Sep 232014
 

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA5291
2005-11-09 07:39
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 005291

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/IHA FOR JKAUFMANN
STATE FOR INR/EAP FOR JSTROTZ
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/ICD FOR ROSENBLUM
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/DL&P FOR MAGINNIS
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/ITP/AA FOR ALEXANDER
STATE PASS USDA/FAS/FAA FOR HAGER
STATE PASS USDA/APHIS/IS FOR HOFFMAN
STATE PASS USDA/APHIS/VS FOR DUVERNOY
STATE PASS USDA/ARS/SEPRL FOR SUAREZ
STATE PASS USAID FOR DCARROLL AND ACLEMENTS
BANGKOK FOR REO JAMES WALLER
CIA FOR NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE COUNCIL NIO/EA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PINR SOCI EAGR SENV TBIO TSPL RP
SUBJECT: NEW AVIAN FLU “CZAR” WILL FOCUS ON PREVENTION

REF: A) STATE 151549

B) MANILA 2053
C) MANILA 3883
D) MANILA 4278
E) MANILA 5059

¶1. On November 2, President Arroyo appointed Department
of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Domingo Panganiban as the
“anti-Avian Flu Czar” supervising avian flu preparedness.
Panganiban will lead the National Avian Influenza Task
Force (NAITF) that coordinates inter-agency efforts to
prevent and control HPAI outbreaks. The appointment
follows several public statements by Arroyo and her
cabinet members promising increased funding and
intensified efforts for HPAI preparedness. On October
27, Panganiban announced Project Blue, a 52.9 million
peso (roughly $1 million) DA initiative to restrict the
transportation of poultry, limit exposure of poultry to
migratory birds and raise public awareness of avian flu.
These announcements reflect heightened concern over the
threat posed by migratory birds from October through
March and increasing focus on prevention of HPAI in
poultry.

¶2. In tandem with Panganiban, President Arroyo appointed
Secretary Cerge Remonde, Head of the Government Mass

SIPDIS
Media Group to intensify information campaign and make
the general public aware on the serious threat of the
disease. The President also enlisted the support of
private creative media experts to assist in the
information drive. With a limited surveillance
capability, an aggressive public awareness program would
be crucial in disease detection and response.

¶3. The appointment of Panganiban for now places the DA
in the lead role in HPAI preparedness in order to focus
on prevention. The GRP previously designated Health
Secretary Francisco Duque as crisis manager for avian

SIPDIS
influenza with Panganiban as the co-crisis manager. As
reported in ref D, two lead GRP agencies will continue to
manage Avian Flu preparedness: the DA’s Bureau of Animal
Industry supervises AI preparedness for stages 1 and 2 –
prevention and control of HPAI in poultry – while the DOH
Program Manager for Emerging Infectious Diseases manages
preparedness for stages 3 and 4 – prevention and control
of HPAI in humans.

¶4. The NAITF also relies on the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct
surveillance of migratory birds while the Bureau of
Customs and the Philippine Coast Guard maintain border
measures to block imports of HPAI-infected birds. The
GRP has created local task forces in all regions,
including representatives of local government units
(LGUs), DA, DOH and the Philippine National Police (PNP)
to support surveillance and prepare for potential HPAI
outbreaks. BAI plans to call for each regional task
force to establish teams for rapid action, surveillance,
quarantine and information campaigns.

¶5. Comment: The appointment of an Anti-Avian Flu Czar
coincides with mounting public attention to the avian flu
threat and it reflects a growing focus on prevention of
avian flu in poultry. Given the GRP’s limited
surveillance and control capacity (reported in ref E),
stepped up public information campaigns can serve an
important role in encouraging public cooperation to
identify and contain possible HPAI outbreaks. If funding
promises are fulfilled, the DA should make some progress
in improving preparedness and raising public awareness of
avian flu. Further funding may be required to equip HPAI
control teams and to ensure the indemnification and
cooperation of poultry farmers. End Comment.

JONES

   

 

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