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An orientation about Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) was conducted last October 10, 2018 at the STIARC Training Hall, Lipa City, Batangas and attended by some officers and employees of the Department of Agriculture Region IV-CALABARZON

According to the World Health Organization, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

AMR is a serious global threat to public health and sustainable food production. That said, a global response is also needed to fight the threat by bringing together all people and sectors to reduce the use of antimicrobials in humans and animals and to use them selectively, prudently and responsibly (coined as the “One Health Approach”).

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) supports national action plans involving all sectors to prevent the development of antimicrobials resistance by raising awareness, promoting best practices in food and agriculture including aquaculture, developing capacity in surveillance and monitoring and ensuring that rules and regulations in safe use are respected.

In 2014, former president Benigno Aquino III singed Administrative Order No. 42 creating an inter-agency committee for the formulation and implementation of a national plan to combat antimicrobial resistance in the country.

The inter-agency committee is composed of the Office of the President as the Chairman, Department of Health and Department of Agriculture as the Co-chairs, and Department of Science and Technology, Department of the Interior and Local Government and Department of Trade and Industry as members.

Since then, a series of activities such as planning, workshops, consultations to key sectors had been conducted in order to realize the national action plan for AMR.
Acting on the provisions of the said national action plan, a Regional AMR Committee for the Department of Agriculture Region IV-CALABARZON shall be created composing of Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa as Chairman and other officials in the region performing specific duties to combat AMR in the CALABARZON region in coordination with DA attached agencies and Departments/Members of the AMR Inter-Agency Committee in the said region.

(Written by Radel Llagas, Photos taken by Nataniel Bermudez)