Irresponsible Dog Owner

Lodging complaints against irresonsible dog-owner is as easy as 1-2-3, Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Council has made pro-forma complaint sheets that make the move hassle free.

All a complainant needs to do is fill his name and address, check the violation from a list , date, time and place of violation and hand it over to the barangay chairman. Three days later, he should get results.

"With ordinance in place, anybody could easily lodge a complaint against a dog-owner who refused to be responsible with his pet," says provincial veterinarian Stella Marie Lapiz.

Dr. Lapiz, who is also the action officer for the Bohol Rabies Prevention and Eradication Program (BRPEP) said anytime soon, anti-rabies advocates would be leading the drive against dog-owners who would neglect the provisions of the ordinance.

Lapiz refers to the Provincial Ordinance 2007-17 which the provincial junta has passed to legislate a move to strategically confront rabies on a province-wide basis.

This too as the BRPE council has engaged the help of local governments in instituting local anti-rabies councils who would be monitoring dog population control and keeping communities safe from rabies.

Over this, the ordinance has also pushed for the creation of the Bantay Rabies sa Barangay (BRB), a core team composed of the local chairman, secretary, tanod, livestock aide and health worker who would be accepting complaints.

"The Provincial Legal Office (PLO) is helping us craft the complaint forms against five specific violations of the ordinance," shares Dr. Lapiz.

In the complaint forms now available at barangay halls are list of violations one dog-owner may commit to merit the complaint.

The form lists non registration and non vaccination of dogs this year as a ground for a fine of P2,000.

Non permission of owners to have his biting dog observed for medical purposes merits him P10,000 while a spearate fine of P25,000 awaits those who refuse to help pay for the bite victim's medical expenses.

Moreover, owners of a vaccinated dog, or any dog which is found in a public place and is traceable to an owner can be fined P500 fpr every instance.

The ordiance also provides P5,000 and imprisonment provision for people who are caught seiling dog-meat.

By operation of law, anyone who complains to the BRB against any of these provisions would allow the team to call on the responsible dog owner to face the complaint by sending him notice of violation.

Refusal of the complained owner to appear before the BRB causes its elevation to administrative or criminal case while the team now acts as the complainant.

As this moves to final execution next month, BRPE Council hopes to finally get the program attaining an 80% success rating in 2010, with another massive round of dog registration and vaccination this March to finally leash the threat of rabies here.

This is despite the fact that Bohol officials were alarmed over the unusually high incidence of rabies here, one that practically dragged the region into one of the country's top risk areas. - Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA

Catigbian Bohol Tops Real Property Collection

By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA

Small town with a big vision, Catigbian again topped Bohol towns in this year's real property tax collection efficiency by posting 138.07%, a Capitol document revealed.

"This means that the town assessor and treaurer have successfully done their jobs," Mayor Roberto Salinas was quick to add as he was asked to assess performances of his team during a recent talk with the media.

Both Salinas and Vice Mayor Necita Digaum stressed that the increased collection must translate to additional services for his constituents.

According to the Real Property Tax Collection Efficiency Report signed by Provincial Treasurer Eustaquio A. Socorin, Catigbain leads 18 other towns of Bohol's 47 in posting more than a hundred percent as compared to their set annual targets.

"Catigbian aimed to collect a little more than P1.5M in real property taxes for 2008", says Municipal Treaurer Ranulfo Suarez.

The town collected P2,12313.02 however, a high efficiency rating for a fourth class town, Municipal secretary Ardissa Estavilla has to admit.

Asked what their strategy which brought the increase in tax collection, Municipal Assessor Benjamin Lacea said "hard work coupled with a wide real property tax campaign" which they saturated in the purok levels. 

Over the development, Salinas admitted "this should provide the local performance team with enough leeway to put up a counterparting fund to leverage fund accessibility from funding agencies willing to partner with the town in putting up necessary infrastructure."

"We are not a rich town but our people have big hearts," Salinas quipped.

"Of course, when people see where their taxes are going, there will be no questions when the tax assessment teams go out to the grassroots," he pointed out.   

In related develppment, with Catigbian posting more than a 100% collection efficiency rating are the towns of Clarin (134.38%), Loboc (130.11%), Sikatuna (126.54%), Valencia (121.93%) and Corella (119.96%), Carmen (19.43%), Anda (112.16%), Sagbayan (11.87%) and Sierra Bullones (111.20%).

New Bohol Commander

By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA

After a month and 18 days tour of duty commanding Bohol's 802nd Brigade, army Colonel Alex N. Albano moves over to a new assignment as Col. Alan R. Luga takes his vacated post.

8th Infantry Division Commander Major General Arthur Tabaquero presided over the highly ceremonial military turn over of command ceremony attended by mayors and civilian authorities at the Camp Rajah Sikatuna Tuesday, February 24.

According to Mgen Tabaquero, Luga came from an assigment in Mindanao's Compostela Valley leading the 1001st Brigade. He added that the military organization knows Col. Luga, who was born and raised in Cebu is familiar with the culture and way of life of the region.

On the other hand, Col. Albano, who used to be deputy commander of the 801st Brigade would finally be leading the troops assigned in West Samar.

Said to be the commander with the shortest stint in Bohol. Albano leaves, but not without scoring impressive accomplishments, including three brigade operations, two company operations and 67 small unit operations and patrols.

In his brief stint, the brigade apprehended communist leader Ramon Patriarca, who was a finance officer and deputy secretary of the KR-SB, read Capt. Ricky Parcon, brigade adjutant from Albano's accomplishment dossier.

The operations also netted for the government 6 rebel returnee surrenderees, 6 low powerd fire-arms, 7.6 mm rifles, a cal .45 sub machinegun, garnad rifle, cal .5 pistol and hand grenades.

The military organization also credited Col Albano for establishing coordination with government agencies in the light of the Bohol convergence formula for the accomplishment of various projects beneficial to the people.

For all these and for a sterling performance in keeping discilpline and morale of his men, Col. Albano earned for himself a military merit medal, which Mgen, Tabaquero pinned on him.  

"I feel nostalgic I am leaving one happy family I have learned to love so well", he said as he also urged "each and everyone to extend to his successor the trust and confidence afforded to [me]. 

Meanwhile, upon taking over the post, Col. Luga vowed to keep his men focused on the military mandates and mission in the area. He also admitted that his new assigment proves to be a challenge for him as the area is one of the very few where the internal security operations seem to be successful.