Monday , June 25, 2018

San Fernando ups measures vs bird flu 'scare'

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The City Government here has leveled up its measures to counter the negative economic and social effects being experienced by the poultry industry since the avian influenza outbreak struck Pampanga two weeks ago.

“Let us once and for all stop the bleeding,” said Mayor Edwin Santiago, stressing the bird flu outbreak -- and the “big scare” that came with it -- has created a domino effect on the poultry industry of Pampanga, from farm owners, market vendors, businessmen and consumers of chicken meat and by-products.

In the city alone, Santiago said at least 200 chicken meat vendors and some 2,000 workers in poultry farms and cockpit arenas are losing their daily income due to the outbreak.

“We must shorten, if not totally control, the repercussions of the bird flu outbreak because it is now hurting the poultry industry so bad. When we say industry, it includes livelihood not only of huge businessmen, but also the small laborers who work for the industry. We must be united in ending this dilemma as soon as possible, as it is affecting badly the economy not only of San Fernando but the whole of Pampanga as well,” he said.

Santiago said that correct information dissemination must be done to negate the scare of the public and help the industry get back to its normal operations.

He said biosecurity and proper hygiene must be properly executed to avoid the recurrence of such incident.

Over the weekend and just a few days after the outbreak, the emergency anti-bird flu task force created by the City Government has been strictly monitoring wet markets and the quality of poultry offered by vendors and that even the smallest “sari-sari” store selling eggs are being cleared and certified by authorities here.

Similarly, City Health Officer Dr. Eloisa Aquino said they have interventions in place, and all rural health units are prepared to respond to any reports of bird flu-related incidents if any.

Aquino added that the second boodle fight in front of City Hall on Tuesday, August 22, with a spread of chicken and egg adobo, chicken hotdogs, longganiza and tocino, is not just “for show” but a means to let the public know that chicken sold in the city is safe, provided it is properly cooked and hygienically prepared.

Meanwhile, Department of Agriculture Region III Assistant Director Cris Bautista, lauded the City Government for continuously exerting efforts to help stop the wrong perception of the public on bird flu.

Bautista urged other local governments in Pampanga to emulate the City of San Fernando and be united in reviving the poultry industry of Pampanga. (With JTD)