President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, on Monday, August 28, 2017 assured the public that it is safe to eat chicken, ducks, quails and other fowls, including its by-products following the successful containment of the bird flu virus which was discovered in San Luis, Pampanga in early August.
“I declare to the public that the poultry products here in Pampanga are safe for consumption,” the President announced during the Sama-sama, Tulong –tulong sa Pagbangon at Pagsulong ceremony held at the Heroes Hall of San Fernando.
Duterte thanked the Department of Agriculture, led by Secretary Manny F. Pinol for the swift actions and laying down of interventions, which led to the complete control of the virus in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.
“I am here to eat chicken and ducks to ensure the public that it’s safe to eat it. Tapos na,” he added referring to the bird flu virus.
During the program, Piñol presented to the President and the public an updated status of the avian influenza that hit Central Luzon.
“We have culled a total of 421,132 birds in affected farms of San Luis, and 70,576 in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija,” Piñol reported.
“And I thank everyone who took part in carrying out our action plans,” he said.
Duterte and Piñol awarded certificates of appreciation to other government agencies, which contributed their time and effort in the successful containment of bird flu. These include the Departments of Health, Labor, Social Welfare and Development, the Office of the Civil Defense, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the local governments of Pampanga including the municipality of San Luis, and Nueva Ecija including the municipal governments of Jaen and San Isidro.
Also during the event, Duterte and Piñol awarded indemnity checks totaling to more than P29-million to the local government of San Luis as well as affected farms which underwent depopulation and mass culling.
“Your sacrifices are appreciated. We are happy to note that we overcame adversity because of unity,” Piñol said.
In earlier reports, the agri Secretary mentioned that owners of farms within the seven-kilometer radius, which are mere surveillance areas, have volunteered to have their animals culled.
“This was a positive response from the stakeholders, which helped in our successful fight against the virus,” he said.
A total of P150,000 in grant and loan assistance were also awarded under the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program of DA thru its Agricultural Credit Policy Council.
The event was highlighted by a boodle fight, participated in by former Duterte, Piñol, Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, DA officials, chief executives from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan, as well as poultry industry stakeholders. # Source - (oda rodriguez, DA-AFID)/www.da. gov.ph