Search for pet-friendly establishments proposed

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance institutionalizing the Search for Pet-friendly establishments in the city, providing guidelines and appropriating funds for the said purpose.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated that an annual Search for the Most Pet-friendly establishments in the city will be institutionalized and shall be held every March.

The ordinance added the search shall also be an opportunity for the personnel of the City Veterinary Office to inform the public, through participating establishments, of the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act and RA 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act, as well as other information pertinent to animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.

Further, sanitation and health concerns, especially for participating hotels, transient houses, restaurants, cafes, among others, shall be given high regard and shall be part of the determination whether an establishment can be considered as pet-friendly.

The ordinance stipulates that a search committee shall be created through an executive order by the City Mayor and shall be composed of the City Mayor as the chairperson with the City Vice Mayor as vice chairperson and the City Veterinarian as Action Officer. The members shall include the City Health Services officer, Special Services Division of the City Mayor’s Office, representative from the accredited CSOs with mission related to the protection and welfare of animals and other members to be determined by the committee once convened.

The search committee shall formulate the guidelines for the search that will include process flow, assessment, schedules, criteria, awards, among others, in the conduct of the search; design and issue the seal of pet-friendly establishments as provided for in the measure; consult and invite other concerned departments relative to the functions of the committee; conduct meetings prior to the search proper; keep a record of all the documents, proceedings, and activities of the committee for future reference and guidance and recommend to the local legislative body amendments, if any, to the measure to further enhance the purpose of the search.

The ordinance provided that the committee shall issue a seal to establishments found to be pet-friendly based on the criteria established for the said purpose.

The ordinance proposed the appropriation of the amount of P100,000, or so much thereof, from the annual budget of the City Veterinary Office annually to be used for the awards as well as operational expenses of the search committee.

The ordinance tasked the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office to prepare the implementing rules and regulations as necessary and the scheduling of the trainings, selection of resource persons and utilization of the funds for the realization of the purposes of the proposed local legislative measure.

RA 8485 provides that the State shall protect and promote the welfare of all animals in the country and non-profit organizations such as the Philippine Animal Welfare Society have been aggressively pushing national and local governments for the continuous protection and promotion of human treatment of all animals.

By Dexter A. See

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