Violators of anti-dengue ordinance to be penalized

Violators of anti-dengue ordinance to be penalized
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THE City Health Office (CHO) is currently in talks with concerned agencies to implement the penalty provisions of the Strengthening and Institutionalizing the Davao City Mosquito-Borne Disease Protection and Control Program or City Ordinance No. 0401 series of 2020.

CHO Tropical Division Head Melodina Babante said dialogues are being conducted between the City Treasurer’s Office, City Legal Office, and the Barangay and Cultural Communities Affairs Division to penalize residents whose homes or places of business were found to have mosquito breeding sites.

Under the city ordinance, the dumping of old tires and batteries, as well as uncovered plastic drums, water tanks, and containers are prohibited as these can become breeding sites for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Failure to adhere mandates a P1,000 fine and a two-day community service for first-time offenders, a fine of P3,000 and a four-hour community service for the second offense; and a P5,000 fine and a four-hour community service for the third offense.

Babante said the implementation of the penalties is one of the methods by which the CHO is trying to curb dengue cases which spiked in 2023. 

In 2022, Davao City logged 1,481 dengue cases which resulted in 21 deaths. In 2023, however, cases ballooned to 6,269 which led to 52 fatalities.

From January to April 18 this year, the CHO already recorded 1,140 dengue cases which led to the death of eight people. This is higher than the six deaths logged for the same period last year. 

While the legalities of the penalties to the City Ordinance No. 0401 are still under discussion, Babante said the CHO is also actively working on the implementation of the other main provision of the law which is the creation of a Dengue Task Force in each barangay.

“Right now we challenge all barangays to create the said task force dahil sa amoa sa Tropical, ang amoang everyday activity is muadto sa mga barangay bisag walay mga reported cases (because for us in the Tropical Division, our everyday activity is to go to the barangays, even ones without reported cases of dengue),” Babante said during the ISpeak Media Forum on Thursday.

“We are still on surveillance and monitoring na atong mas gi-intensify pa (We still do surveillance and monitoring which we have intensified even more),” she added.

Babante said only 32 out of the 182 barangays in the city have a Dengue Task Force that effectively monitors the cleanliness of their respective areas and actively searches and destroys mosquito breeding grounds. This means that it is usually left to the CHO, City Environment and Natural Resource Office, and the Ancillary Services Unit to find and destroy breeding grounds of disease-carrying mosquitos in most barangays.

Intensive information campaigns, Babante said, are being launched in all parts of the city to convince barangay functionaries to establish the task force. Residents are also educated on the proper preventive measures to take against dengue-carrying mosquitos. 

Babante reminded the public that curbing dengue disease is not just a concern of the health sector but that of the whole community. CIO

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