Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bohol anti-rabies program 
Impress int’l experts

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 16, (PIA) -- WITH all the advances in research and technology, rabies experts from a wide range of disciplines of various countries agree that Bohol’s rabies program which advances collaboration among communities still works better.

At the recent International Meeting of Rabies Experts held at the Bohol Beach Club, both World Health Organization (WHO) authorities and Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) admit Bohol has shown that an effective formula far from the ones advanced by technology and research.

The international experts discussed anti-rabies initiatives and new developments in research to assess anti-rabies control program across the globe.

The meeting also immersed the experts to the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Elimination Program which led them to aver the possibility of rabies elimination with the replication of the Bohol model.

Heaping praises for Bohol, Doctors Thomas Mueller of the WHO Collaborating Center for Rabies Reference and Research and Dr. Deborah Briggs, Executive Director of the GARC, both leaders of multi-disciplined rabies control centers press that a cost analysis on the disease cure is way too high for poor countries to deliver.

At the Kapihan sa PIA Thuirsday, Dr. Briggs shared that the family of the first human rabies survivor, who was at the meeting had to spend more than a million dollars to get the appropriate treatment and medications.

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Miranda, GARC Asian Coordinator at the radio forum on the air stressed that in Asian countries, the Bohol model for rabies control presents hope for a meaningful and effective approach to controlling the disease.

Rabies, a disease mainly caused by Lyssavirus which when transmitted finds its way to the central nervous system, which makes it almost always fatal, Dr. Briggs said.

According to, symptoms usually develop between 20 and 60 days after exposure.

But, Dr. Miranda, who has been into disease research across Asia said the longest incubation period for rabies that she knows of, is 17 years.  

In animals, symptoms manifest as being aggressive, combative, and highly sensitive to touch and other kinds of stimulation as they can be vicious.

Rabies symptoms in humans, are similar. After a symptom-free incubation period, the patient complains of malaise, loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, and fever, the website said.

For dog bites, which are generally the causes of rabies in humans, first aid should be washing the bite would with soap and running water and immediately getting the vaccines, Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz said.

During the next 17 days, the biting dog has to be observed, if it manifests signs of rabies, then the patient has to get the full dose of vaccines, which would mean the owners of the biting dog paying for the vaccines and face  sanctions according to the provincial ordinance. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

DTI, GIZ brings in Bohol
SME Summit on July 22

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 16, 2011 (PIA) – RELENTLESS in its efforts to upgrade small-medium enterprise competitiveness in Central Visayas, the Department of Trade and Industry and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) ushers in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Summit this July 22 at the Metro Center Hotel.

The move also highlights the government’s support to the small and medium enterprises cognizant that these spur local development as SMEs offer 90% of opportunities for jobs and spread development to the country sides, said trade and industry specialist Blair Panong recently.

DTI regional Director Asteria Caberte, in her letter to participants said the summit intends to disseminate strategies intended to improve competitiveness of priority sectors in the region, give updates on the progress and results of the implementation of key strategies and share on the success stories of entrepreneurs who adopted the strategies and have improved their growth and competitiveness.

During the recent Micro-Small Medium Enterprise Development Planning workshop, stakeholders have identified crucial points that sustain the MSMES.

The said putting up of an enabling environment that allows small businesses to thrive, go mainstream and get the needed revenues for the government.

Moreover, the stakeholders think that providing them access to markets would be an area, which the government can facilitate.

This means that both the government and the private sector should strive to make promotions and linkages that allow market exposures, international products standards qualifications, quality control and other globally demanded requirements to make local products globally acceptable.

The planning workshop, which happened a few months ago also identified MSMEs difficulty in accessing finance.

Entrepreneurs unite in saying that they see some policies as restrictive or counterproductive that they could hardly meet them.

Apart from all these, the MSMEs also see productivity and efficiency as a key development area where learnings and success stories of entrepreneurs can be shared to help each other advance in business growth.

After identifying these strategies and adopting them to bank on market accessibility, financing, improved productivity and efficiency as well as creating a good business environment, the DTI in partnership with GIZ has also sought for areas where SME can grow to be competitive in the global markets.

The SME Summit, which adopts Greening and Winning Business Strategies comes in time for the Regional Trade Fair set this week at the Block installed at the Island City Mall parking lot. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

Baclayon’s BALAs effective
Against town’s dog control 

BACLAYON, Bohol, July 16, 2011 (PIA) – BACLAYON’s Barangay Livestock Aides (BALA) are never fired but proved to be very effective in managing dog control here.

Credited for being instrumental in raising the town’s protection against the threat of rabies, the towns BALAs also collected praises form Mayor Alvin Uy.

Uy also modestly accepted praises from rabies experts across the globe for the feat but credited the town’s anti-rabies success to their field men.

During a presentation of the town’s Municipal Rabies Prevention and Elimination Program (MRPEP) at the town cultural center Tuesday, Mayor Uy highlighted the role of the Barangay Livestock Aides (BALA) as crucial in their implementation of dog registration and vaccination.

A presentation of the MRPEP by Dr, Filomena Talo bared that Baclayon has drastically reduced its cases of human rabies in the past years, a thing they ascribe to a high percentage of dog registration and vaccination, all done by BALAs and municipal livestock technicians.

BALAs are town para-veterinarians trained as force multipliers owing to the gross need for veterinarians in Bohol, explains Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, provincial veterinarian.

Each of the town barangays own BALAs who are also trained to monitor and perform dog surveillance to make sure that there are no stray dogs in their respective areas of responsibility.

Experts have pointed out that most of the human and canine rabies cases are transmitted by stray dogs.

Armed with the Povincial Anti-rabies ordinance, some of the BALAs, along with the institutionalized Bantay Rabies sa Barangay (BRB) are mandated to act on complaints of infractions to the local measure.   

