Inday Sara1

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. (Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO — Mayor Sara Duterte has issued another warning against health officials here if they fail to curb the rising number of dengue-related deaths.
The mayor has previously warned that she will replace City Health Office employees if the deaths caused by dengue will not be stopped from July to December.
As of June, the number of dengue fever deaths has reached 25 — or an additional six new mortalities from last week’s 19. From January to June, CHO has recorded over 4,000 dengue cases.
Duterte said the tropical diseases unit of the CHO, which is handling diseases like dengue, should be responsible for these deaths.
“Ihatag na lang nako ang ilang bonus sa mga simbako mamatay sa mosunod nga unom ka bulan (I would rather give their bonus to those who will die from dengue in the next six months),” Sara said Tuesday.
She said she expects the department to reduce the numbe of deaths in the next six months.
“Numbers should be lower than the statistics last year of the same period,” she said in a statement on Tuesday, August 2.
Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, city health officer called on Duterte to issue an executive order mandating all barangays to actively carry out “search and destroy” of  mosquito breeding areas.
She also wants Duterte to declare Friday as  a “community cleanup drive day”.   Villafuerte said she has instructed the district offices under the CHO to initiate massive cleanup operations starting this week.
Meanwhile, a member of the City Council is pushing for the passage of an anti-dengue ordinance to look closely in the implementation of the city’s anti-dengue fever programs and how the CHO is spending its budget.
Councilor Bernard Al-ag also said they have already released the budget of the CHO for the anti-dengue campaign.
A similar ordinance in 2011 was filed by Al-ag, but it was not approved by the Council.
“It was not approve in the Council since there are a lot of councilors who didn’t agree. According to them the ordinance is very strict so it was put to archives,” he said.
Al-ag said that the chairperson of committee on health now, Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte “can refile this and can adjust other provisions that is appropriate now in the present time.”
CHO lacks manpower
Al-ag added that there are only a few personnel in the CHO which could affect the efficiency of the anti dengue drive.
“I think they are only ten CHO personnel that covers the whole 184 barangays, I have seen their efforts for a long time already and I can say that they can’t do it,” he said.
“Dili ni kaya sa city government lang, we need to help each other here. Ang barangay dapat mulihok pud ani and ang matag balay (The city government cannot do this alone, we need to help each other. The barangays and each household should take actions, too),” Al-ag said.
He added that with the new ordinance, they can institutionalize the 4 o’clock habit wherein all barangays will do a clean up drive. (
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