The bill creating a College of Veterinary Medicine at the Bicol University (BU) is on track following the recent approval by the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.
House Bill 10203, filed in September by Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando Cabredo, now awaits the green light from the Committee on Rules for endorsement to the plenary.
Earlier, Cabredo said he is hopeful that once the measure reaches the Senate, it will be passed into law and signed by the new president next year.
“The measure creating a College of Veterinary Medicine at BU is aimed to produce globally competitive veterinary medicine graduates.”
“The measure creating a College of Veterinary Medicine at the BU is aimed to produce globally competitive veterinary medicine graduates equipped with high-quality skills and competencies to address emerging and increasing animal diseases which according to specialists endanger the health animals and the health and economic growth of various communities,” the bill’s explanatory note read.
Citing a study from the Agriculture, Health, and Environment departments, there are at least 172 zoonotic diseases that pose grave challenges to animal and human health services and resources.
“Outbreak of animal diseases can also cost the country millions of losses due to animal slaughters, trade halts, and subsequent disease management and eradication efforts,” the bill read.
Animal diseases have largely impacted human health and food supply, including African swine fever, avian flu, influenza A, and severe acute respiratory syndrome that resulted in the drastic decrease of pork meat in the market.
“Of the estimated 10,000 veterinarians in the Philippines, only 20 are based in Albay.”
The study also indicated that of the estimated 10,000 veterinarians in the Philippines, only 20 are based in Albay.
Currently, just one higher education institution in Bicol, the Central Bicol State University in Camarines Sur, offers veterinary medicine course.
The school is two hours away from Albay.
In partnership with the city government of Ligao, the BU College of Veterinary Medicine campus with laboratory and treatment services would sit on a 10-hectare lot in Barangay Tuburan.
The six-year course will consist of a two-year preparatory veterinary curriculum and general education courses, and a four-year professional veterinary medicine course.
About P168 million will be earmarked to finance the construction of the structure and facilities, manpower, and operating expenses.
Previously, BU president Arnulfo Mascariñas said whether or not the measure will be enacted into law, they would offer a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program next year.