THE Davao City Government will not require street vendors to get a health certificate for now but opted to have the City Health Office (CHO) and the Barangays to work together to manage or organize the vendors.

“Dili sa, naa tay adjustments ginabuhat ato. Isa na didto ang health card (As of now, not yet, we have adjustments to make. A health card is just one of them) but I will require the barangay and the CHO to collaborate gyud ani sa pagplastar aning mga street vendors nato (to organize our street vendors),” Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte said in an interview with the Davao City Disaster Radio on August 4, 2022.

Duterte said they already have initial plans to improve the food safety among vendors. To achieve this, he will need the cooperation of the barangay and the CHO.

He said the diarrhea outbreak in Toril last month is ‘unacceptable.’

“Kinahanglan gyud nato nga striktohan, dili ko gusto nga mahitabo ni usab tungod lang sa pagkaon (We need to be more strict. I don’t want another outbreak due to food contamination),” Duterte said.

According to CHO, as of July 28, the diarrhea outbreak in Toril recorded 217 cases, of which six succumbed to diarrhea complications.

CHO Head Dr. Ashley Lopez said in a separate interview with Davao City Disaster Radio on July 29, the result of the rectal swab was caused by “food-borne microorganism with vibrio cholera as the pathogen of concern.”

Lopez said based on the investigation, food may have been contaminated during preparation, and handled by an infected handler. He said the sources of infection were tapioca drink and street food, particularly isaw (grilled chicken entrails), kwek-kwek (fried orange-battered eggs), and juice, sold at the night market on Rasay Street and Toril Public Market.

Duterte said even before the release of the full results of the investigation and testing they already have a suspicion that the main reason for the recent outbreak is not the water.

“Kay kung tubig to, perting daghana gyud [dapat] ato dili lang dosentos kapin, moabot gyud to’g libo. Ni-suggest ko sa CHO nga magkuha og third party para klaro lang sa tanan. Mao to nahibal-an nato nga contaminated gyud ang pagkaon, kay nakakuha man tag sample (If it was water, thousands of affected residents would have been affected and not only 200 victims. I told CHO to get a third party to clarify other issues. After the tests were conducted, we were able to confirm that it was food contamination)” Duterte said.

Duterte said he offered the bereaved family that he will go with them if they file a case against whoever is responsible. However, the families he talked with opted to not file a case.

“Tungod lang sa kapabayaan sa pagkaon ba, unya mawad-an og kinabuhi. Ibutang pud unta ninyo ang inyong kaugalingon ba sa mga biktima kaning sa mga gabaligya, kung inyuha tong anak o igsoon, unsay bation ninyo kung mamatay [sila]? (Because of food mishandling lives were lost. The vendors must put themselves in the victims’ shoes. What if it’s their family member? How would you feel if they died?),” Duterte said. KSD