Sunday, February 15, 2009

Loon Anti-Rabies Campaign

By Rey Anthony Chiu

  Anti-rabies advocates in exchange for medical health insurance, you bet. 

  While spending a sizable budget for medical health care (Medicare) insurance assistance, Loon Mayor Lloyd Peter Lopez figured out he could also ask a payback from his constituents. 

  In a PowerPoint presentation to Asian group visiting Bohol to study the province-wide anti-rabies prevention and eradication program implementation, Mayor Lopez bared the plan to engage more of his people to respond to the threat. 

  Lopez, who is also a physician by profession said the town has practically been alarmed by the unusually high population of stray dogs in his town, some canines taking their posts at key municipal hall alleys.  

  Loon was once of the first few Bohol towns that wholeheartedly adopted the campaign ahead, the mayor cognizant that he ought to have a head start. 

  Loon has got the most number of barangays in Bohol at 67, and in an anti-rabies saturation drive, local officials would need all the time they can get.  

  From an initial budget of P10T, Loon upped the anti-rabies fund to P90T the following year, the mayor reported in an apparent move to show the conviction of local officials about the threat.  

  Despite starting ahead, while many Loon residents expect a down in reported bite cases, the town registered almost double bite cases last year. 

  To this, Dr. Lopez attributed to the awareness people now reporting dog bite cases to get the vaccination, rather than getting traditional remedies instead.  

  Putting up a gallant stand against the magnanimous challenge of getting Loon Rabies Free by 2010, and with the lack of manpower to campaign for responsible dog ownership, the town dad has proposed getting the help from indigent insurance beneficiaries.  

  The move also earned the nod of Asian study tour group members noting that creative ways of getting to the aim of ridding the risk of rabies should not be limited to fund scarcity. 

Increasing Food Supply in a Philippine Town

      Increasing local supply of food crops takes the top slot in this year's priority list of Talibon Mayor Juanario Item.

      For this purpose, a total of 75 barangay officials recently attended a one-day seminar-workshop on the production of Carbonized Rice Hull and Vermi-Composting held at the Farmers' Information & Technology Services (FITS) center in barangay San Roque.

      Among the participants were the 25 village heads, chairpersons of the barangay committees on agriculture and the barangay agricultural workers(BAW).

      In his message during the activity, Mayor Item said the activity helped make the participants and all land tillers appreciate the compost fertilizer more than inorganic ones.

      Item also pointed out that his administration's focus this year is on increasing the local supply of agricultural products like rice, banana, root crops and vegetables.

      Through the program, the municipal government aims to ensure the town's food security.

      "If all farmers will support his agenda to forget commercial fertilizers in favor of the organic ones, it will lessen the burden of crop production," according to the mayor.

      In fact, the mayor said he has already started applying compost fertilizers on his ricefields.

      Agricultural Technologist and FITS Manager Ponciana Cruda, for her part,  encouraged the farmers to try the CRH and vermin composting method of producing local fertilizers.

      Vermi-composting technician, Generoso Evardo, introduced the importance of vermi-culture and vermin composting.

      After the lecture, the participants had hands-on activities on the production of carbonized rice hull and preparation of a container for vermin-culture.

      Mayor Item personally distributed the certificates of attendance to the participants. (Onad Munalem)