CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Agriculture Secretary Emannuel Piñol said the lifting of the ban on the shipment of poultry products from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao comes with certain conditions that would have to be met.

Poultry products like chicken, ducks and eggs would have to be checked by quarantine officials before being shipped. This also means that the products would have to pass the necessary documentation and certification that these are bird flu-free, said Piñol.

This, however, does not apply to the one-kilometer quarantine zone and seven-kilometer controlled zone in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija. Products from the seven-kilometer controlled zones are still not allowed to be sold.

Some 37,000 birds have died from avian influenza subtype H5 in what has been declared as the first bird flu outbreak in the country. The deaths were recorded in six farms in rural San Luis town. Infections were also reported among fowls in two towns of Nueva Ecija.

More than 500,000 birds have been culled in quarantine operations in Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.

Earlier restrictions on the sale poultry products outside of Luzon have greatly affected raisers outside the affected bird flu areas, especially those with markets in Visayas and Mindanao.

Candaba eggs are sold primarily for balut production in Visayas and Mindanao. The industry alone is a P4-million daily revenue for the egg industry of the town not factoring in the other industries tied to the selling and transport of egg products.