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The Provincial Veterinary Office (ProVet) said the impending devolution of its programs to the provincial government could affect its anti rabies and vaccination program.

Dr. Darius Mangcucang said the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) currently supports the supply of anti vaccine vials.

He expects that BAI might not deliver supplies in 2023 due to the implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling or devolution starting in 2022.

“Parami nang parami ang pangangailangan natin ng bakuna kaya lang ang malungkot dito, dahil sa Mandanas-Garcia ruling, sa devolution, hindi na magbibigay ang BAI ng support nila sa bakuna, anti-rabies. Kasi diyan naman nanggagaling ang anti-rabies natin, kinakailangan na kami ay mataasan din ang pondo namin pagdating sa rabies eradication program para may pambili kami ng bakuna,” he said.

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Mangcucang said that since ProVet’s supplies will only act as a buffer stock, LGUs should also have a budget proposal for their rabies eradication program. ProVet requires P2.5 million in funding to immunize 50,000 animal heads in Palawan, as each vial costs P500.

A vaccine shot costs P350 each at a private clinic, and if 50,000 heads are immunized annually, ProVet has saved the community roughly P17 million, the official continued. Each vial is equivalent to 10 shots.

“Ipo-propose namin kasi meron naman budget hearing. Ngayon para ma-maintain natin ang ating declared rabies-free zones– ang magiging effect nito, ang goal natin mapa-rabies free ‘yong Palawan ay tatagal nang tatagal. Mainland kasi wala pa tayo nadi-declare na rabies-free,” he said.

ProVet maintains the rabies-free zone status of towns of Busuanga, Coron, Linapacan, Culion, Kalayaan, Magsaysay, Cuyo, Balabac, Araceli, Cagayancillo, and Agutaya.

There is a higher case of dog bite incidents recorded in mainland Palawan but the vaccination efforts help to maintain the human rabies status in the province, Mangcucang stressed.

“Kaya malaki ang tulong ng vaccination natin kasi alam mo naman na kapag ang isang tao ay tinamaan ng rabies at lumabas ‘yong symptoms, wala na bawian ‘yan. Patay na ‘yan sigurado,” he said.

Reaching half of the year, ProVet has a remaining 500 to 600 vials for around 5,000 to 6,000 heads. Due to the nature of dogs’ repopulation, a higher need for vaccine vials is needed to respond to the demand.

Meanwhile, ProVet is also looking for an additional veterinarian to serve in the provincial office.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.