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PIA Press Release

DA-RFU III pursues efforts vs avian flu

by Emma C. Tabalanza

San Fernando City, Pampanga (6 February) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Unit III (DA-RFU III) in coordination with the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) recently conducted a simulation drill exercise at Oasis Hotel, Angeles City.

The exercise involved a tabletop diagnosis of sample cases on the possible presence of AI in the said cases, how this was supposed to be done according to the Avian Influenza Contingency plan. The exercise aimed to assess and ensure that all task force members could effectively perform their assigned tasks.

Dr. Romeo J. Manalili, Avian Influenza coordinator of DA said that the Avian Influenza Contingency Plan has been approved by the RDCC through the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and has endorsed it to the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Manalili said that the simulation exercise which aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the contingency plan was participated in by some 45 members of the Regional Task Force on AI from various national government agencies, provincial/city veterinarians and the academe, specifically from the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Muņoz City, Nueva Ecija.

The Philippines, Singapore and Brunei are the only Asian countries that remain untainted by the AI virus. Europe, Africa and Asia experienced the bird flu epidemic that affected people's livelihoods and posed possible risks to animal and human health.

This is the result of the concerted efforts of government agencies and various stakeholders to prevent the spread of the disease, added Manalili.

Mayor Francis Nepomuceno of Angeles City in his message encouraged the action officers of the AI Task Force to pool their resources for the success of their objective to make not only Central Luzon but the entire Philippines free from bird flu.

He also said that his office will always be behind them and will always support the activities of the task force.

Dr. Josefino E. Villaroman, chairman of the Regional Advisory Committee Animal Disease Control and Emergency in Central Luzon (RAC-ADCE III) said that they will continue to organize and train AI Task Force members in various municipalities and replicate simulation exercises to strengthen them and to create awareness on bird flu.

The advocacy activities of the Information and Education Campaign (IEC) are being done thru the preparation of press releases, coordination with various radio stations, local television stations for guesting, and the production/reproduction, distribution of posters, flyers, brochures and gazette regarding AI activities/updates to media outlets, and the conduct of meetings in various barangays, municipalities in the region, according to Villaroman.

The evaluators on the said simulation exercise were veterinarians from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of the DA namely Dr. Samuel Animas, Dr. Josefina C. Santos, Dr. Imelda J. Santos and Dr. Emelinda J. Lopez. (PIA-Pampanga) [top]

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