CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- President Rodrigo Duterte promised on Monday, August 28, to look into more possible funding for farmers whose stocks were subjected to the culling and quarantine operations here recently.

"Give me possibly a week," Duterte told poultry industry stakeholders and government officials Monday at the Heroes Hall here.

Duterte was in Pampanga in a "marketing effort" to assure people that the livestock products of the province are safe to eat.

The President led poultry farmers and local officials in a "boodle fight" consisting of chicken barbecue, "balut," boiled egg, fried duck, adobong manok and fried quail.

Duterte promised to possibly increase the assistance to be given to the poultry sector here. He added that he is saddened that some of the poultry raisers would have to give up their livelihood to the culling and quarantine operations.

Duterte added that this was a necessary step to ensure that the virus will not spread further.

The President said that he will be asking Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chairman Andrea Domingo on the possibility of additional funding.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the initial amount of P29 million was released to the poultry farmers of San Luis, Pampanga and the towns of Jaen and San Isidro, Nueva Ecija as compensation for the chickens, ducks and quails which were killed as part of the clean-up operations against the bird flu virus.

He added that the President's visit comes 18 days after laboratory tests confirmed the outbreak of the Avian Influenza initially in the town of San Luis which killed about 37,000 poultry before it was reported.

"The P29 million is the first payment to be released of the total P43.31-million which the Department of Agriculture will release to all farmers in the area whose fowls were killed," Piñol said.

Piñol said The Agricultural Credit Policy Council will also turn over to the Rural Bank of San Luis P20-million which will be released as assistance and no-collateral, no-interest loans to farm workers and farmers affected by the outbreak.

The three towns affected by bird flu in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija "have been cleared and disinfection operations have been completed."