PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, August 28, vowed assistance for poultry raisers who were affected by the bird flu virus in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.
“To help the industry recover, the government, through the Department of Agriculture, will assist in the affected poultry raisers in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija to defray their losses through interventions such as loans and capacity building trainings,” the President said in his speech at the Heroes Hall here.
At the same time, the President said the government will also strengthen awareness drives to the public and poultry raisers nationwide on avian influenza and find ways to mitigate such virus to avoid speculation and confusion.
To stamp out the outbreak and minimize its impact to the country, the Chief Executive said the government is undertaking efforts such as the culling of affected fowls, which was completed on August 24.
The President, who joined a boodle fight here, assured that poultry products are safe for consumption.
During his speech, the President also expressed gratitude to the local officials and people of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija for their solidarity and cooperation in quickly stamping out avian flu in the affected areas.
“I thank everyone here today for playing their respective roles in the implementation of isolation and quarantine measures towards the eventual elimination of avian flu in the country,” he said.
President Duterte also commended the Department of Agriculture officials for their quick and decisive action in squarely confronting and containing the avian flu outbreak.
The President also acknowledged the assistance of more than 300 soldiers and police officers for their help and valuable assistance.
“Your timely and rapid response on this outbreak is truly praiseworthy,” he said.
The President meanwhile sought for the full cooperation and assistance of both the poultry industry and the general public to “make sure that disease outbreaks such as this are reported to authorities at the onset of its occurrence.”
According to President Duterte, the goal is to put the industry firmly back into the path of high growth and progress so that it can continue to contribute to the nation’s food security and to our economic growth.
The Chief Executive also said he would seek for additional funds to augment the government’s support for the poultry raisers.
“Let us find out magkano ‘yan and maybe we can add more. But ‘yung kaya lang. Tanungin ko si Andrea ng PAGCOR kung meron ba siya,” he said, adding that his administration will raise the money.
“I’ll try to find out in a few weeks and maybe… at the end of the month, kung may makuha ako. Just to add a little bit to the amount that you have already received,” he said in a media interview.
During the event, the President led the awarding of indemnity checks to poultry raisers whose farms were depopulated to prevent further spread of bird flu virus.
Certificates of appreciation were also given to agencies and local government units who worked together to stamp out bird flu.###PND