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High-tech program tagging pets introduced in Makati City

THE Makati City government is gearing up for a city-wide micro-chipping program for an estimated 32,000 dogs, as part of the city’s animal-identification program and will make Makati the first local government unit (LGU) in the country to implement the use of PET iCHIP technology on a large-scale setting.

“Through the micro-chipping program, we are protecting both pet dogs and their owners. The technology will enable us to keep tabs on dogs, ensure they are in the best of health, and return them to their rightful owners in case they get lost. This is important for people like us who consider dogs as part of our families,” Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay said.

A dog lover herself, Binay instructed Makati City Veterinary Services Office (VSO) Officer in Charge Dr. Jing Mangahas to implement the program in all 27 barangays and six villages. The microchips are free of charge and will be implanted by licensed veterinarians from the VSO.

The biothermal microchips, no larger than a grain of rice, will contain information about the dog and its owner, as well as data on when the dog was vaccinated against rabies. These details will be uploaded into Makati City’s database to allow the VSO to closely monitor and check the number of dogs given anti-rabies shots.

Mangahas said they already have 7,000 PET iCHIPs on hand and that the project will be launched in mid-October, starting with dogs that have existing records at the VSO. The rest of the microchips will be delivered within the year, she added.

Embedding microchips on dogs has significant advantages. First, it will reduce the cost of redundant vaccination for pet animals, as well as humans.  It will also promote an absolute pet-recovery program, since the owner, their address, contact information and the dog’s name are all entered in a database that various agencies have access to.

The PET iCHIPs can be implanted on both mature dogs and puppies. The microchips are especially useful to pet owners who travel abroad with their dogs or who bring in dogs from abroad since the chips to be used comply with international standards and the 15-digit numeric code can be scanned anywhere.

Mangahas added that, apart from the microchip, the VSO will also be issuing “pet passports” for each dog.  The microchips can identify pets, prevent theft, increase the chances of pet recovery after loss, monitor the pet’s temperature and aid in disease monitoring, trace breed and genealogy, as well as assist in the transport and rescue of animals.

The PET iCHIPs use RFID technology. Once implanted, they are activated for life unless the chip is surgically removed. The PET iCHIP will serve as a permanent pet ID and is read by passing a microchip, scanner over the dog’s shoulder blades.

Mangahas said Makati City will be using the passive-type microchip that works without batteries.

As early as now, the VSO chief is appealing to Makati pet owners to support the campaign by having their pets tagged with the PET iCHIP. Residents may check the My Makati Facebook page for further announcements and schedules for microchip implantation.

Earlier, Makati also forged a collaboration agreement with Globe Telecom, its subsidiary G-XChange Inc. (GXI) and iBayad Online Ventures Inc. for the launch of the Makatizen Card, which will be available to Makati residents and workers soon.

Binay said the launch is leading the city to its dream to transform itself into a “Smart City”.

The lady mayor said the initiative supports Globe’s drive to transform the Philippines into a digital nation by instilling the importance of e-governance to offices, ranging from the LGUs up to the national government level.

With the card, Makati residents can receive cash allowances, stipends and other cash benefits using their Makatizen Card. They can also use their cards to pay fees and taxes, as well as for personal remittances and other financial transactions.

 

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