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PIA Press Release

Region 8 AI task force bats for anti-bird flu inclusion in disaster management plans

Tacloban City (April 10) -- There is no let up in the task of keeping the Region and the Philippines avian flu free. This is the official stand of the Region 8 Task Force Avian Influenza as it meets today at the DA-RFU Multipurpose Hall to assess what has been accomplished by the different agencies and the local government units.

Director Leo Caneda of the Department of Agriculture called for the integration of the Avian Influenza Work Plan for 2007 of the cooperating agencies. He also called for a single spokesperson so that there is no disparity in the message. He suggested that the Philippine Information Agency be furnished all the agenciesí information (repository of all information) about avian flu and the PIA will be the one to disseminate the information.

Another output of the meeting is the suggestion to include Avian Flu in the disaster management plans of the various local government units and to invite the director of the Office of Civil Defense in the next Task Force meeting.

Of the four main courses of action of the Task Force, the Simulation will be conducted subject to the go signal from the Department of Agriculture. Dr. Nick Bautista of the Department of Health said that there is a need for simulation, because talking or telling about the action which will be done in case of outbreak, is very different from doing the action.

The Department of Health is ready and has enough supply of medicine for bird flu. Some of the medicines are already expired, Dr. Nick Bautista said but this could be easily remedied because DOH will just send these back to the supplier and the supplier will deliver new ones.

Mr. Viojan of DENR said that the agency has already started the creation of the Bantay Ibon Brigade by conducting trainings for local people. Todate, Mr. Arnulito Viojan, said that ten migratory areas have been identified in the region. These are the Basey Wetlands, Catubig Paddies, Carigara Bay Wetlands, Guiuan Wetlands, Lake Bito Wetlands, Ormoc Bay Wetlands, Leyte Wetlands, Tres Marias Reef Flat, Rosario Wetlands and Maqueda Bay Wetlands. He added that the DENR is now observing the St. Bernard Wetlands.

The Task Force agreed that there is a need to inform the people about avian flu in order to keep the Region and the country bird flu free. (PIA 8) [top]

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