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Travel Advisories

Executive Order Issued to Safeguard Cebu City Against Avian Influenza Threat

April 13, 2024

In response to the looming threat posed by Avian Influenza (AI), the Mayor of the City of Cebu, Michael Rama, has issued Executive Order No. 4, Series of 2024. This decisive action aims to regulate the movement of live birds and poultry products into the city, with the primary objective of preventing the transmission of AI and safeguarding the poultry industry, livelihoods, and food security of Cebu City residents.

The issuance of this executive order follows alarming developments in neighboring provinces, particularly in Kananga, Leyte, where confirmatory results from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA RFO 8) revealed the presence of H5N1 (Avian Influenza Virus) antibodies in blood samples taken from a breeding farm. These findings have raised concerns about potential AI outbreaks and their detrimental impact on both the environment and the poultry sector.

Acknowledging the imminent threat posed by AI, Mayor Michael Rama underscored the importance of proactive measures to mitigate its spread. The executive order prohibits the transportation of live poultry, pigeons, gamefowls, wild birds, and pet birds from confirmed AI-positive areas into Cebu City. This strict regulation aims to prevent the introduction of the virus into the city and minimize the risk of contagion within local poultry flocks.

However, recognizing the necessity of poultry products for sustenance and economic activities, the executive order allows the entry of poultry products into Cebu City from confirmed AI-positive areas, subject to stringent compliance with documentary requirements. Moreover, the transport of poultry meat from AI-affected areas, such as Kananga, Leyte, is permitted only if accompanied by the appropriate meat inspection certificates, ensuring the safety and integrity of the food supply chain.

In addition to regulating the movement of live birds and poultry products, the executive order also addresses the proper management of poultry by-products. It permits the movement of poultry dung/manure sourced from Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI)-registered farms, emphasizing the importance of responsible waste management practices in preventing the spread of AI.

To enforce these regulations effectively, the executive order mandates heightened security and patrol of the city borders by relevant government agencies, including the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coastguard, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 7, and Bureau of Animal-National Veterinary Quarantine Service Division Region 7. This collaborative effort aims to intercept and deter any unauthorized entry of AI-contaminated birds or products into Cebu City.

Furthermore, the executive order prioritizes information dissemination to ensure widespread awareness and compliance among stakeholders. Concerned agencies are tasked with disseminating information and briefing barangay officials on the provisions of the executive order, fostering a collective effort in safeguarding the city against the AI threat.

In closing, Executive Order No. 4, Series of 2024, demonstrates the proactive stance of the City of Cebu in addressing the looming threat of Avian Influenza. By implementing stringent regulations and fostering inter-agency cooperation, Cebu City aims to fortify its defenses against AI and uphold the welfare and safety of its residents, poultry industry, and food security.

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