MANILA - Farmers affected by the bird flu outbreak in Pampanga province can start taking out "survival loan" packages from a rural bank next week, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Tuesday.
The government has set up a P50-million fund at the Rural Bank of San Luis where farmers can avail of P5,000 cash aid and borrow as much as P20,000 each, Piñol told DZMM.
Farmers can also avail of P80 for every chicken that gets slaughtered due to bird flu, he said.
The outbreak was contained in the villages of San Carlos and Sta. Rita but all kinds of fowls from the nearby villages of San Pedro, San Simon, Lahug, and Sta. Maria were also killed to prevent the spread of the disease, Piñol said.
Fowls from Luzon were also banned from being shipped to Visayas and Mindanao. If no bird falls sick after 21 days, the ban will be lifted, he said.
"Humihingi kami ng pang-unawa dahil this is a matter of survival of the poultry industry of the Philippines. Kapag ito ay kumalat sa buong Pilipinas, hindi na tayo makakapagexport," he said.
(We appeal for understanding because this is a matter of survival of the poultry industry. If this spreads to the entire Philippines, we will not be able to export.)