MP under state of calamity due to dengue outbreak
Bontoc, Mtn. Prov.– In its quest to address the rising cases of dengue in the province, the Provincial Local Government Unit of Mountain Province declared the province under a state of calamity at on August 27, 2019, hours after the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) held its emergency meeting at the PDRRM Operations Center.
“Considering the more than 330% increase of dengue cases from last year’s, there is a dire need to address the rising number of cases. While we have district hospitals and rural health units, we do not have enough resources to address all needs should our cases continue to escalate. We have to nip the problem at this point while it is still manageable,” said PDRRM Officer Edward F. Chumawar, Jr..
The emergency meeting was called after the Office of the Governor received the report of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) last August 23, 2019, citing the dengue status in the province.
In his message to the council members, PDRRMC Chair and Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. said that the alarming increase in dengue cases is urgent in nature as it is the lives of the people at stake.
“As the rapid rise of dengue cases is alarming, I pray that this council will arrive at a resolution that shall immediately address the plight of our constituents. We cannot afford to lose more lives due to dengue fever. Should this body recommend to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that our province be declared under a state of calamity, such will ensure that we will be able to provide the immediate and necessary measures through the use of the Quick Response Fund in preventing further dengue epidemics in the province,” Lacwasan said.
Per the PHO report, a total of 550 cases of dengue were reported thru the Philippine Epidemiology and Surveillance Response to the Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of the PHO covering the period January to August 2019. However, only 503 (91%) of the cases were from Mountain Province as the other 47 (9%) were from the provinces of Aurora, Benguet, Ifugao, Ilocos Sur, La union and Kalinga; majority of the cases are males whose ages ranged from three months to 86 years old. In 2018, there were 117 cases with two deaths.
“All municipalities in the province except Barlig had increased number of dengue cases as compared to last year’s data covering the same period. Also, Sadanga reported the highest percentage (from 3 to 59 cases or 1, 866%) of increase versus last year’s only three cases,” said PHO HEPO III Lily Anne N. Safilo.
From the 2018 data, the latest PHO report also reflected the detailed increase in dengue fever cases in the other municipalities in descending order: Sabangan (form 2 to 15 cases or 650%); Sagada (from 8 to 54 cases, 575 %); Besao (from 2 to 13 cases or 550%); Tadian (from 3 to 15 cases or 400%); Paracelis (from 43 to 185 cases or 330%); Natonin (from 8 to 34 cases or 325%); Bauko (from 8 to 32 cases or 300%); and Bontoc (from 36 to 92 cases or 156%).
Also, the report included two deaths resulting from dengue fever in Paracelis and Sabangan.
In response, the PDRRMC immediately moved for the declaration of the province in a state of calamity and endorsed its resolution to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for action. Consequently, the 10th Sangguniang Panlalawigan which holds its session every Tuesday of the week, immediately acted on the former’s resolution, thus, the declaration.
Meanwhile, the members of the PDRRMC also reported on the level of preparedness of their respective agency/unit in addressing the possible effects of Typhoon Jenny.
In relation to the typhoon watch at the MP OpCen, Chumawar invited the council members to join the vigil.
“As often said, let us see to the safety of our families first. Alongside this, let us discharge our duties and responsibilities towards our fellow constituents who may be in need of our assistance. Please join us in our DRR watch here at our OpCen,” PDRRMO Chumawar said. **Novy R. Afidchao