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Written by Amylyn Rey-Castro
Photos, Taken by Bryan Arcilla

The Regional Advisory Committee for Animal Disease Control and Emergency (RAC-ADCE) for CALABARZON Region has been reorganized during its organizational meeting held on February 2, 2018 at El Cielito Hotel, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.

The RAC-ADCE chairperson shall be a dean of a veterinary school, therefore the nomination of Dr. Eduardo B. Torres of the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Veterinary Medicine (UPLB-CVM); the co-chairperson shall be the Regional Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture (DA), in which for Region IV is Director Arnel V. de Mesa; and the secretary shall be the Regional Livestock Coordinator in the person of Vilma M. Dimaculangan.

The composition of the committee’s regular membership includes those from the government and private sectors.

The government sector includes the Regional Director of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS); Provincial, City, and Municipal Veterinarians; Head of the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL); Regional Animal Health Coordinators; and representative from the Regional Philippine National Police (PNP). While membership from the private sector includes the Chapter President of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association; presidents of poultry, swine, and large or small ruminant producers and practitioners’ associations; and the Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC).

The committee also considers membership on invitational status such as groups of meat processors, handlers, consumers, feed millers/producers, and animal welfare; veterinary specialty colleges and professional organizations; and non-government and people’s organizations. Meanwhile, other government agencies and private organizations that were not able to attend the meeting will be included in invitational members as agreed upon by the body.

As co-presider of the meeting, Dir. de Mesa emphasized that through the existence of the committee, each member can give utmost priority to activities such as surveillance, animal control movement, laboratory diagnosis, public information, and the like; and help formulate mitigating measures against livestock diseases. “May this effort motivate us in the government and the private sector to protect our turf more,” he added.

RAC-ADCE is tasked to give advice and recommendations to the DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny’ F. Piñol on issues and concerns on the prevention, control, and eradication of economically important animal diseases including those transmissible to humans; and to assist in the formulation of policies related to the livestock and poultry industry. This was discussed by Regulatory Division Chief Rufina S. Sanidad of the DA CALABARZON.

Alongside with this, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was presented, amended, and signed by and among the parties.

The committee will be holding quarterly meetings or as the exigency demands to discuss the current situation in their locations, reporting on such matters as fatalities and current diseases for monitoring.