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City Councilor pushes anti-mosquito program

The City Council is drafting an ordinance institutionalizing the Mosquito-Borne Diseases Prevention Program.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, council committee chair on health, proposed the said ordinance, which passed the first reading on Tuesday’s session, following the recent Orientation and Training on Prevention of Mosquito-Borne Diseases attended by officials of the 182 barangays in the city.

“The purpose of legislation is to ensure compliance with evidence-based good health practices and to encourage positive behavioral change,” Villafuerte, a physician, said in her privilege speech.

“Another purpose is to penalize would be offenders who would endanger the health and lives of our residents, and in emergency situations to aid our city government to bring an outbreak under control,” she added.

The proposed ordinance will include the creation of an inter-agency body and will urge all 182 barangays to organize its own Barangay Mosquito-Borne Disease Prevention Task Force.

It will also provide for the creation of blood stations in the city, ensure continued supply of free dengue test kits, and clarify the roles of all hospitals, government and private.

A city-wide Dengue Control Program will be also established involving not only barangay officials but homeowners associations as well.

Additionally, the proposed ordinance will also identify the prohibited acts and include a penal clause.

Villafuerte added they were “able to secure the commitment of all 182 Barangays that they would mobilize their communities in order to prevent any more cases and deaths due to dengue.”
“We will not wait for an outbreak to be declared. We will respond now,” Villafuerte said.

She added that over P7 million has already been spent in all the mosquito-related programs of the Department of Health and the City Health Office.

Successful dengue prevention program needs several factors, Villafuerte said, including health education, health sector responsive to the needs of residents, community participation and legislation.

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