Pampanga mayors thank Duterte for helping douse bird flu scare

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Mayors in the province of Pampanga are one in thanking President Duterte for dousing public fear on poultry product consumption. 

The president visited Pampanga on Monday to partake on balut and chicken to show that poultry products are safe for human consumption. 

Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, president of the Pampanga Mayors League (PML), said the President’s actuation boosted the poultry industry in the province which was adversely affected by the bird flu scare. 

The PML, in last week’s meeting, agreed to submit a resolution urging the President to direct the Department of Agriculture in maintaining close coordination with local executives prior to issuing statements to the media related to the issue on bird flu. 

Mayor Cayabyab had also suggested in their meeting held in the bird-flu stricken town of San Luis to ask the agriculture department to help Pampanga officials in clarifying that only a small part of Pampanga was affected by the avian virus.

“With the President’s visit, we got more than what we were asking for. Hindi lang DA ang tumulong sa atin magpaliwanag sa tao na ligtas kainin ang mga itlog at manok sa Pampanga. Ang Pangulo pa mismo ang nakikain para maniwala ang tao na ligtas pa rin ang Pampanga sa bird flu,” Cayabyab said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday commended the resiliency of the Kapampangans in containing the avian influenza virus that hit San Luis town.

In his speech during his visit at the Heroes Hall, the President said that he has no doubt in the resiliency of the Pampangueños, noting that they are unlike others who complain a lot when they do not immediately receive aid from the government.

“Pampanga is rarely compromised. Lahar is the only catastrophe that really gave Kapampangans a problem. Otherwise, everything is okay. Even the weather has no major impact on the Pampagueños’ resiliency,” he recalled.

Citing the recent avian influenza outbreak in the province, the Chief Executive then stressed that it was really urgent and immediate for the government to do something.

“Food security is a very important cycle in the country. That is why it is important that no aberrations in the food chain occur. If there is any, it should be immediately acted upon because it will destroy food security of the place,” Duterte explained.

Seeing Pampanga’s importance in the food chain system of the country, he thanked everyone for playing their respective roles in the implementation of isolation and quarantine measures towards the eventual elimination of avian flu in the country.

“Pampanga, in the system that I see now in the government, is really not only a factor, but is part of the food chain, the place itself. That is why I am here, to show everybody that the virus has been contained and it is now safe to eat chicken and poultry products,” he said.

In particular, he cited the Department of Agriculture officials in their quick and decisive actions in squarely confronting and controlling the avian flu outbreak.

He also commended the efforts of the more than 300 soldiers and police officers for their help and valuable assistance in eliminating the rapid outbreak.

“I am grateful to the local officials and people of the provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija for the solidarity and cooperation in quickly stamping out avian flu in the affected areas. Just remember that your effort, the sweat that you do for the country, will not go to waste and will be recognized as important part of the food chain,” he added.

With this, he assured the public that the government is doing its part to totally eradicate the fear caused by the outbreak and minimize its impact both to the general public and the poultry raisers.

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