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Rabies Awareness Month
01 March 16
Canon EOS 100D
The official mascot for the Rabies Awareness Month celebration, “Bantay,” joins the parade.
National Rabies Awareness Month Kick-off Celebration
The National Rabies Awareness Month Kick-off celebration was conducted last 02 March 2016 at the Muntinlupa City Sports Complex. The activity was organized by the National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee (NRPCC) led by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) along with other partner agencies and organizations.
The event started early with a parade bound for the Sports Complex joined by more than 100 pet owners and their pet dogs, Grade 1 students from Tunasan Elementary School who donned their colorful dog masks along with the Muntinlupa Riders Club. Also joining the parade was Bantay, the official mascot of the Rabies Awareness Month celebration and the BES Unit 1 Blue Eagle ALS Drum and Lyre Band. A pet blessing ceremony was conducted after the parade as part of the morning activities.
A brief program was also held in the morning. Distinguished guests who gave messages include Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi; DA-BAI Director and NRPCC Chair, Dr. Rubina Cresencio; Department of Health (DOH) National Rabies Program Coordinator, Dr. Ernesto Villalon III; and the host of the wildlife show “Born to be Wild,” Dr. Nielsen Donato. They commended the city for its efforts in ensuring that its local rabies prevention and control program is effectively implemented and emphasized the importance of being responsible pet owners especially having dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies.
Likewise part of the program was the ceremonial turn-over of the GARC-produced storybook, “Si Bino, si Buboy, at si Bantay, Magkakaibigang Tunay” to the NRPCC. GARC Country Representative, Dr. Sarah Jayme also led the launching of the storybook’s 10-minute animated version produced in coordination with Knowledge Channel and the awarding of the partner offices (CVO, CHO, and ECED) and the day care teachers who participated in the ECI activity conducted last 23 -24 February 2016.
This was followed by the awarding of Hero Dogs in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines Veterinary Dispensary and a ceremonial dog vaccination led by Dr. Cresencio. Finally, Muntinlupa City Health Officer, Dr. Magdalena Meana, launched the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) vaccination for children. This is an initiative of the DOH as part of the provision of Republic Act 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007. Around 50 Grade 1 students who participated in the parade earlier that day were the beneficiaries of the PrEP vaccination.
The festivities continued as various activities took place simultaneously throughout the day. Several organizations had booths offering free veterinary services such as grooming, deworming, and spay and neuter while some had ‘freebies’ such as dog food. Similarly, GARC set up the “Win Against Rabies” booth which featured different educational activities for both children and adults. It was a hit with the attendees with its carnival theme as they got to play games such as Toss the Ball and Pin Toss. There were also activity pages lifted from the “Want A Friend, Be A Friend” book available for the children who visited the booth.
The kick-off activity was made even more eventful with the conduct of different competitions for the students of Muntinlupa City. First was the mask-making contest participated by the Grade 1 students from Tunasan Elementary School. Four students were given special awards for having the most creative, original, colorful, and neatest masks. Meanwhile, 21 high school students who excelled in the field of visual arts joined the poster-making contest. College students also got to show their talents in the song-writing competition. The students performed their entries live, which ranged from rap to pop songs.