Pateros officials approve tax break for balut makers
In a bid to revive its flagging balut (fertilized duck egg) industry, the Pateros municipal council has approved an ordinance which grants a tax break to duck growers and balut producers in the area.
Under Municipal Ordinance 2012-03, duck raisers and duck egg processors are exempted from paying the local business tax which is equivalent to three percent of what they make in a year.
The ordinance, which takes effect this year, also exempts them from paying the annual mayor’s permit fee which ranges from P500 to P1,000, depending on the size of their business.
Covered by the ordinance are duck raisers, recognized balut, penoy and salted egg manufacturers as well as owners of balut stores and retailers who do all of their duck breeding and egg processing in Pateros.
Pateros Mayor Joey Medina, who introduced the ordinance to the municipal council earlier this year, said that it was aimed at reviving the municipality’s dying balut manufacturing industry.
“We are known as the ‘Balut Capital of the Philippines,’ even the ‘Balut Capital of the World.’ And while many people still go to Pateros to buy the best balut in town, many of the homegrown balut manufacturers have already closed shop,” he told the Inquirer in a recent interview.
Medina explained that because of neglect, the Pateros River, where the ducks which produce balut are raised, has become polluted over the years, a condition that forced many traders out of business.
“In the 1980s, when our duck industry was at its height, over 50 duck raisers and balut manufacturers and many more balut sellers thrived here. Now, we only have something from five to 15 duck raisers and balut manufacturers still based here,” he said.
Medina expressed optimism that with the passage of the ordinance, they would be able to revive the flagging industry.
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