A paralegal system keeps open a venue for legal complaints and settlement body, as provided by the ordinance.

In the town, while there are still minimal dog bite cases, most of them have been tested negative of rabies, said Rhea Mendoza, in her presentation on canine rabies situationer. 

Baclayon was among the towns who have been included in the 2010 search for Best MRPEC, owing to a high vaccination rating which topped the 70% target.

In their achievements, Mayor Uy and Vice Mayor Jodel Cabahug admit that much of the hardwork in the implementation of the program emanated from the community, so “the honor should be theirs.”

International rabies experts visited Baclayon too hear about the town’s successful anti-rabies program and learn from the success story.

With Baclayon, also visited were Loboc Central Elementary School where rabies has been integrated in the elementary school curriculum.

The experts, who were determined to learn form the successful Bohol anti-rabies experience also observed the animal bite treatment facility at the Simeon Toribio Memorial hospital in Carmen and the Bantay Rabies sa Barangay team of Haguilanan Catigbian. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

“Air Danao” opens 
Para-motor flights

TAGBILARAN CITY, Boholl, July 14, (PIA) -- THE first para-motoring and ultralight aircraft facility in the Visayas opens in Danao, Bohol with no less than Vice President Jejomar Bnay cutting the ceremonial ribbons last week.

That same day, July 10, members of the media had their morning filled with spectacular shots of two paragliders buzzing overhead, now swooping down and then performing shallow sweeps with their parachute wings.

Paramotors are attached to a parachute carried by a pilot who launches the craft standing up, and using a little bit of strip.

A small engine mounted with propellers and carried on the pilot’s back drives the paraglider to make ascents or sustain its turns.

There is a similar facility in [Clark] Pampanga, but this is the first in the region, said Danao adventure facilities consultant Neil Pilongcos in an interview.  

Flown by Civil Aeronatics Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) certified paraglider pilots, another variety of the paramotor is the tandem which allows a pilot and an extra passenger to fly on a four-liter per hour engine.

Put up as the newest ride in Danao Eco-Adventure Park, para-motoring is launched off a facility funded by the local government.

Confident of the public private partnership scheme proposed for infrastructure development projects in the country, Danao Mayor Thomas Louis Gonzaga entered into a joint venture agreement for the Project called Air Danao: Paramotoring and Ultralight Facility.

The LGU put up a kilometer long air strip and funded the purchase of ultralight planes while investors pooled in paramotors and the technical expertise on running the facility.

The long term plan, according to Gonzaga is to put up a paramotoring flight school while catering to the expatriates who are into the hobby, said Pilongcos who is also a licensed paramotor pilot.

For the project, Danao put up a kilometer long dirt airstrip for the tandem and the upcoming ultralight aircraft which the town is accordingly acquiring.

At the launching ceremonies, a golden yellow and white in navy blue paramotors buzzed overhead creating stark contrast with the blue skies.

While paramotoring is perceived as a risky sport, an expatriate named Paul who owns a paramotor quipped: driving in the streets is far more dangerous.

The paramotor operates on the theory of parachutes; its just that a motor helps the parachute attain enough speed to soar, he said.

This will settle gently on any surface, in the middle of the fields, in the trees as long as there is enough clearing.

Danao now offers flight trainings at P65,000 for two weeks while they admit a tariff rate for sightseeing tourists still needs to be legislated. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

PAG-ASA wants auto-weather 
stations in key Bohol areas

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 16, 2011, (PIA) -- AUTHORITIES at the local airport weather station do not have problems passing disaster information to communities.

However, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in Tagbilaran Chief Narciso Cantor, passing the most accurate weather bulletin can be had with better and strategically placed automatic weather stations in Bohol.

He said at the Kapihan sa PIA that putting up of more automatic weather stations in Bohol can greatly enhance local weather monitoring and this could mean a lot to disaster preparedness in local communities.

To that aim, Pag-asa in Bohol has proposed the putting up of these unmanned and computerized weather facilities in four strategic locations in Bohol, to more accurately track weather conditions and effectively forewarn communities of upcoming disasters.

The radio forum aired over DyTR tackled disaster preparedness in Bohol in the onset of the Disaster Preparedness Month.

Cantor explained that an automatic weather station gathers all relevant weather data in a computer and sends them to a central computer at the main PAG-ASA station before a consolidated weather bulletin can be dissemination for local communities.

Bulletins, he said are consolidated pictures and profiles of a weather condition based on the data generated from local automatic weather stations and the nearby weather monitoring stations.

In Bohol, Cantor reports that the PAG-ASA has proposed local automatic weather stations in the campuses of the Bohol Island State University (BISU) in Candijay for southeastern Bohol, Clarin for northwestern Bohol, Bilar for Central Bohol and in Talibon for northeastern Bohol.

According to him, PAG-ASA has already inspected the appointed areas and is already considering the possibility of immediate putting up of the weather tracking facility.

The local weather bureau also added that generated information on weather bulletins can be passed on to the local emergency responder system for immediate dissemination.

Cantor actually means the Telephone and Radio Systems Integrated Emergency Responder (TARSIER) which Capitol has set up recently.

Tarsier also hooks up to all local information stations so that any information, especially weather bulletins are aired as well as text blasted immediately to localities.

On the other hand, Camp Dagohoy, through Pinspector Pelagio Rosagaran assured that the local police keeps tabs on distress calls and has a standby unit ready to respond to any eventuality.

Speaking forPD Constantino Barot who was on another official activity during the forum, Rosagaran said the Provincial Public Safety Company based at Camp Dagohoy is a unit that can be immediately pulled out for distress response.

He also said a recent joint agreement with the military allows police and army resource pooling to equip emergency responders with the proper equipment on disaster response situations. (Rey Anthony Chiu)

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