CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Third District Representative Aurelio Gonzales, Jr. on Monday, August 28, lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for his support to Pampanga poultry farmers.

"The effect of the recent outbreaks on the poultry industry is still quantifiable," Gonzales said.

Gonzales also said that some farmers virtually lost their livelihood while those affected within the one-kilometer quarantine area could not conduct business at least for three months while disinfection operations are being conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

"The support given by the President is of great help. It is also a great relief that the President promised to help," Gonzales said, referring to the President's promise to look for further funding for the poultry farmers affected.

Gonzales said that the farmers now need all the support they can get.

Gonzales added that those in the seven-kilometer danger controlled zone need also support from government as they cannot sell their products.

"We are happy for the support given by the President. This just shows how he loves Pampanga," Gonzales said.

Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that this is following clearance from the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Agriculture Central Office turning over to its Central Luzon regional office the P31 million calamity funds to cover the payment.

It could be recalled that the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has readied an initial loan amount of P50 million for farmers affected by the bird flu outbreak.

ACPC is the credit agency of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Piñol said the P50-million fund was set up at the Rural Bank of San Luis and is expected to be available by next week and will be extended to some 2,000 farmers in San Luis town and other neighboring areas in Pampanga whose poultry farms were hit by the avian influenza.

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 outbreak affected six poultry farms in San Luis town.