IMG 0452The LGU awardees stand proudly for a photo opportunity with the representatives of DA-MIMAROPA namely Ronie Panoy (first row, center), Chief of Field Operations Division; Helen Aceret, Chief of Regulatory Division (far left), Dr. Maria Teresa Altayo (woman in blue), ACCII and Regional Livestock Focal Person and Dr. Hugo Untalan, Jr. (2nd row,first person from left), Regional Rabies Coordinator and Vet II. Also with them are the representatives from the DOH regional field office.

National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee (NRPCC) declared two (2) island municipalities of Romblon namely, San Jose and Romblon,as rabies-free zone in line with the celebration of the 10th World Rabies Day on September 28. While the province of Marinduque was recognized among the 37 best Local Government Unit (LGU) Implementer of Rabies Program.

There are three (3) awardees of rabies-free zone this year that add to the 35 LGUs previously recognized by NRPCC since 2008. The other LGU is Pan de Acuzar Islands in Concepcion, Iloilo.

The celebration was spearheaded by the Bureau of Animal Industry with the highlights of awarding the rabies-free zones and best LGU implementers at the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority Conference Hall, BAI compound, Diliman, Quezon City. 

Romblon’s Municipal Mayor Mariano Mateo and Raymund Juvian Moratin Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) received their award.

“We have extensive information dissemination about the threat of rabies to animals and humans and we also schedule monthly vaccination and spaying of animals in every barangay of our municipality,” Moratin said in an interview.

“We are happy that our efforts to make our municipality rabies-free are recognized by the Bureau,” Mayor Mateo added.

IMG 0442Dr. Samson Amurao, Jr., Chairman of National Rabies Prevention Control Committee (NRPCC), with Dr. Emelinda Lopez, OIC of BAI’s Animal Health and Welfare Division (sixth person from right) hand over rabies-free zone certificate and marker to Mayor Mariano Mateo (man in orange) of Romblon, Romblon. With them are the representatives of DA and DOH regional field office of MIMAROPA.

For San Jose, Romblon, Mayor Ronnie Samson; Dr. Paul Minano, Provincial Veterinarian; Felipe Malacad, OIC-MAO  and representatives of the provincial health office were present.

“We have been aiming to be rabies-free zone since 2010. Our Mayor who was a Vice Mayor then, has given us instructions to work with the provincial veterinarian and health officers to consistently implement the rabies program,” Malacad said.

“I would like to thank the Department of Agriculture through our MAO, the head provincial veterinary office, and our other colleagues who work hard to attain this goal. This award is for our townsmen, they will now feel safe from rabies---this is what the award really means for us,” Mayor Samson expressed.

IMG 0439Municipality of San Jose, Romblon lead by its Mayor, Honorable Ronnie Samson (fourth person from right) receives their award and marker for being one of the local government units delared as rabies-free zone from National Rabies Prevention Control Committee (NRPCC).

To be qualified as rabies-free zone, the areas are evaluated through their consistent implementation of the program in accordance to the joint DOH (Department of Health) and DA Order No. 1 Series of 2008 or the Guidelines for Declaring Rabies-Free Zones. Among the requirements is having at least 75% of pets, particularly canines, are vaccinated with anti-rabies.

The candidate LGU underwent three (3) evaluation processes from the regional level of DA and DOH, to the BAI for animal side and DOH for the human side up to the NRPCC.

Moreover, Marinduque was recognized as among best 37 LGU because of its commitment in maintaining being a rabies-free zone since it was declared in 2012.

Nearby provinces have been seeking their help to eliminate the deadly disease as shared by Josephine Malapad, Agriculturist I.

“The office has been passionate in doing its duties, the award is unexpected but we are thankful to the committee for recognizing our hard work,” she said.

Recognition of the best implementer was made possible through the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)-BAI Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (STANDZ) Rabies Project with the aim of eliminating the disease by 2020.

IMG 0447Josephine Malapad, Agriculturist I of Marinduque stands with Dr. Amurao, Dr. Lopez and former BAI Director, Dr. Rubina Cresencio for a photo opportunity after receiving the award for Best Local Government Unit Implementer of Rabies Program.

The awardees were assisted by Ronie Panoy, Chief of Field Operations Division, Helen Aceret, Chief of Regulatory Division; Dr. Maria Teresa Altayo, ACC III and Regional Livestock Focal Person and Dr. Hugo Untalan, Jr., Vet II, Regional Rabies Program Coordinator.

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