THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said Wednesday that about 600,000 fowls would be culled in bird flu-hit Pampanga province.
This was after other 30 farms within the seven-kilometer control zone have volunteered to slaughter their chickens and ducks, said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol.
"Outside of the six farms na tinatarget namin, 'yung ibang farms, nag-volunteer na. 'Yung iba nag-report na rin na may namamatay although hindi pa narin ma-determine kung ano talagang sanhi ng pagkamatay ng kanilang mga manok. 'Mas mabuti pa makatulong kami sa gobyerno, i-surrender namin yung manok namin at saka itik'," he said in a press briefing.
"Sabi nila 'even if we continue raising our ducks and chicken, if we cannot sell our products from the chicken and ducks, wala ring kabuluhan, malulugi lang kami'," he added.
Piñol assured Tuesday that all affected farmers that they will be compensated for every chicken that will be culled.
He said a compensation of P80 per live chicken will be given to affected growers, on top of the P25,000 loan under the government's Survival and Recovery Assistance Program.
Under the credit facility managed by the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), P5,000 will be given as grant, while the remaining P20,000 is payable in two years with no interest and no collateral.
Six poultry farms with 200,000 fowls in San Luis, Pampanga, were initially found to have bird flu contamination.
The DA has tapped the Armed Forces of the Philippines to help in culling the fowls.
Some 300 soldiers from the Philippine Army will be deployed in Pampanga to assist the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in culling the animals, Pinol said. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)