MANILA - Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol on Monday reassured the public that chicken and poultry products sold in the markets were safe for consumption.
Piñol also appealed for calm and said reports of a bird flu outbreak in Butuan City were unverified.
Authorities are containing the spread of the virus from San Luis town in Pampanga province and Jaen and San Isidro towns in Nueva Ecija province. The bird flu strain is not contagious to humans.
Piñol said a ban against moving poultry outside the affected towns was being strictly enforced.
"Let me emphasize this, anything that is sold in the market, manok, itlog, is safe because napaka-strikto ng ating quarantine measures, walang lumalabas sa 7-kilometer radius," he said.
(Let me emphasize, anything that is sold in the market, chicken, eggs, is safe because quarantine measures are very strict. Nothing slips out of the 7-kilometer radius,)
Piñol advised farmers with sick birds to close their farm and bring the affected animals to the nearest veterinarian.
"Hindi porke may namatay na itik, bird flu na kaagad," he said.
(Just because a duck died, doesn't mean it's bird flu.)
Piñol said that if no new cases are reported within the virus 21-day incubation period, the outbreak in the 3 towns will be considered "contained."