MANILA (DWDD) – The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) will take on the issue of avian flu during its 2nd round table discussion (RTD, s. 2017) Tuesday, 26 September 2017 at the Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros Manila. Through multi-participatory approach, the RTD will integrate the various views from scientists and experts, relevant institutions, and industry representatives to holistically assess the origins and pathways of bird flu and to help carry out recommendations for policy. The RTD, billed “Avian Influenza – How do we prevent its entry and spread: Policy Implications towards early detection, management, and mitigation,” will also involve decision makers from bird flu-affected provinces and businesses.
Confirmed presenters are: Dr. Ferchito L. Avelino, Department of Health (DOH) – Bureau of Quarantine deputy director; Dr. Maria Glofezita O. Lagayan, Avian Influenza Task Force member from the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry; Dr. Irma L. Asuncion, DOH – Bureau of Epidemiology director; and Anson M. Tagtag, Wildlife Management chief from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Biodiversity Management Bureau
Panelists are: Dr. Juan Carlos T. Gonzales, ornithologist, University of the Philippines (UP) scientist, and UP Los Baños Museum of Natural History director; Dr. Raul V. Destura, NRCP Medical Sciences chair and Philippine Genome Center Health Program director; Dr. Mildred A. Padilla, UP LB College of Veterinary Medicine professor; Dr. Jose S. Sabater, Philippine Medical Veterinary Association president; Dr. Paulino C. Abad, Philippine College of Poultry Practitioners, Inc. president; Dr. Marcos B. Valdez, Jr., Far Eastern University professor and outstanding young scientist of DOST-NAST; Dr. Augustino S. Baluyut, Jr., Pampanga provincial veterinarian.
Also participating the RTD are: Hon. Lilia G. Pineda, Pampanga governor; Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, Department of Science and Technology (DOTS) Scientific and Technological Services undersecretary; and members of the NRCP Governing Board represented by the Chairs of veterinary medicine and biological sciences, Dr. Claro N. Mingala and Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos, respectively, and Dr. Christina A. Binag, NRCP president.
“NRCP is the first collegial research body in the country with policy advisory mandate. We wanted to convene our members, with the local authorities and stakeholders to open the discussion and capture the issue from every angle—from biology, epidemiology, to social and other dimensions—to help ensure the readiness of our country against bird flu and future outbreaks that may affect the country,” said Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, executive director.
The recent influenza strain was confirmed to be that of H5N6, which can be passed from fowl to humans. Aside from the Philippines, H5N6 was also reported in Asian countries like China, Korea, Taiwan, and Myanmar. The provinces of Pampanga and Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon were the ones hit by the outbreak, resulting in the culling out of hundreds of thousands of birds in both large and small/backyard scale chicken and duck raisers; millions in business losses; and a health scare that rendered Pampanga province under a state of calamity. DOST-NRCP-STII/MCCAG