by Aileen Joy M. Subade

Iloilo City – The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) convened together with the Provincial and City Veterinarians in the region to discuss the uprising threat brought by the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to the agricultural sector especially to the livestock and poultry industry. The Regional Stakeholders Meeting and Orientation was conducted at Eon Centennial Hotel, Iloilo City, August 1.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has already caught the attention of the World Health Organization and the World Organization on Animal Health as well as the policy makers and other private groups. Through this, the Administrative Order No. 42 was created last April 10, 2014 which orders to create an Inter—Agency Committee for the formulation and implementation of a national plan to combat antimicrobial resistance in the Philippines.

Some major threats brought by AMR are increased mortality, prolonged illness and increased cost of health care. Through the AO No. 42, sustainable and collaborative systems and mechanisms will be created in order to control the ARM.

“We need to strengthen the dissemination of information down to our farmers,” said Dr. Samuel Castro,i AMR Focal Person. “Series of activities will be conducted in support to our campaign against anti microbial resistance”, he added. Castro emphasized that the Provincial and City Veterinarians play an important role in this campaign. They are the one closest to the farmers and other agricultural stakeholders hence, they must be equipped with necessary information regarding the campaign.
In order to fully implement the campaign for Antimicrobial Resistance, the DA6 initiated the creation of the Region 6 Antimicrobial Resistance Council. This will be headed by DA’s Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter and Regional Technical Director Peter S. Sobrevega. Also, other members include National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), DA- Information Section, DA-Livestock Research, Veterinary Quarantine Services (VQS), National Dairy Authority (NDA), Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), Provincial and City Veterinarians, Municipal Agricultural Offices, and SUCs.

Also, private companies and groups will also be included in the creation of the council.

The council is expected to raise awareness on AMR through advocacy, seminars, information materials and media. They are also encouraged to conduct AMR surveillance and monitoring at their respective area. It will also monitor, report and update progress of implementation on AMR activities.

“This meeting is a big step to our goal in addressing our problem in antimicrobial resistance”, said Dr. Peter S. Sobrevega, DA6-Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations. “We have to make the most out of our resources to continue this activity and to ensure the success of our campaign”, he added. Sobrevega was overwhelmed by the number of attendees of the activity. He is positive that through the active involvement of all members of the council, the campaign for AMR will be a success.