Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Saturday to keep track of “profiteers” who might take advantage of the bird flu outbreak and raise the prices of poultry products.
“With the DA’s (Department of Agriculture) announcement of culling hundreds of thousands of fowls, we urge the Department of Trade and Industry to watch out for profiteers who might take advantage of the situation and increase the prices of raw chicken meat and processed food in the market,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
“As it is, there is only one affected area and there are many other sources of chicken meat in the country,” he added.
Pangilinan also called on the DA to ensure that only “uncontaminated meat is available to the consuming public at standard prices.”
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol confirmed on Friday said that avian influenza type A Subtype H5 has affected and killed 37,000 fowls in San Luis, Pampanga. The DA will cull in the next three days about 200,000 fowls—including chickens, ducks, quails, stray birds, and game fowls—that are under the one-kilometer quarantine radius.
The DA has already stationed 12 quarantine teams in the province to ensure that no feathered animals, including eggs, would be transported outside the seven-kilometer controlled radius to contain the virus.
Pangilinan also urged the government to “come up with a comprehensive plan of action” to deal with the outbreak, such as conducting massive information in communities to educate people about the virus, its dangers, and on ways of avoiding it.
“Since the virus is known to infect humans as well, people, especially those who handle fowls, should know how to protect themselves,” the senator said.
“Of utmost importance is to control the spread of the virus and to prevent it from taking people’s lives and more livelihood,” he added. JPV
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