NEW PNP CHIEF. General Rommel Francisco Marbil, the former police director of Eastern Visayas, is now the country’s top police officer after President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. named him to the post. Photo shows Interior Sec. Benjamin Abalos joins Pres. Marcos during the ceremony on Monday (April 1). Story on Page 21. (RTVM)

Due to avian flu occurrence

TACLOBAN CITY – Several local government units in Leyte have implemented border controls to prevent the potential spread of avian flu following an outbreak at a poultry farm in Kananga town.

Among these municipalities are Palompon and Matag-ob, whose mayors have issued executive orders restricting the entry of chickens from Kananga.

Mayor Ramon Oñate of Palompon emphasized that by prohibiting chickens from Kananga, their town could avoid the avian flu outbreak.

Despite the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) assertion that the avian flu has been contained, Mayor Oñate expressed concern that it could still affect other areas like Palompon.

He commended Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia for imposing restrictions on chicken from Leyte to safeguard their own poultry industry.

Mayor Oñate also expressed disappointment with DA officials for not informing them about the avian flu outbreak, stating that they only learned of it through social media.

Oñate, who owns DBSN, the largest poultry farm in Eastern Visayas, culls about 50,000 chickens daily for commercial use.

On March 25, the DA confirmed the presence of avian flu in Leyte, particularly at the Leyte Poultry Development Corp., which was initially reported on March 12.

The management reported culling 60,000 chickens to contain the disease.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bernardino Tacoy of Matag-ob promptly issued an executive order barring the entry of chickens from Kananga and other areas upon confirmation of the avian flu outbreak by the DA.

Vaccination of chickens across the town will also be conducted to prevent the virus’s spread, as around 400 chickens from a local poultry farm reportedly died.

However, Tacoy stated that this remains suspect until inspections by the Provincial Veterinary Office are completed.

As part of the prohibition measures, even cockfighting activities in Matag-ob are indefinitely suspended. However, owners of live chickens with sanitary permits from their respective veterinary offices will be permitted entry.

Mayor Tacoy also owns a poultry farm, primarily for cockfighting purposes.