6,600 ‘balut’ buried in Dumaguete City amid bird flu scare

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Bureau of Animal Industry in Negros Oriental has ordered the disposal of 6,600 embryonated eggs or “balut” that were shipped from Luzon to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, amid the bird flu virus scare.

Veterinary quarantine officer Dr. Alfonzo Tundag convinced the consignee, Roxanne Pahayay, to have the “balut” buried Tuesday afternoon following a memorandum received by the Bureau of Animal Industry here from the regional office.

Pahayay, a resident of Candauay, Dumaguete City, acceded to the request of Dr. Tundag to have all the “balut” buried, even though she felt sad of the losses it would incur.

The 22 crates of “balut” arrived at the port of Dumaguete City Monday night on board an inter-island vessel but were held at the port area until noontime Tuesday before they were claimed by the consignee and brought to the quarantine office of the Bureau of Animal Industry.

Pahayay said she ordered the “balut” from her supplier in Candaba, Pangasinan, as she was told these were safe for consumption if properly cooked because they were tested negative for the virus through the blood samples taken before the shipment.

In fact, she volunteered the information to the quarantine officer, Dr. Tundag, that she has a shipment from Luzon of about 6,600 pieces of balut.

Questions were raised as to why it was allowed to be loaded to an inter-island vessel on Sunday evening when the outbreak of the bird flu in Pampanga started last Friday.

The memorandum circular, however, arrived on Monday, August 14, 2017.

Concerned of the safety of “balut” eaters in the city and the province, Pahayahay had mobilized her personnel and buried all the 22 crates of balut inside the quarantine office compound in the presence of quarantine officer Tundag and other personnel.

She said the 6,600 pieces of balut had a market value of P120,000.

Pahayay is supplying “balut” to vendors in Dumaguete, Siaton and Sta. Catalina in Negros Oriental, and even in the nearby island of Siquijor.  Juancho Gallarde/

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