Amid the bird flu outbreak in the province of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday joined Pampanga officials in a boodle fight, assuring the public that the spread of avian influenza has been prevented and under control due to the intensified operation of Department of Agriculture (DA).
Duterte visited Pampanga with DA Secretary Manny Piñol and lead the feasting on chicken barbeque, fried duck, and ‘balut’.
“I came here just to eat the chicken and the eggs and the balut (boiled fertilized duck egg) to assure the public that it is no longer risky, that it’s over,” Duterte said.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, Nueva Ecija Gov. Czarina Umali, former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija congressmen were also present during the visit of the president in the province.
The President lauded the ‘quick and decisive’ action of the Department of Agriculture in preventing the growing of the avian virus in the three towns in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.
The president said, “I also appreciate the more than 300 soldiers and police officers for their help and valuable assistance. Your timely and rapid response on this outbreak is truly praiseworthy.”
He also commended the resiliency of Pampangeños and the cooperation of local officials of Pampanga in the operations conducted in the affected areas.
“I thank everyone here today for playing their respective roles in the implementation of isolation and quarantine measures towards the eventual elimination of avian flu in the country,” Duterte said.
The local government of San Luis, Pampanga and affected poultry owners in both Nueva Ecija and Pampanga received their indemnification from the national government.
A total of P29-M compensation was given personally by President Duterte during his visit.
Certificates of appreciation were also awarded to the agencies and local government units.
Duterte also said that he would seek additional funds for the affected poultry raisers.
“Let us find out magkano ‘yan and maybe we can add more. But ‘yung kaya lang. Tanungin ko si Andrea ng PAGCOR kung meron ba siya,” he said.
Piñol earlier said that the culling of fowls in the affected areas was already completed, as of now a total 667,184 chicken, ducks and quails were culled.