By Gamson Jr Mawallil Quijano
Every month of March is declared as RABIES AWARENESS MONTH by virtue of Executive Order No. 84, s. 1999 signed by then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. There is even REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9482 known as “Anti-Rabies Act of 2007”— AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE CONTROL AND ELIMINATION OF HUMAN AND ANIMAL RABIES, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR.
However, it comes to my mind on how serious are those government line agencies tasked to implement fully and strictly the law that will protect and safeguard the general public from these stray dogs that have become one of the most serious public threats?
When there are threats from lawless elements, the government is fully alert! Cops and the military are activated to secure all the points of entry and exit that these people could come and attack the peace-loving people. The general public is cautioned and asked to remain vigilant, among others.
Well, there is nothing wrong with that. These are amongst the best interventions that foremost the government is obliged to do to protect every precious soul as well as their hard-earned properties from being endangered and devastated by these militants.
However, isn’t that so everyone must also be protected and safeguarded from other endangerments such as the innumerable loose stray dogs that at any time and anywhere can cause any potential menacing injuries in our safe and healthy environment such as dog bites or dog attacks or worst rabies from it?
With all due respect, for me, this drooling ferocious canine is even worse than a terrorist. At least, these militants are only confined in a remote area and rarely
invade or attack people. But these dogs, they roam the streets, mostly at night and early in the morning and they are extremely alarming.
I hope that these stray dogs aren’t rabid. But still, they are more than scary zombies at night. Stray dogs have become one of the most serious public threats.
How can we consider our community safe and sound when there are innumerable loose stray dogs that at any time and anywhere can cause any potential menacing injuries in our safe and healthy environment such as dog bites or dog attacks or worst rabies from it.?
As a matter of fact, stray dogs have many negative impacts on the environment and human health. Stray dogs cause noise pollution, fecal/dog poop garbage and traffic accidents as well as cause a collision when dogs run into the road, which might even result in injury to other people and also to itself.
Moreover, stray dogs have become a bigger threat to human health and lives. It can even transfer and spread rabies and deadly diseases. Thus, this matter must never be taken for granted.
What had happened in 2019 to an innocent 5-year old boy who was attacked by 10 ferocious dogs in Isabela City, Basilan and later died (Innaa Lillaahi wa Innaa Ilayhi Raajiun) could have possibly happened again to any precious member of our community anywhere and at any time (May God forbid). Thus, serious intervention to impede completely the reoccurrence of this traumatic and violent incident must be done immediately.
Hence, all government line agencies responsible for the implementation of RA No. 9482 or known as “Anti-Rabies Act of 2017” as well as pet owner “MUST ENSURE” that all the provisions stated in the said law are “FULLY and STRICTLY” implemented and monitored.
Excerpted from RA No. 9482 or known as “Anti-Rabies Act of 2017” are from amongst the responsibilities of the LGUs and Pet Owner, to wit;
Sec. 7. Responsibilities of the LGUs. – LGUs, in their respective localities, shall: (1) Ensure that all Dogs are properly immunized, registered and issued a corresponding dog tag for every immunized and registered dog. (2) Strictly enforce dog impounding activities and field control to eliminate stray dogs.
(3) Ensure that dogs are leashed or confined within the premises of the owner’s house or owner’s fenced surroundings. (4) Allocate funds to augment the implementation of the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program, particularly on the financing of supplies and human and dog vaccines needed for immunization. (5) Ensure the enforcement of Section 6 of Republic Act No. 8485 or “The Animal Welfare Act of 1998”. (6) Enact additional local ordinances that will support the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program that should include the regulation of treatment locally known as “tandok.”
Sec. 5. Responsibilities of Pet Owner. – All Pet Owners shall be required to: (a) Have their Dog regularly vaccinated against Rabies and maintain a registration card which shall contain all vaccinations conducted on their Dog, for accurate record purposes. (b) Submit their Dogs for mandatory registration. (c) Maintain control over their Dog and not allow it to roam the streets or any Public Place without a leash. (d) Be a responsible Owner by providing their Dog with proper grooming, adequate food and clean shelter. (e) Within 24 hours, report immediately any Dog biting incident to the Concerned Officials for investigation or for any appropriate action and place such Dog under observation by a government or private veterinarian.
(f) Assist the Dog bite victim immediately and shoulder the medical expenses incurred and other incidental expenses relative to the victim’s injuries.
Our precious lives deserve to be safeguarded and protected from being harm by a drooling ferocious canine/dog out of nowhere!
There is no dearth of laws, but there is death of laws. I truly believe, had just this RA NO. 9482 properly and strictly implemented, there would be no traumatic and violent incident to happen and we can live in a safe and healthy environment.
Lastly, above all, “The sense of protectiveness of parents over their children’s safety and well-being must also be essentially valued foremost; it’s just not stray feral dogs but also other ruthless predators such as sex maniacs, pedophiles, rapists, vital organs syndicates, psychopath killers among others!”, as noted by Warina Sushil Jukuy, a Tausug residing in Davao City.