicken thigh for P200 per kilo.

One of the chicken vendors even admitted to reporters that he now sells drumsticks and chicken wings for P230 per kilo in order to sustain his business. (HIC, TPT)