CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- To immediately bounce back from the millions of loses encountered by Pampanga’s poultry farm industry due to bird flu, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol has informed Vice Governor Dennis Pineda and other stakeholders that he had asked President Rodrigo Durterte for the provision of a P100-million fund.

According to Piñol, part of the fund will be utilized in providing loan assistance to poultry farm owners and in helping displaced farm workers who were badly affected by the outbreak.

The agricultural secretary expressed optimism they can put an end to the avian influenza outbreak as soon as the culling period of infested chickens and other fowls is finished.

He also said that it will not be until 90 days when poultry animal raisers can go back to their production.

“In every crisis there is a window of opportunity,” Piñol said, stressing there are alternative measures on how to provide a living to poultry farmers until they can resume their business.

The DA secretary said he is eyeing to turn poultry farms into fruit and vegetable farmhouse using greenhouse effect technology. He also disclosed of the possibility of turning unwanted manure into organic fertilizer.

Piñol immediately issued a directive to create bio-security teams all over the country to inspect every poultry and livestock farm. He said this will ensure strict compliance and protocols needed in a food production area.

He also stressed the continuous surveillance and monitoring of poultry farms in the province while encouraging the public to help report any cases of avian influenza to authorities.

Piñol guaranteed to put an end to the crisis and vowed to provide support to help the poultry industry in Pampanga recover.

“In the meantime, the President assures the people that this administration will go out of its way to extend assistance,” Piñol said. (PR)