Micke Andersson, a concerned resident of Barangay Sabang contacted the Puerto Galera Tourism Council, the mayor’s office, the Puerto Galera Fortnightly and the barangay officials of Sabang about a problem with a pack of stray dogs roaming in front of his house. The dogs behave aggressively and kept attacking by-passers, children and pet animals since weeks.
The Fortnightly has been reporting on this widespread situation with stray animals since months. Nothing much was done by the government officials. Two months ago, a young woman died, following complications after a dog bite, then several traffic accidents have been reported and still no actions have been taken to resolve the problem.
This morning, the author of this article accompanied Micke Andersson to the Barangay Hall of Sabang to talk to Barangay Chairman Cresenciano Caspe. After an overview of the situation, the Barangay Chairman with 2 of his Barangay Councilors visited the area and talked to residents who are suspected to be the owners of the dogs. “We told them to keep their animals on their property and tie them up, if necessary, to ensure public safety. Otherwise we will have to neutralize the dogs”, says Barangay Chair Caspe.
The problem of stray animals will not just disappear. Barangay officials simply don’t know what to do. There are no budget, no trained personnel and no facility to store the animals after they have been taken off the roads. The Municipality of Puerto Galera need to come up with a lasting solution to the problem. An animal control ordinance must be enacted to make people become responsible pet-owners. This ordinance shall make mandatory the registration and vaccination of animals within Puerto Galera. Unregistered stray animals like dogs, cats, goats, even cows need to be taken care of.
The Barangay Chairman of Sabang told us he will print tarpaulins and hang them up in Sabang, reminding his constituents to be responsible which is a first step in the right direction. The Tourism Council shall be coming up with a draft ordinance to be presented to the Sangguniang Bayan.