BAGUIO CITY – Eleven barangays in Baguio City and Benguet have been recognized as Best Barangay Rabies Program Implementers by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) for their unwavering commitment in rabies prevention through implementing the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program in their respective jurisdiction. The awarding was held on November 28, 2023 in Guisad, Baguio City.
The barangays from Benguet which received PhP30K each are Bahong and Shilan, La Trinidad; Ucab and Tuding, Itogon; Ambongdolan, Tublay; Datakan, Kapangan. Meanwhile, barangays from Baguio namely Holy Ghost Proper; Scout Barrio; Magsaysay Private Road; Bakakeng Norte-Sur; and Baguio Country Club Village also received the same to further expand their rabies program implementation.
They were selected based on four pillars: socio-cultural, technical, organizational, and political, or the STOP-strategy. Based on the global framework for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies, these pillars are deemed essential for embarking on dog rabies elimination. The framework provides a coordinated approach and vision for the global elimination of dog-mediated human rabies following the STOP-Strategy, with addition of Resources as the fifth pillar. It is intended to harmonize actions and provide adaptable, achievable guidance for country and regional strategies.
Further, several rabies coordinators were also lauded, namely, Dr. Franklin B. Balanban (Itogon, Benguet), Andres Cayap (Kapangan, Benguet), Dr. Mark Anthony Padao (La Trinidad, Benguet), Saturnino Tande (Tublay, Benguet), Dr. Peter Canggat, Jr. (Benguet Provincial Coordinator), Dr. Michael Takinan (City Animal Control Officer), and Dr. Gladys Bantog (City Coordinator).
The program is also in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Education.
In her remarks, DA-CAR OIC-Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Dr. Arlene Sagayo congratulated the best barangay implementers for their strict implementation in preventing rabies. “Thank you for being our partners in preventing rabies. This is evident as you will receive an award today. I also hope that you will join in achieving the objective of rabies-free Cordillera by 2028, two years prior to the 2030’s national goal.
Sagayo also briefly discussed the RA 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007. Accordingly, all humans should be protected from rabies. Further, local government units should strictly implement the program by ensuring that all dogs are properly immunized, enforce dog-control activities such as leashing or confining them within the premises of the owner’s house or fenced surroundings, ensure that enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, enact additional local ordinances that will support the program that should include the regulation of treatment locally known as “tandok”, prohibit dog trading, and prohibition of the use of electrocution as a euthanasia procedure, among others.
DOH-CAR Rabies Coordinator Ms. Kristine Gale Raguindin also praised the barangays’ unwavering commitment to a rabies-free community, “We celebrate the efforts of our community leaders and health workers. The Best Barangay Rabies Program Implementers award serves as a testament to the tireless efforts and dedication to the public health particularly the realm of rabies vaccination,” she said, underscoring the significance of rabies vaccination in rabies prevention and its benefits to animal, human and community health.
In response, Bantog acknowledged the efforts of the awarded barangays in enforcing the program, as she emphasized the importance of documentation as proof that they had accomplished the program’s aim in preventing rabies, and urged them to continue their efforts in the program.
In closing, DA-CAR Regulatory Division OIC-Chief Dr. Leisley Deligen urged the awardees to guide their neighboring barangays to further boost their implementation of rabies prevention by sharing their best practices, as plans are also underway for Best Municipality Implementers, in an aim to finally attain the rabies-free Philippines in 2030. By CEWaytan