Thursday, March 21, 2013

Opening of GARC-Sorsogon province project marks history, says SK Provincial Federation President

SK Prov'l Federation Pres. Patrick Rodrigueza
SORSOGON CITY, March 21 (PIA) – “This day signifies the commencement of our fight against rabies,” Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Provincial Federation President, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Patrick Lee Rodrigueza affirmed at the launching of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC)–Sorsogon Province Project in Bulan, Sorsogon past Tuesday.

In participation to the Rabies Awareness Month, Sorsogon Province in partnership with GARC formally began with the project conceptualized during the term of former governor Sally Ante Lee, directed towards eliminating rabies in the province in two years, significantly where human rabies cases were recorded two years ago.

“Today, we are marking our history in the province, and probably on a national scale for having a huge project like this,” Rodrigueza stated, “and for putting together the youth as front liners in this struggle to make Sorsogon rabies-free.” Along with the SK, he added that they are certainly grateful for the trust given to them in the anti-rabies project.

With the alarming rate of rabies victims in the locality, the SK Provincial Federation President said that rabies is clearly a disaster that needs to be addressed and given appropriate measures.

From April until May 2013, with a group of veterinarians on the lead, mass dog vaccinations will be carried out all over the province. The youth were tapped to be of assistance for the activity to boost up a collective enterprise between Sorsogon Local Chief Executives, the Office of the Governor, Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), project-partner GARC and the SK Provincial Federation.

“To the youth and the entire stakeholders, undoubtedly, we will achieve our goals if we all work together and get rid of rabies in Sorsogon,” Rodrigueza said.

At the opening of the GARC-Sorsogon Province Project, the SK signed a symbolic declaration of their commitment to make the Province of Sorsogon rabies-free. It recognizes their concern with the dangerous effects of dog disease transmissible to humans through the bite of infected animals which cause approximately 560. 000 bite cases reported each year. and affirm their commitment with the Provincial Government of Sorsogon and the PVO as volunteer vaccinators all through the rabies elimination project.

Concerned about the adverse result of rabies account that around 300 to 400 lives are lost each year, which creates chaos and agony in the community, this pledge familiarizes with the importance of achieving greater synergy between local actions and national strategies, as well as programmes, and the importance of strengthening cooperation among the SK in attaining a rabies-free Sorsogon, and making ever dog owner a responsible owner by having its pet immunized annually.

It recognizes further that the youth comprise a huge population in the province who can make a massive stand by way of its joint effort in making the Province of Sorsogon rabies-free. For this reason, the SK declares to acknowledge that rabies is deadly and can cause death if the commitment between the National and Local Government, SK Federation, and every dog owner in the elimination of such will not be drawn attention to, and made effective through delegation and capacity building; strengthen the implementation and inclusion of SK involvement as volunteer vaccinators every summer of the year under the SK Provincial Federation’s Development Plan for the period of 2010 to 2013, and reintegration of the same during the drafting of the period of 2013 to 2016; empower each youth to be an active participant in every activity relative to the eradication of rabies through trainings, workshops and seminars; promote information dissemination in the Province of Sorsogon by conducting series of seminars, workshops and trainings for every sector in how to achieve a zero-rabies case in the province; allocate funds in accordance with the provisions of the 2001 SK Constitution and By-Laws and if insufficient, conduct fund-raising activities to sustain the programmes implemented and to be implemented in relation to rabies-free Sorsogon; and. support local as well as national innovative policies implanted by the National and Local Government in the eradication of rabies and other health related issues.

SK signs commitment towards a rabies-free province.
Looking back, to address the growing demand for a rabies control program in the province, Sorsogon Governor Raul R. Lee issued Executive Order (EO) Number 002 Series of 2013, which allows the ratification of the ordinances in Section 7 (Pet Owners’ Penalties) of the Republic Act 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 and creates a task force to intensify its implementation. Accordingly, the Provincial Government partnered with GARC represented by its Coordinator for Asia, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Miranda, through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to strengthen its rabies programme.

In 2012, two human and four positive canine cases were reported in the province. With these, Governor Lee emphasized the need to intensify the campaign against rabies through organized measures for its prevention, control, and elimination. The EO underscores that a more realistic program and effective participation of all the Local Government Units (LGUs) should be established through a task force with the help of GARC.

As a response to this directive, Honorable Municipal Mayors Helen Rose S. De Castro (Bulan), Jocelyn Y. Lelis (Prieto Diaz), Michael G. Guysayko (Bulusan), and Atty. Manuel L. Fortes (Barcelona) signified their support to the GARC-Provincial Government MOA, including the trainings to be conducted by the PVO for the youth. In addition, Mayor Fortes, who heads the Municipal Mayor’s League in Sorsogon, encouraged the members of the group to participate in the noble task and ensure compliance with the mandates of the law mentioned. 

The GARC-Sorsogon Province Rabies Project aims to vaccinate at least 70% of the total dog population. PVO Chief Dr. Enrique “Iking” Espiritu assumed that if this target is achieved, assurance is, it will put off the spread of rabies from one dog to another, and then Sorsogon can declare a rabies-free province. But, the goal is beyond our reach with only one technician per municipality. “That’s when the SK makes the team,” Dr. Espiritu said. (Von Andre E. Labalan, SORPIO/ PIA Sorsogon)

No comments: