The city government will intensify the implementation of Ordinance 66-2016 or the Anti-Dengue Ordinance of the City of Baguio including the imposition of penalties against those who do not follow the dengue control measures.
This after the City Health Services Office sounded the dengue fever alarm as the increase in cases reaches an alarming level. The City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) of the CHSO said there is a 134 percent
increase in cases this year as compared to last year or a total of 940 cases from January 1 to present as against the 401 cases for the same period last year.

Seventy-one percent of the total cases were from the city while the rest were from other localities. For the weeks 21-24, there was a 376 percent increase in cases or from 75 cases in 2023 to 376 this year. The ten hotspots barangays with clustering of cases are Irisan, Bakakeng Central, Asin Road, Pacdal, Sto. Tomas Proper, Gibraltar, West
Quirino Hill, Mines View Park, Middle Quirino Hill and Victoria Village. The ordinance prohibits the following: storing water in containers not tightly covered, keeping and storing water filled vases and using ornamental plants with pot saucer and axilled plants for a long period, keeping or having discarded tires, discharging waste water or sewage unto streets, roads, alleys and pathways and conducting chemical control methods without clearance
from the CHSO and the Dept. of Health.

“Any uncooperative owner, group of persons or public or private entity can be summoned to appear before the punong barangay to explain at reasonable cause why no legal action should be taken upon the violator,” the
ordinance reads. Violators are liable for the following penalties: first offense – render community service for three
days at the barangay, second offense — fine of P1,000 and conduct of community service for three days and third offense — P3,000 and imprisonment of two days at the discretion of the court. Mayor Benjamin Magalong called for an intensified implementation of the anti-dengue ordinance after CHSO medical officers and sanitation inspectors
at the helm of the dengue control measures in the barangays observed that although residents are fully aware of the prevention activities, many households are still not cooperating in the implementation of the same.

He ordered the involvement of the Baguio City Police Office personnel and the Public Order and Safety Division in the conduct of information dissemination, case surveillance and geo-tagging operations in the barangays as augmentation to the sanitation division personnel. “It seems that the gravity of the situation has not fully sunk into the consciousness of many people so that they continue to be uncooperative and refuse to take action to remove the risk factors,” Medical Officer Nelson Hora said. Miller Balisongen of the Sanitation Division agreed saying the city is not wanting on dengue prevention activities but the problem lies on the behavior of the people. “People are fully aware of the control measures but still they fail to act even if they already had an encounter with the disease.

You can observe it, may namatay na nga sa dengue pero mismo sa loob ng bahay nila, nandoon pa rin yung mga mosquito breeding sites na pinagbabawal natin,” he lamented. He said they will now conduct house-to-house surveillance in the hope of curbing the case trajectory. Aside from strengthening case surveillance, the CHSO is also implementing 5S anti-dengue public awareness campaign and clean-up drives through the “Denguerra – War against Dengue” program, an intensified campaign to mobilize barangays to conduct massive and simultaneous search and destroy operations every Thursday to weed out mosquito breeding sites as well as other interventions to stop the reproduction of dengue-carrying mosquitoes and the use of larvicides in critical barangays. To catch all cases, the city also launched an online system of reporting cases to boost surveillance and capture all cases as part of the CHSO’s newly developed monitoring system which according to Panes integrates data gathering from health laboratories and citizen self-reporting.

Aileen P. Refuerzo/Baguio-PIO

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