CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The people in the Visayas and Mindanao areas would have to make do without the regular supply of "balut" (fertilized duck egg) and duck eggs from Luzon, particularly Candaba which has been experiencing an average of P8-million daily loses in sales due to the ban imposed by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) on poultry products coming from Luzon.

This, despite the fact that Candaba is not part of the towns affected by the bird flu outbreak, has been experiencing a blow to its thriving duck industry. Balut from Candaba is mainly supplied to Visayas and Mindanao. But the BAI had implemented a ban that prohibits the movement of all poultry products from Luzon to other islands in the country.

Mayor Danilo Baylon said that the town’s duck industry is mainly a backyard industry and many of the families and farm workers depend on sales from shipments to Visayas and Mindanao.

Candaba produces some 1.7-million duck eggs that are supplied to sellers outside of Luzon. The problem now, according to local officials, is that the ban had virtually stopped the industry and placed potential revenue on a halt.

“We cannot tell the ducks to stop laying eggs. There is supply but nowhere to sell the eggs,” Baylon said. Local officials also worry of spoilage from unsold eggs and the accompanying risk of disposal.

Duck raisers are also criticising the “overzealousness” of some provinces and towns as checkpoints going out of Candaba have earlier prevented shipments out of the town.

Candaba’s Tagalog speaking barangays near Bulacan said that they can no longer sell some of their egg produce in nearby Baliwag. There are even cases were some sellers are returning their supplies.

The Municipal Government of Candaba had earlier filed a resolution asking the BAI to reconsider its ban for poultry products to be shipped out of Luzon adding that there should be consideration for areas which are not affected by the avian flu outbreak.

Candaba town’s duck industries are not within the quarantine or controlled areas.