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NRCP, round table, bird flu

The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) will tackle the issue of avian flu during its 2nd round table discussion (RTD) on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 at the Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros Manila.

The RTD will integrate the various views from scientists and experts, relevant institutions, and industry representatives. The aim is to holistically assess the origins and pathways of bird flu, as well as help carry out recommendations for policy.

Round table roster

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.

Meanwhile, confirmed 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; and Dr. Augustino S. Baluyut, Jr., Pampanga provincial veterinarian.

Also participating in 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.

An open discussion on bird flu

According to executive director Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay:

“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.”

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 bird flu outbreak hit Pampanga and Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon, necessitating the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of birds in both large and small/backyard scale chicken and duck raisers. Additionally, this resulted in millions in business losses, as well as a health scare that rendered Pampanga province under a state of calamity. –MF


(George Robert E. Valencia III, S&T Media Service, DOST-NRCP, with reports from Mary Charlotte O. Fresco)

Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco

Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.