Saturday, 17th February 2018
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Ordinance curbing rabies deaths junked

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By Ralph John Mijares

 

ROXAS CITY—A city ordinance seeking to reduce deaths caused by rabies was declared invalid by the Sangguniang Panlungsod recently here.


Authored by Councilor Cesar Yap, Jr., the “Rabies Death Prevention Act of Roxas City” aims to reduce rabies deaths by prohibiting tandok, a traditional yet unproven method of healing rabies patients and the practices of butchering, cooking and eating dogs.


Animal horns, like those of carabaos or goats, are used in tandok to suck the rabies out of a patient. However, this delays treatment and even causes preventable deaths, Yap said. Those who violate the ordinance would either be imprisoned for not more than six months nor more than two years or a fine of not more than P5,000; or both.


According to Board Member Karen Palomar, health committee chair, Yap’s ordinance “contravenes the Constitution” and is “partial and discriminatory.”


Said committee cited that Section 458 of RA7160 only allows imposing of a maximum fine of P 5,000 and imprisonment of not exceeding one year, or both, depending on the court’s discretion, for violating a city ordinance.


Moreover, mentioning that cats, bats, and other mammals, ranks the highest among rabies-causing animals is “partial and discriminatory” and “runs counter to the equal protection cause of the constitution” because the ordinance excludes other rabid animals mentioned, thus pertaining only to dog-eaters.


In response, Yap said that he will make a new ordinance and make corrections accordingly.

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