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ARMM Supports ‘Rabies-Free Philippines by 2020’ Campaign

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The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), through its Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and partner agencies, are taking steps to help achieve a rabies-free Philippines by 2020.

Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease of dogs and other domesticated animals, which is transmissible to humans through the pets’ saliva.

The achievement of rabies-free Philippines by 2020 is the country’s goal to support the government’s drive of eliminating rabies-caused human deaths by 2030.

The DAF-ARMM has conducted a rabies awareness program on March 8 to students at Broce Central Elementary School of Peace and the community in Broce, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Dr. Norodin Kuit, ARMM’s regional anti-rabies coordinator, said the program was aimed at raising awareness on rabies and to call on Filipinos to prevent such disease through responsible pet ownership.

A mass vaccination of domesticated animals, especially dogs, was conducted during the program.

Myrna Jacolon, 33, who owns a cat and three dog pets said attending uch program was educational, and the immunization of her pets against rabies means protecting her family and her pets as well.

Veterinarian Cathy Moira of the Bureau of Animal Industry said that every 10 minutes, someone dies of rabies worldwide. Most affected are children 4-15 years old. Cherry Bologa, 8, who owns a three-month-old pet dog she calls ‘Chewaweng’ submitted her dog for immunization during the event.

On the average, 1,100 Filipinos experience animal bites every day, and there were around 230 deaths in 2015 and 180 deaths in January to September 2016.

Dr. Moira advised that an animal bite patient should immediately wash the wound with soap or detergent under running water, disinfect wound with alcohol, consult a doctor and seek the nearest bite center in the locality for medical attention.

As of 2016, there are around 480 Animal Bite Treatment Centers in the country. In the ARMM, an animal bite center could be visited for consultation at the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital in the town of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

Officials from the DAF-ARMM, meanwhile, encouraged residents to let their pets, especially dogs, to be vaccinated for free at the DAF-ARMM office at the regional compound in CotabatoCity.

Dr. Kuit said being a responsible pet owner would significantly help in preventing rabies. He advised that dogs and cat pets should be vaccinated against rabies at three months of age and every year thereafter. Pets should have proper nutrition, he said, dogs should be kept on leash and should not be allowed to roam freely in the streets.

He added that being educated with government legislation on rabies, such as Executive Order (E.O.) No. 84, series of 1999, and the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 (R.A. 9482) would help would help pet owners.

“Information and education on rabies prevention measures, first aid for dog bites and other relevant facts concerning rabies are critical for its eradication,” E.O. 84 noted.

Under R.A. 9482, pet owners are required to “maintain control over their dog and not allow it to roam the street or any public place without a leash.” (BPI/PIA-10)

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650 senior citizens in Bacolod receive P1.95-M social pension

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Six hundred fifty (650) senior citizens received a total of PHP1.95 million in government social pension from the city government during the turnover rites Monday facilitated by the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) here.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and DSSD head Pacita Tero led the distribution to the beneficiaries from various barangays.

Each senior citizen received a total of PHP3,000, or PHP500 each month covering six months.

The age requirement of beneficiaries has been lowered to 60 years with additional funds as provided for by Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Originally, only senior citizens aged 77 and above received the pension, but the age was later lowered to 65 and then 60 years old.

An elderly will also qualify as program beneficiary if he or she is sickly, frail and with disability, has no regular source of income, as well as having no financial support from family members and pension from the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

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DSWD-7 Honors Partner CSOs

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Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media organizations, a parish and a hospital were among the partner institutions who received special awards from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII during its recently concluded 67th founding anniversary.

DSWD Undersecretary Florita R. Villar and DSWD-7 Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre presented the plaques of recognition to Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Integrated Development Center (JPIC-IDC) and to Pagtambayayong Foundation Incorporated (FPI) for their invaluable support to the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) by providing assistance to the homeless street families, families in need of special protection and indigenous families. Partner CSOs who helped and supported DSWD-run centers and institutions like the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC II), Regional Haven, Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) and Home for Girls (HFG) were also honored through the ‘Salamat Po’ award.

Salamat Po awardees were Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Cebu, Cebu Doctor’s University (CDU), GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, Juanito I. King Foundation (JIKF), Oasis of Love, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Rotary Club of Cebu West, Verbum Dei Catholic Missionary and Virgen Delos Remedios Parish.

The Social Welfare and Development Learning Network (SWDL-NET) was also given a plaque of recognition for their support in providing accessible, relevant quality social welfare and capacity building program. For the Gawad Ulat award, three media outfits were given the highest recognition for their advancement in the advocacy, promotion, and publicity of the Department’s programs and services.

The awardees were Cebu Daily News (CDN) – Most Supportive Newspaper, DYAB 1512 – Most Supportive Radio Station and Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) Channel 47 – Most Supportive Television Station. Other media partners were also given the ‘Salamat Po’ award namely ABS-CBN, DYHP 612, Sunstar Cebu and The Freeman.

Also awarded during the anniversary celebration were outstanding and long-time DSWD employees through the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence or ‘PRAISE Awards’.

DSWD 7

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Phase 1 of P4.8-B of Bacolod Economic Highway Kicks Off

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Construction of the two-kilometer portion of Phase 1 of the PHP4.8 billion Bacolod Economic Highway (BEH) funded by the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) started on Friday.

This portion of the project will cost PHP200 million, and spans the road from Barangay Mansilingan towards Barangay Felisa.

The budget includes the allocation for the right-of-way of landowners affected by the road project.

Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya, who facilitated the project implementation, said the two-kilometer portion is part of the economic highway that spans 21 kilometers.

Contractor Supreme ABF was given 280 days to finish the construction, he added.

“We prioritized this area because the property of the Province of Negros Occidental is also located here and we expect more development (in this site),” he added.

The latest project followed the construction of the Phase 1’s three-kilometer Section 2 of the economic highway which started in April last year with a budget of PHP300 million.

This portion, from Barangay Sum-ag to Barangay Cabug, is expected to be completed in May this year.

Gasataya added that the construction of the six-kilometer Phase 2 will begin in April, covering areas from Barangay Vista Alegre to Barangay Estefania, with the budget of PHP400 million, including payment for the right-of-way.

The 21-kilometer BEH will cover areas across Barangays Sum-ag, Cabug, Felisa, Handumanan, Mansilingan, Estefania, Granada, Mandalagan, and Bata.

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DOH6 Enjoins Lgus to Create Local Aids Councils

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The Department of Health (DOH)-6 called on local government units in Western Visayas to establish or reactivate local AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) councils to strengthen local responses against HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS.

Dr. Elvie Villalobos, DOH-6 Infectious Disease Cluster Head, said there is a need to have functional local AIDS councils in the provincial, city, and municipal levels and tap involvement of multi-sectoral partners.

“Based on our data, the cases of HIV are increasing. Every 10 hours, a person is diagnosed with HIV in Western Visayas,” he said.

According to the DOH-6 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), a total of 606 cases were reported in Western Visayas for the period January to November 2017.

Of the figure, 495 of the HIV cases were asymptomatic while 111 were full-blown AIDS.

Data from DOH-6 revealed that majority of the cases were males registering 586 while the remaining 20 were females.

Most of the HIV and AIDS cases were transmitted through “male having sex with male” (MSM).

In an effort to address this concern, the Population, Health and Nutrition (PHN) Sub-Committee in Region 6 crafted a resolution enjoining all provinces, cities, and municipalities in the region to reactivate their local AIDS councils (LAC) and establish their corresponding service delivery network for HIV, and ensure functionality by providing funds.

The PHN Sub-committee said that DOH has identified HIV and AIDS as among the top health priorities of the current administration and has affirmed its leadership of the country’s AIDS response in partnership with various sectors.

Likewise, DILG Memorandum Circular 2013-29 mandates for strengthening local responses toward more effective and sustained responses to HIV and AIDS through functional LAC.

The LGUs shall enact an ordinance defining the functions of the LAC, and provide financial assistance, identify multi-sectoral plans, strategies, programs, projects, and activities for the prevention of HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections.

DOH-6 through the PHN Sub-Committee shall endorse the resolution to the Social Development Council (SDC) for approval and the SDC shall facilitate endorsement to the Regional Development Council (RDC)-6.

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