Volume 17 / No. 17   |  September 15, 2017
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Nueva Ecija Journal is published in
Gapan City, Nueva Ecija,Philippines
and updated every 15th and
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DA lifts bird flu ban

The Department of Agriculture lifted the ban on the transport of poultry products within the seven-kilometer radius bird flu controlled zones in Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said "Following the recommendations of bio-security experts, I signed a Memorandum Circular lifting the quarantine restrictions in the 7-kilometer Controlled Area Radius around the town of San Luis, Pampanga and in Jaen and San Isidro towns in Nueva Ecija." 

He pointed out, however, that quarantine restrictions and surveillance were still being implemented within the one-kilometer radius of each of the three towns.

He said the department would implement an interim rule of "test and slaughter" for chickens coming from areas within the seven-kilometer zone, where farms due for harvest would be inspected by the Provincial Veterinary Office for bio-security and flock health assessment. Laboratory tests would also be done to see if the birds are free from the avian flu virus.

Piñol said birds meeting the criteria would be slaughtered only in dressing plants accredited by the  National Meat Inspection Service.

Hatching eggs, he said, should come from farms without unusual mortality and transported in disinfected and sealed vans. Balut should come from farms which had tested negative for avian flu virus. ###

Jaen and San Isidro poultry farms not yet operating

The provincial government said poultry farms in Jaen and San isidro were still experiencing problems with the bird flu outbreak because the cleaning and disinfection of the towns have not been completed.

Under the testing process being implemented, sentinel birds would be placed in the quarantine area for 35 days to determine if the bird flu virus still exists in the area.

Poultry farm owners can resume raising chickens and quails if problems do not arise.

Owners said they hope that by October, they can finally begin recovering their earning losses, with full operations by November.

Because of this, farm owners and workers have shifted to alternative work to financially survive.

Quail farm owner Magdalena Nagum said she worked in other jobs like construction when available. She said other poultry raises engage in other livelihood activities, with their wives accepting laundry jobs.

The provincial government has assured that there is P2.7 million from the calamity fund that can be given to displaced poultry farm workers.

Provincial Administrator Alejandro Abesamis said the direction of the financial assistance or support of the municipal government is in the form of cash for work, coordinated with the labor department so they could be given funds.

Aside from chicken farms, suppliers and distributors of eggs are also experiencing the effects of the bird flu scare.

Abesamis said many of the eggs produced in Luzon go to waste due to the existing ban, with suppliers forced to lower prices of medium-sized eggs to P1.50 each from P4.50. ###

Association says country could face egg shortage during holiday season

The Philippine Egg Board Association (PEBA) said the country could face an egg shortage in December after the bird flu outbreak in Jaen and San Isidro, Nueva Ecija and San Luis, Pampanga.

Irwin Ambal, association president, said even before the bird flu outbreak was confirmed in the two provinces, supply was already tight as bakers and restaurants had increased their egg purchases.

“Before the avian influenza, the farm-gate price of a medium-sized egg was around P4.50 to P4.70 per piece, which was a record high. And the price was high because of the production shortfall,” Ambal said.

He said the restrictions imposed by local government units in the Visayas could worsen the supply situation in the coming months, noting that some LGUs have prohibited the transport of poultry products from Luzon due to health concerns.

He said members of PEBA in Batangas, considered as the country's egg basket, were forced to sell their produce at lower prices to avoid losses caused by restrictions in the Visayas.

“The provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija are currently being flooded with cheaper eggs from Batangas,” he said.

Ambal expects the local layer industry to recover some time after December.

He explained that unlike broilers that could be harvested after 20 days, a day-old chick takes 20 weeks to produce eggs.

Meanwhile, the United Broilers Raisers Association assured that the country will have enough poultry meat during the holidays.

Association president Elias Jose Inciong said the farm-gate price of broilers has started to recover since the agriculture department lifted the ban on the shipment of poultry products from Luzon. ###

Duterte might abandon mega prison project in Ecija

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said President Duterte has lost interest in the project to build a mega prison in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, proposing instead the improvement of existing regional prisons nationwide.

Aguirre told a hearing of the House of representatives for the budget of the justice department, that what Duterte is inclined to do is build a medium-sized facility in Nueva Ecija and infuse P2 billion each to the budgets of seven regional prison facilities.

The budget for the proposed Nueva Ecija mega prison was P150 billion. ###

'Fake rice' downs minors in General Natividad

A number of minors in General Natividad experienced stomach pains after supposedly eating "face rice".

The aunt of one victim said the rice had a different smell and had a plastic-like texture.

She said she formed the rice into balls and threw them at the floor to make them bounce based on a common belief that balls of fake rice bounce.

A report however showed that some of the the balls did not bounce.

A nearby rice seller said the the suspected fake rice did not come from his store, stressing that he did not sell any such product.

The National Food Authority earlier clarified that rice formed into balls can bounce due to the grain's high starch content, and that fake rice has not been detected in the local market since 2015. ###

Teen seen with EJK victim in Navotas, found dead in Gapan

The 14-year-old boy who was last seen with slain teenager Car Angelo Arnaiz in Navotas, was found dead in Gapan City.

Supt. Peter Madria, city police chief, said a resident found the body of Reynaldo "Kulot" de Guzman in a creek in Barangay San Roque at around 11:30 A.M. last September 5.

The boy's parents positively identified him at a funeral parlor morgue the following day.

Madria said the body was not yet in a state of decomposition.

PO3 Niño Cabog, who is handling the case, said de Guzman's body had 30 stab wounds.

De Guzman, a Grade 5 pupil at Maybunga Elementary School in Pasig city, was last seen with Arnaiz, the 19-year old who was killed by policemen in an alleged shootout along the C3 Road in Navotas.

Meanwhile, Gapan City Mayor Emerson Pascual offered a P200,000 reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of suspects involved in the killing of de Guzman.

He called on his constituents to help solve the killing by identifying the culprits.

The mayor vowed to protect the informant who will come forward. ###

Gapan OFW hurt in Cabanatuan gun attack

An overseas Filipino worker from Gapan City was shot and wounded in Cabanatuan City while aboard a sports utility vehicle last September 3.

Supt Ponciano Zafra, Cabanatuan City police chief, identified the victim as Francisco Aquino, Jr., 32, of Purok 1, Barangay Pambuan, Gapan City.

He sustained several gunshot wounds in the body and was rushed to Premiere Medical Center.

The attack was carried out by armed men riding a white Toyota Vios along Maharlka Highway in Barangay Valdefuente at 2:30 P.M.

Police said the victim was with his family aboard a black Ford SUV going north when the suspects overtook them and repeatedly fired at them

Zafra said they are sill looking into the motive for the slay attempt. ###

Palayan drag racers arrested

Seven persons allegedly engaged in motorcycle drag racing were arrested in an anti-gambling operation conducted by the Palayan City police on the night of September 1.

Chief Insp. Arnel Santiago, city police chief, said the suspects were nabbed at 8:40 P.M. when patrolling policemen arrived at the Singalat Capitol Road beside the Palayan City Business Hub and saw a group of men placing bets on an illegal motorcycle race.

Those arrested were identified as  Paul Edward Gonzales, 25, Carwin Soriano, 21, Jolly Caralde, 21, Derrick Salazar, 20, Raphael Donato, 18, Erick Francisco, 22, and John Lennard Piadozo, 19, all of Bgy. Malate.

Santiago said policemen ran after those involved in the race but some managed to hide and escape.

The suspects, the bet money and the esized motorcycles were brought to the police station for processing.

Charges of illegal gambling were filed against the suspects at the city prosecutor's office. ###

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