BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The first-ever veterinary teaching hospital in Negros Island is located inside the campus of Central Philippines State University in Brgy. 14, Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
The P20 million Victorias City Veterinary Hospital, according to Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, will serve as veterinary school and hospital in support to the flourishing animal industry not only in the city, but the entire province.
It also aims not only to handle veterinary procedures, but will also serve as a training ground for future veterinarians in the country,Palanca said.
It is considered as a milestone for the city government of Victorias under the leadership of Palanca, in support of its agri-eco-tourism and flourishing animal industry.
Based on the data of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian and Philippine Statistics Authority, Negros Occidental is the number one producer of native chickens, swine at the backyard level, is well known in gamefowl production, and is number two in producing goats and carabao all over the country.
Stressing that since Negros Occidental is a gung-ho on livestock, it is a big loss for the province if there is no veterinary hospital to immediately address whatever diseases may hit the industry, Palanca said, as he noted the lack of veterinarians in the province.
A veterinary hospital is a partner and a necessity, he stressed.
Evangeline Alo, chairperson of the Project Monitoring Team of the City Veterinary Hospital, said that the project was conceptualized in 2016 as part of a long-term strategy to improve and sustainably manage the emerging poultry and livestock industry of Victorias City and the province as a whole.
Alo said that Mayor Palanca, in his first term of office in 2013, envisioned to create non-sugar based economic drivers that would spur new growth areas and enhance economic activities anchored on tourism, agriculture and environment, in partnership with Japan-based non-government organizations and JICA(Japan International Cooperation Agency).
If we want to be pro-active in the management of poultry and livestock sector, we need more veterinarians and veterinary hospital to support the animal industry through science-based animal diseases prevention and control.
This leadership in poultry and livestockcan be easily toppled down without an effective animal diseases prevention service and without manpower compliment, Alo, who is a CPSU alumna, said.
With the establishment of the veterinary teaching hospital, we are hitting two birds- to provide science-based veterinary services and opening a veterinary course at CPSU, she added.
A requirement for a school to offer a veterinary course is to have veterinary hospital, according to Dr. Fernardo Abello, CPSU vice president of Academic Affairs, who expressed his appreciation of its establishment in their school campus.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said the establishment of the veterinary hospital will help maintain the status of Negros Occidental as number one in animal backyard raising in the country.
There is also an overwhelming demand for veterinarian services in the province, Decena added.
The inauguration rites were also attended byDr. Jonic Natividad, Regulatory chief Division of the Department of Agriculture-Western Visayas; Dr. Corazon Acaba, president of Philippine Veterinary Medical Association – Negros; Councilors Abelardo Bantug, Derick Palanca and Audie Malaga.*