Bukidnon has to prepare vs. bird flu – Biz chamber head

MALAYBALAY CITY  (BukidnonNews.Net/20 August 2017) “Vigilance is imperative and we need to work together to protect our industry,” Roderico Bioco, president of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. said in his call for stakeholders to get involved in preparation against the country’s bird flu crisis.

Bioco in a statement released ahead of a chamber-initiated Bukidnon forum this week on the situation said it is organized to help prepare Bukidnon for contingencies.

“It is important that we stakeholders in the poultry and livestock sectors including the feed crops sector (and perhaps our community in general) should be more aware with this Bird Flu crisis,” he added.

Agriculture Sec. Manuel Piñol reported on Friday there are confirmed cases of avian flu in two towns in Nueva Ecija, about 50 kilometers away from San Luis, Pampanga where initial cases were confirmed. The cases in Pampanga were discovered in April 2017 but were reported to the Department of Agriculture only in July.

Piñol, according to cnnphilippines.com clarified that the confirmation of the new cases is a relief to the country as it is the only confirmed case reported within the 21-day incubation period of the bird flu virus of the sick birds in Pampanga. Before this, the Philippines has been declared avian flu-free for years.

The report also cited that so far, H5 — the virus strain found in birds in San Luis – is not transmissible to humans. He also clarified that additional samples were sent to an Australian laboratory to determine if it is positive a strain that can affect humans.

Bioco said Bukidnon produces the majority of the broiler hatching eggs nationally. He added that the eggs are distributed to broiler raiser farms all over the country.

“Our corn industry relies so much on the economic health of these poultry farms,” he added.

Bioco said he organized the forum on August 24 to address this situation.

“We certainly hope that our government, through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of DA can overcome this crisis working closely together with our stakeholders,” he said.

Bioco stressed that BAI is the designated Veterinary Authority under UN Convention as required in the Philippines treaty commitment with OIE or the Office International des Epizootes (World Organization for Animal Health).

Only the BAI National Director is recognized competent authority to address the situation, which is highly technical and scientific in nature and guide the industry over the current crisis.

“I certainly hope we stakeholders are being properly guided,” he added.

The forum will be within the Strictly Business News Conference, a news forum initiated by BukidnonNews.Net and DXBU 104.5 FM in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Bukidnon Chamber.

Among the speakers invited to the forum include Dr. Dale Franco Llentic, the regional Veterinarian Quarantine Officer of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI); Bukidnon provincial board member Ranulfo E. Pepito, who chairs the board’s Committee on Agriculture and Dr. Nancy V. Diez, Bukidnon provincial veterinarian. (BukidnonNews.Net)