WVA PRESIDENTIAL AWARD - Dr Teodulo M. Topacio, Jr.
During the WVA GA 2014, a WVA PRESIDENTIAL AWARD was presented to Dr Teodulo M. Topacio, in recognition of his outstanding and exemplary services to veterinary science and the veterinary profession.
Dr. Topacio is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, cum laude graduate of the University of the Philippines, obtained his M.Sc. from Michigan State University and Ph.D. degree from Purdue University, U.S.A. specializing in microbiology. Currently, he is the Chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Animal Disease Control and Emergency (NAC-ADCE), a multi-agriculture sectoral Committee composed of representatives from private entities and government agencies that give advice to the Secretary of the Department (Ministry) of Agriculture. The recommendations helped in eradicating Foot and Mouth Disease in the Philippines and helped in keeping "Bird Flu" out of the country.
Dr.Topacio’s pioneering work (late 1960’s and 1970’s) in the zoonotic disease, leptospirosis, confirmed the presence in pigs through isolation of the organism, resulting in its treatment and control, thus, increasing swine production while assuring the health and safety of farmers and workers in the industry. His scientific leadership led in the formulation, drafting and passage of the Philippine Anti-Rabies Law (Republic Act No. 9482) in 2007, which aims to eradicate canine rabies, a fatal disease of humans and other warm blooded animals the Philippines. As Chairman of the the Philippine Regulations Commission Board of Veterinary Medicine, the veterinary statutory body giving licensure examination to veterinary graduates in the country, he initiated the amendment of the obsolete Veterinary Practice Act and led the drafting and passage of Republic Act 9268 in 2004, An Act to Regulate the Practice of Veterinary Medicine in the Philippines.
Dr. Topacio became President of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association. During his term in 1976, he conceptualized and initiated the formation of the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations (FAVA) which was chartered in February 22, 1978. Founded by 6 Charter Members, FAVA has grown to 19 members and several Congresses have been held since its existence testifying to its virility and growing strength. The Philippine College of Veterinary Public Health, a specialty group of veterinarians in Public Health, was also founded and initiated by Dr. Topacio in 1988.
As an educator, he acted as a teacher and adviser to generations of students offering dedicated service and motivating them to excel in their chosen profession, until he was appointed Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of the Philippines (1964-1969). In that position, he helped develop and uplift the discipline of veterinary medicine in the Philippines. This lead him to the appointment of Professor Emeritus by the President of the University of the Philippines.
He lent his expertise in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry of the Philippines in the production of reasonably priced quality veterinary products affordable by the small food animal producers stakeholders. He further extended his veterinary service by helping the livestock industry of Bangladesh when he acted as Team Leader-Management Advisor in the production, quality control and distribution of animal vaccines in the country under the Asian Development Bank.
A patriot, he was drafted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Again, he lent his expertise and reputation and was given the rank Reserved Major in the Veterinary Corps under Surgeon General. Eventually, he received the 1995 Outstanding Veterinary Corps Officer Reservist Award.
Dr. Topacio is a prolific writer having published several scientific articles and editor and author of veterinary books. He has presented several scientific papers in local and international scientific gatherings and conferences. He held several positions in private and government offices and professional organizations and was a recipient of several awards.
With all of these accomplishments and contributions to veterinary science and the profession, Dr. Topacio, was recommended by the National Academy of Science and Technology to the Order of National Scientist to the President of the Republic of the Philippines and was bestowed this highest award for a scientist on June 17, 2009.