The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) and Department of Health (DOH) has declared the municipalities of Romblon, Romblon,  San Jose, Romblon and Pan de Azukar Islands of Concepcion, Iloilo as rabies free zones during the celebration of the World Rabies Day on September 28, 2016 at the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority (FPA) Conference Hall, BAI Compound, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City.

The said activity marked  the 10th World Rabies Day Celebration with the theme, “Rabies: Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate.”

Aside from the awarding of rabies free zones, the event also highlighted the recognition of 37 Best Implementers of the Rabies Program. Among of the awardees were: Province of Ilocos Norte; San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan; Province of Batangas; Province of Marinduque; Iloilo City; Province of Bohol; Province of Siquijor; Province of Cebu; Cebu City; Lapu- lapu City; Province of Biliran; Limasawa, Southern Leyte; Catarman, Northern Samar; Calbayog City, Samar; Ormoc City, Leyte; Zamboanga City; Dipolog City; Province of Agusan del Sur; Surigao City, Surigao del Norte; Cabadbaran City; Province of Negros Occidental; Province of Negros Oriental; Bacolod City; Dumaguete City; Province of Albay; Naga City;  Legazpi City; Polangui, Albay; Daraga, Albay; San Fernando, Masbate; Island Garden City of Samal; Digos City; Pateros City; Valenzuela City; Marikina City; Muntinlupa City; San Juan City.

The said recognition was made possible through the funding of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)-BAI Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (STANDZ) Rabies Project.

To date, a total of 38 areas were already declared as rabies free zones.

Initiated in 2007 by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), World Rabies Day is an annual world-wide celebration. In the Philippines, it is spearheaded by the National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee (NRPCC), a multi-sectoral committee being chaired by DA-BAI . (Caroline Ann D. Rodero, BAI)