Makati nears zero-rabies status–Binay

The Makati City government has intensified its pet microchipping program to help pet owners avoid the cost of redundant rabies vaccinations.

Mayor Abigail Binay said each microchip contains a unique 15-digit code readable with a microchip scanner, and gives veterinarians access to a pet’s vaccination records for them to determine whether or not a pet needs to be given anti-rabies shots after biting a human, and if there is a need for the bite victim to be vaccinated against rabies.

“Makati is very close to achieving zero-rabies status. We will continue the good work we are doing and use the very best technology could offer to make sure that we achieve our goal. The pet-microchipping program will allow both pet owners and veterinarians to monitor the health of our pets and guarantee that each one is free from rabies,” Binay  said.

She also encouraged all Makatizens to take advantage of the free program and have their pets implanted with microchips as soon as possible.

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Makati City Veterinary Services Office (VSO) Chief Dr. Ma. Katherina Mangahas said there are roughly 32,000 registered pets in the city. The goal is to have all of them implanted with pet microchips and the pets’ details encoded in a central database, which contains their owner’s name, address, veterinarian and vaccination records.

On Wednesday the VSO started accepting walk-ins for pet microchipping from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at two venues. For District 1 residents, they can proceed to the City Pound located at Ayala Ave exterior corner Malugay; and for District 2, pet owners may go to the Pembo Vet Office at Cadena de Amor Street.

Pet owners are asked to bring their Yellow Card or voter’s certificate to prove that they are Makati residents, as well as their pet’s vaccination card.

At the same time, VSO teams are conducting house-to-house vaccination campaigns per barangay to give pets anti-rabies shots.  The teams operate per barangay and go to all the houses with pets. Free rabies vaccines are also administered during the Lingkod Bayan Caravans, which are scheduled on Saturdays to accommodate pet owners who work during weekdays.

The VSO requires pet owners to present their pets’ updated vaccination records before the animals are implanted with the microchip.

Makati was the first local government unit in Southeast Asia to implement citywide pet microchipping in October 2017. Under the program, the VSO will microchip up to five pets per Makati resident for free.

The program also promotes an absolute pet-recovery program, since the microchips hold the identity of pets and their owners, monitor the pet’s temperature and aid in disease monitoring.

Likewise, it can trace breed and genealogy, as well as assist in the transport and rescue of animals.

The pet microchip is a computer chip enclosed in a small glass cylinder that is no larger than a grain of rice. It is injected under the pet’s skin between the shoulder blades quickly and almost painlessly. It does not require any anesthesia.

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Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco is a grant recipient and fellow of 2017 media fellowship program by Probe Media Foundation Inc. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Mass Communication from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM). After graduating in 2000 she immediately worked as a newspaper correspondent for Today Newspaper until 2005. Within those five years in Today Newspaper, she was assigned to cover the Eastern Police and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Rizal Province, and the Departments of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Tourism (DOT). In October of 2005, she became a correspondent for the Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing, Inc. She covers Health, Education, MMDA, the local government units in the eastern and southern portions of the metropolis, and Rizal Province.