With the mosquito-borne disease increase in Davao City, the 19th city council passed an ordinance punishing those who store old tires or containers that could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Council President Mary Joselle Villafuerte, Chair of the Health Committee, advocated the adoption of the ordinance known as the Davao City Mosquito Borne Diseases Prevention and Control Ordinance to reduce the number of cases caused by mosquito-borne viruses or Parasites such as dengue fever, chikungunya, filaria, Japanese encephalitis, malaria and Zika virus disease.
The ordinance, which was passed in third and final reading on Tuesday 10 November, aims to institutionalize a task force to deal with the health problem, particularly in communities
Villafuerte said the ordinance also laid down bans on those believed to be the main root cause of the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
According to the regulation, old tires and batteries, steel or plastic drums, empty bottles, glasses and water tanks that are no longer in use should be stored and the failure to properly cover them, especially if they contain water, making them breeding grounds for mosquitoes power are forbidden.
Storing rain or tap water in containers that are not properly covered when used in households and other purposes is also prohibited.
Vacant landowners who cannot clean their property, which also becomes a breeding ground for these insects, are also punished.
Following inspection by the Tropical Disease Prevention and Control Department, the CHO’s Environmental Hygiene Inspectors, and the Mosquito-borne Disease Task Force in Barangay, violations of this ordinance are punished with different penalties and sanctions.
The first offense is fined 1,000 pesetas and two hours of community service, then 3,000 pesetas and four hours of community service for the second offense, and 5,000 pesetas and the seizure of items and items involved for the third offense.
Companies that violate the regulation will also be penalized.
The first offense involves strict surveillance or suspension by the business office of the establishments, while the bureau revokes the establishment’s business permits the second time it is caught violating the law.
The regulation also contains a “no competition” provision, which means that a person who has been caught violating the regulation and does not want to contest their violation and is willing to pay or do community service will be allowed.
Villafuerte said the regulation will represent barangay officials so they can issue citation cards to misleading individuals who violate the regulation or refuse to comply.
The city council said in a radio interview that the ordinance was requested from the city’s health department (CHO) during the 2019 executive and legislative agenda meeting.
In the data she presented, cases of dengue in the city in 2010 were extremely alarming. According to the city’s health department, 10,978 people have been admitted to dengue fever and 88 deaths have been recorded.
“These mosquito-borne diseases are community-based problems, so a concerted effort by all people is required to prevent or stop the further transmission of these diseases,” said Villafuerte in her tabled resolution to create the regulation.
CHO said there was a need to institutionalize a program to prevent these mosquito-borne diseases, particularly dengue fever.
The city council said the time for his crossing came when the city suffered heavy rains due to the rainy season.
As part of the ordinance, a task force called the Davao City Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will be established to prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases, led by the city’s mayor along with other member agencies including CHO, City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro), the Barangays and the Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DILG).
“Because of this regulation, we urge the barangays to create barangay mosquito-borne diseases (we will encourage all barangays to create their own) [Prevention and Control] Task Force, “said Villafuerte.
The city council said it was necessary to set up a task force as its role was important in curbing the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases.
Under the ordinance, the IATF will raise and disseminate awareness of the various mosquito virus diseases, conduct a city-wide cleanup, monitor communities, develop an advocacy communication plan, and conduct an implementation assessment.
The task force will also implement the “4 o’clock” habit in every home, school, and office.
The “4 AM Habit” is a strategy aimed at raising awareness and encouraging the community to do their part, setting aside time at 4 PM each day to weed out dengue hotbeds. Mosquitos, which transmit disease, are known to be most active around this time of twilight, and the religious practice of this intervention is key to reducing the risk of developing these diseases.
In addition, the IATF will transport suspected dengue patients to the nearest county health office for rapid diagnostic tests, and those with likely results will need to be transported to the nearest hospital for treatment and case management.
The ordinance will also oblige all barangays to conduct a regular voluntary blood donation program as set out by city ordinance 0382-18 or “an ordinance institutionalizing a voluntary blood donation program ordinance for barangay”.
Villafuerte said the establishment of blood stations in all health centers in the district will be encouraged to provide access to processed blood products during times of dengue outbreak or tropical disease.