The Cebu Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) is in the process of declaring two mainland areas in Cebu as rabies-free this year.

Bantayan and Zaragosa are close to becoming rabies-free islands in Cebu, which was a status first met by Camotes and Malapascua islands in 2011.

In order to be declared rabies-free, Cebu provincial veterinarian Dr. Mary Ann Gabona said the island must not have any rabies cases reported in the span of three years.

Gabona said 81 percent of dogs in Cebu had been vaccinated as of 2018 thanks to rabies vaccinations, dog-registration books, dog tags and collars, and vaccination tags.

As of February this year, 12,698 dogs in Cebu City had received anti-rabies shots, according to Dr. Alice Utlang, head of Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries.

Vaccinations were carried out in nine known high-risk baranggays in the city: Guadalupe, Kalunasan, Lahug, Punta Prinscesa, Bulacao, Inayawan, Mabolo, Basak San Nicolas, and Pahina San Nicolas.

Utlang also discussed about the importance of educating people about the effects of rabies. Currently, there have three programs that help in attaining their rabies-free campaign: 1. Information Campaign, 2. Responsible Pet Ownership and 3. Dog Population Control.