PASIG CITY, October 12, 2019 – In celebration of the World Rabies Day last September 28, the Department of Education (DepEd) and its partner agencies, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Health (DOH), convened to raise rabies awareness and prevention at DepEd Bulwagan ng Karunungan, Pasig City.
Anchored on the theme “Rabies: Educate to Eliminate,” the conference, which aimed to incorporate rabies programs and anti-rabies advocacies in the education curriculum, formally launched the 78 lesson plans that were developed as a result of collaborative efforts of various stakeholders and agencies.
Speaking on behalf of DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Administration Salvador Malana III underscored the importance of the inclusion of rabies education in the curriculum.
“The national rabies education integration initiative is expected to benefit an estimated 21 million learners in more than 46,000 schools. Intervention at an early age is expected to empower children, their teachers, and their families with the knowledge to protect themselves from bites, prevent rabies, and save lives,” Malana said.
He further emphasized that education programs about rabies and animal welfare can improve the awareness on rabies and contribute to the reduction of rabies cases in children.
“Through integration, correct understanding of rabies, and everything about it – including transmission and prevention, could be inculcated in children by deliberately and carefully designing an environment where learning could be best delivered and be most meaningful and effective,” Malana explained.
Meanwhile, the following individuals were awarded as Best Rabies Local Government Implementers: DA Regional Executive Director Antonio Gerundio, DOH Regional Director Mario Baquilod, and Romblon Governor Jose Riano. Other municipalities of Romblon which also received awards include Odiongan, Looc, Alcantara, San Agustin, Sta. Maria, Calatrava, San Andres, Ferrol, and Sta. Fe.
Also present in the event were Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships and Project Management Service Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq., Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Instructions Alma Ruby Torio, and other representatives and officials from DepEd, DOH, DA, DILG, members of the National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee (NRPCC), teachers, and learners.
Other collaborating partners from non-government organizations (NGOs) were UBS Optimus Foundation, Four Paws International, and Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).
Republic Act (R.A) No. 9482, or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 mandates DepEd to strengthen the national rabies education program through school health teaching in the K to 12 curriculum.
DepEd’s national rabies education program is handled by the Bureau of Learner Support Services (BLSS)-School Health Division, in coordination with the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD), Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), and Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR).