A lawmaker has called on the government to study and evaluate the possible long-term economical effects of the avian flu influenza outbreak in Pampanga, a major producer of chicken and eggs in Luzon.
In a statement on Sunday, Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Sato, vice chair of the House Economic Affairs Committee, also sought to know any budgetary requirements needed to reinforce concerned government agencies involved in addressing the problem.
The lawmaker said national government agencies led by the Department of Agriculture, particularly the Bureau of Animal Industries and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Health (DOH) should hold separate studies on the impact of the avian flu virus.
“We should also take a pro-active approach to prevent other deadly animal diseases that may threaten other agriculture sub-sectors like our swine and cattle industry. Its impact to our industry stakeholders, particularly small farmers, and the consumers in general, must be known,” Sato said.
The DOH, she said, should take serious steps in promoting public health safety.
“We should be fully informed of threats to public health. What are the risks and who are the most vulnerable sector that should be protected?” she asked.
The NMIS, meanwhile, should ensure that no chicken meat products which may be affected by the outbreak will be sold to consumers, the lawmaker added.
For its part, the DOST should come up with studies and recommendations to solve the problems raised by deadly animal diseases.
The province of Pampanga has already been placed under state of calamity due to the avian flu outbreak in San Luis town. — Erwin Colcol/BM, GMA News