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Dumaguete City, Philippines Monday, August 7, 2017
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City Vet ineffective, dad says

A Dumaguete councilor has claimed recently that the City Veterinary Office, headed by Dr. Lourdes Socorro, is ineffective in performing tasks, like the elimination of rats and cockroaches in the city public market.

Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas said Socorro had also miserably failed to implement other tasks including the implementation of the Dog Pound Ordinance, series of 2004.

He blamed Socorro for what he believes is negligence on the part of the city veterinary officer in pursuing the construction of a dog pound that has a budget of P500,000, and P1,400 for the fabrication of the mobile holding pens at P60,000 each, for non-poblacion barangays.

Socorro argued it is not her office that is responsible for the construction of the dog pound, and the fabrication of mobile holding pens, and that she “cannot move due to lack of technical personnel and a vehicle”.

From the original personnel complement of 40, the City Veterinary Office now has 26 personnel due to retirements, with 12 regulars and 14 casuals.

Socorro reasoned out she made letter requests a number of times in the past and at least three times during the present administration but these were not acted upon. The letter requests could no longer be found. Arbas told her to be aggressive in her request and not just wait for things to come to her office because other offices are also doing the same.

The CVO has seven vaccinators tasked to vaccinate 15,000 dogs throughout the city, seven meat inspectors but has no dog catcher, caretaker or pound keeper, and no driver in the absence of a vehicle. In lieu of this predicament, Socorro said the office has to simply campaign for dog leashing and extermination of stray dogs with the use of tranquilizers.

An increase in dog bites were recorded in Dumaguete with 295 victims from January to March, and 298 from April to June this year, which Arbas said is already a concern.

Arbas, who is the chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Markets, hinted to sourcing out the pest control aspect if Socorro is incompetent in doing it. Socorro countered that she needs certified pest applicators to do the job, and not just job orders.

Councilor Eslao Alviola said vacant positions that are funded should be filled up with qualified personnel, for the bureaucracy to work efficiently.

Arbas also gave an ultimatum to employees of the city slaughterhouse in Bajumpandan, which is under the City Economic Enterprise Office, headed by Jose Ronnie Fortin.

Arbas said he received reports of rampant absenteeism, butchers reporting for duty while under the influence of liquor, stealing of body parts of hogs, and scraping of hog's skin after scalding the carcass in hot water is not done well.

If these issues are not resolved up to the end of this month, Arbas said he will resign as chairman of the committee on market and slaughterhouse, but before doing this, he will bring certain employees of the slaughterhouse before the Civil Service Commission or even before the Ombudsman.*JG


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