Press Release
June 10, 2023

Tolentino seeks DOH-BAI collaboration to address ASF, bird flu

MANILA - Senator Francis 'TOL' N. Tolentino urged the new leadership of the Department of Health (DOH) to collaborate with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to help address the problem of African Swine Flu (ASF) and Avian Influenza Flu in the country.

In his weekly radio program on DZRH, Tolentino asked newly appointed Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa if there's a way for hog and fowl farmers to directly access vaccines for ASF and bird flu respectively, since the current policy only allows them to have limited number of doses for their livestock and poultry.

"Pwede po bang magtulungan ang Department of Health at Bureau of Animal Industry? Para naman siguro etong kakulangan sa bakuna sa ating mga poultry products at sa ating mga baboy--ay matulungan natin ang ating mga magsasaka," said Tolentino on Saturday.

Tolentino stressed that during his recent visit in Pampanga, he was able to talk to some hog raisers and poultry operators who are willing to directly purchase vaccines for the sake of maintaining their respective livelihoods, as the number of doses being set to be provided by BAI are not enough to cover all the animals inside their farms.

"Marami po tayong mga magsasaka na nahihirapan sa pronouncement ng Bureau of Animal Industry na yung bakuna para sa swine flu eh 400 o 600 (pesos bawat isa) at may kamahalan. Tapos galing ako sa Pampanga nung isang araw, yung mga naapektuhan naman ng bird flu... gusto nila, sila na yung bumili ng bakuna. Pwede kaya 'yon na mag-link kayo ng Bureau of Animal Industry para matulungan ang ating mga magsasaka?" the senator added.

In response, Herbosa heeded Tolentino's suggestion, noting that he will immediately reach out to the Department of Agriculture (DA) to find out how they can collaborate on the matter.

Tolentino recently filed Senate Resolution No. 580 which seeks to determine the appropriate government actions in preventing and controlling another possible outbreak of bird flu in the country. The senator earlier also urged the national government to declare a state of national calamity due to the severe impact of ASF.

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