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Duterte leads chicken boodle fight in Pampanga, helps poultry raisers

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By CLAIRE MORALES TRUE

 

(Photo from PCOO)

 

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — President Rodrigo R. Duterte personally showed support to poultry raisers of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija affected by avian flu by joining a boodle fight to assure the people that poultry products from the two provinces are safe to eat.

 

Duterte, along with former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol, Gov. Lilia PIneda and other officials, ate "balut," chicken, quail and "itik.:

 

At the same time, Duterte distributed checks to chicken, quail and duck raisers affected by bird flu as indemnity and assistance for the culling of some 700,000 birds in poultry farms in four towns in the two provinces.

 

In the presence of former Pampanga congresswoman Andrea Domingo, now Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Mr. Duterte said the assistance to the poultry raisers maybe increased possibly from Pagcor funds.

 

The President also presented citations to soldiers, policemen and other local and national officials who helped in culling the birds and in containing the avian flu before it could spread to other areas.

 

Duterte also assured that the national government will continue its surveillance and vigilance to mitigate the impact of bird flu.

 

Speaking before some 1,000 people from the local government units and poultry raisers, Duterte said Pampanga is not only a factor in food security but part of the food chain.

 

“The efforts and sweat poured in by the Kapampangans play a crucial role in securing the country’s food chain,” the President added.

 

He also pointed out the resiliency of the Kapampangans in these trying times, and that he is confident that the LGUs can contain the avian flu outbreak.

 

The President, together with Secretary  Piñol, awarded an indemnity check to San Luis town worth P20,723,790.

 

He also gave checks to two poultry farm owners from Jaen town, Mary Grace Castro and Manuel Ruiz Luiz, whose poultry farms were depopulated because of the avian flu outbreak.

 

Shortly after the awarding ceremonies, President Duterte, along with Piñol, Governor Pineda, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Bulacan Goveror Willy Alvarado and local chief executives ate chicken, balut, and eggs in a boodle fight here to show the public that poultry products in Pampanga are safe.

 

  Piñol said an opportunity was presented by the crisis brought about by the avian influenza outbreak after a group of German and Colombian engineers committed to provide technology to turn chicken manure to organic fertilizer.

 

He said the group is now establishing a facility for the project.

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