Kidapawan mayor hopeful dengue outbreak declaration to yield positive results

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 9 Aug) – City Mayor Joseph Arellano Evangelista has expressed optimism that the declaration of dengue as epidemic will bring good results, especially when it comes to funding the programs that would help minimize, if not eradicate, the spread of the virus.

Evangelista, in an interview over Ronda FM Teleradyo here on Friday, admitted they lack funds in implementing precautionary or safety measures to fight the disease.

The mayor said it is a lot advantageous for an LGU like Kidapawan if the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) declares a dengue outbreak. This, he explained, would mean the LGU can use part of the 70 percent of the Quick Response Fund of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) for anti-dengue measures.

Although the Department of Health declared a National Dengue Epidemic last August 6 in the wake of the increasing reported cases of dengue in the country, the NDRRMC has not declared a “national emergency or state of calamity.”

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who served as NDRRMC chair, has said that it is up to the LGUs affected by dengue to make their own declaration.

Evangelista stressed that measures like fogging operations in areas with high cases of dengue need additional funding.

Recently, the city government has bought re-agents to be used for the massive fogging operations worth half a million pesos.

The amount was taken from the city’s contingency funds for 2019.

“We badly need the funds for fogging operations, although we just purchased recently reagents for these,” said the mayor.

Also, the city health office had just completed two weeks ago a two-day anti-dengue summit.

“The order of the day is for everyone to make his or her place clean and continue the cleaning operations,” Evangelista stressed.

He warned barangay officials who failed to implement anti-dengue measures.

Latest data from the regional office of the Department of Health showed that Kidapawan City is second in North Cotabato as to the number of dengue cases monitored from January until July 2019 where it recorded 490 cases. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)