MANILA Mayor and former President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada has ordered the Manila Health Department
(MHD) to round up all stray dogs and cats in the city during the launch of a campaign encouraging
residents to have their pets vaccinated.
Estrada issued the directive as the country also observed the month of March as ‘Rabies
Awareness Month’ that he initiated in 1999 thru the signing of Executive Order 84 when he was
At the same time, MHD chief Dr. Benjamin Yson encouraged pet owners to have their pets
vaccinated with ant-rabies to ensure their dogs and cats would not put residents in danger.
“Hindi naman agad nakamamatay ang kagat ng aso o ng pusa. But once you are bitten, as a
precaution, magpatingin na kaagad sa doktor and get anti-rabies vaccines,” said Estrada.
Since dogs and cats are common household pets and constantly have contact with humans,
Estrada urged owners to have their pets vaccinated to protect them from getting infected by the
The mayor also ordered Dr. Yson to give all stray dogs and cats anti-rabies shots to
shield the public from rabies infection.
Based on the records of the Department of Health (DoH), Yson said animal bites resulted in
200 up to 300 deaths yearly due to rabies infection.
He said Manila has already recorded two cases of rabies infection since Estrada became
According to Dr. Yson, rabies can be transmitted when infectious material, usually
saliva, comes into direct contact with a victim’s fresh skin lesions.
Estrada said that students on vacation during summer break usually play on the streets and
public places and they are in great risks of being bitten by stray dogs and cats.