BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio Leonardia declared an all-out war against dengue during his meeting with barangay officials and other government agencies at the Bacolod Government Center Sunday, August 25.
Leonardia, along with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, members of the City Council, and City Health Office (CHO) appealed to all the barangay officials to intensify fighting measures against the dengue virus.
"It's a matter of life and death, so we should help each other. This is so serious and we cannot address this problem if we will not help each other," he said.
He added that last week, he issued an executive order for all the barangay officials to participate in the "Sabayang 4-o'clock habit para Deng-get out!," a vector control program launched by the Department of Health (DOH) that aims to search and destroy mosquito breeding sites.
The local battlecry is "Deng-get out of Bacolod!"
The "4-o'clock habit" is a strategy that seeks to raise awareness and encourage the community to do its share and take time to weed out dengue breeding sites at 4 p.m. every day.
Of the 61 barangays, only the Barangays 10, 24, 30, and Tangub failed to send their representatives for the meeting.
Councilor Cindy Rojas, chairperson of the City Council committee on health, said they will simultaneously launch the "Deng-get out of Bacolod" in Bacolod City on Wednesday, August 27.
She said the program will be held at the Bacolod Government Center at 4 p.m., and the 61 barangays will also do the "4-o'clock habit para Deng-get out!"
"We encourage everybody to do the 4-o'clock habit to clean their surroundings to search and destroy mosquito breeding places," she added.
Rojas noted the barangay officials can also make sounds or sirens within their barangays before 4 o'clock in the afternoon as a reminder to their constituents to start cleaning their surroundings.
Aside from the sirens, Rojas said the barangay officials can also hold a meeting with purok chairmen to encourage them to practice the 4-o'clock habit.
The city officials will also try to request churches to ring their church bells every 4 p.m. for the same purpose.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier declared a national dengue epidemic as cases of the mosquito-borne disease continued to rise in the country.
CHO head Ma. Carmela Gensoli said since it is already a national dengue epidemic, the City Government needs everyone's cooperation to prevent the increase of dengue cases in Bacolod.
"We need the cooperation of everybody to practice the 4-o'clock habit to clean their surroundings," she said.
She added that from January to August 17, Bacolod City has a total of 1,325 dengue cases which increased by 106 percent with six deaths compared to last year's around 600 cases with five deaths.
The CHO is also validating the report of another alleged dengue fatality in Bacolod this month.
Gensoli said they are also set to purchase medicines, equipment, chemicals, among others for their campaign against dengue.