DAVAO TOWN – Residents here who allow their surroundings to become breeding grounds for pathogenic mosquitoes would soon be fined.
In an interview on Thursday, Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte said the penalties were included in the proposed measure, entitled “An ordinance to strengthen and institutionalize the program to prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases in Davao City”.
Villafuerte, chairman of the city council’s health committee, said the ordinance, which was passed in the third and final reading on Tuesday, is seen as urgent after the surge in mosquito-borne diseases in the city.
The measure aims to lower the death rate in the city from mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, filaria, Japanese encephalitis, malaria and Zika virus.
Data from the Department of Health in Region 11 (DOH-11) showed the city had at least 1,253 cases from January to August 2018. During the same period in 2019, the city recorded a total of 2,500 dengue cases.
“Davao City accounts for 60 percent of all dengue cases across the region. We want to be more proactive and implement the program, and we want the barangay to work all year round, whether it is the rainy season or not, ”Villafuerte told the Philippine news agency.
She said the proposed regulation would ban the dumping of old tires, batteries, plastic drums, containers and uncovered water tanks, as such containers can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The action would also create the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Mosquito-borne Diseases and the Barangay Mosquito-borne TF Diseases.
After Mayor Sara Z. Duterte signed the ordinance, Villafuerte said violating the PHP1,000 and two hours of community service will be imposed for the first offense. PHP3,000 and four hours of community service for the second offense; and PHP5,000 and property confiscation for the third offense.
“We will also punish free landowners who have these breeding areas,” added the city council.
Businesses, she said, must undergo strict surveillance and violations risk suspension or revocation of business licenses. (PNA)