BACOLOD City Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said that the city can act more effectively in fighting the spread of dengue when it will be authorized to use its calamity fund.

However, the city has to first declare a state of calamity on dengue before it can access the calamity fund in addressing the dengue menace.

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Based on the protocols of the Department of Health (DOH), there should first be a favorable recommendation from the DOH regional office before the declaration of the state of calamity on diseases like dengue.

As of press time Tuesday, DOH regional director Dr. Ariel Valencia has not yet sent his official recommendation to Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia who earlier asked for such recommendation so that the mayor can use it as his basis to request the City Council to declare Bacolod City under a state of calamity due to dengue.

Bacolod City has a calamity fund of approximately P40 million. If there is a declaration of a state of calamity on the disease, the city has more elbow room to appropriate the needed funds to fight dengue.

This came after City Health Officer Dr. Salome Biñas submitted a report to Mayor Leonardia that there has been a 12 percent rise in dengue cases in the city for the period January to August 2010.

There were 831 cases with three deaths this year as compared to 742 cases with six deaths for the same period last year.

Leonardia said that the increase is expected because of the rainy season. The city regularly undertakes an anti-dengue campaign down to the school level.

Despite this information campaign, the number of dengue cases still increased because of the rainy season, Leonardia added.

Bacolod City lone district Representative Anthony Golez also pushed the declaration of Bacolod under the state of calamity on dengue.

He noted that the increase in the number of dengue cases was reported not only in Bacolod but also in the entire country.

The declaration of Bacolod under the state of calamity on dengue can likewise allow the city to access national funds, which could further extend help to dengue patients and increase awareness in the community. (Carla N. Cañet)