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.