By Liza Agoot

WAR VS DENGUE. The Baguio City government is shifting its strategy to address the increasing cases of dengue cases. The focus will be on behavioral change aimed at making the public responsible for their health by making their surroundings clean and to ensure that all mosquito breeding places are eliminated, otherwise, they will be penalized. (PNA file photo)

BAGUIO CITY – The city government is changing its strategy in addressing the increasing dengue cases by running after homeowners who fail to abide by the clean-up drive.

“We have obtained a go-signal from the mayor to coordinate with the BCPO (Baguio City Police Office) in implementing the anti-dengue Ordinance,” Miller Balisongen, sanitary inspector of the City Health Services Office (CHSO), said in a media interview on Thursday. 

He said members of BCPO, HSO personnel, and village officials would visit households to check not just the visible areas but also inspect for the presence of mosquito breeding places.

“Initially, we would just be advising on cleaning of their immediate surroundings but residents might see themselves facing problems if they continue to neglect to manage the cleanliness of their surroundings, ” he said.

The Consolidated Anti Dengue Ordinance that took effect in the first quarter of this year mandates residents to be more proactive in their participation to prevent health risks as health authorities declare mosquito-borne diseases like dengue no longer a seasonal disease which peaks during the rainy season but has become a year-round problem.

HSO data show 376 dengue cases from June 1 to 26 this year, up from the 75 cases from June 1 to 30, 2023.

Balisongen said the shift in strategy is aimed at changing the behavioral pattern of the public.

“The solution to dengue is not just the government’s concern because mosquito breeding grounds are not in common areas and public places but in the homes, in the residential compounds, which are not accessible to the government to clean. The responsibility of cleaning the homes and backyards is the occupants, the owners and it is about time people realize this,” he said.

He added that “when our personnel visited the homes of dengue patients where there is clustering, we even saw mosquitoes breeding.”

“Their loved ones are already sick of dengue yet they continue to refuse to destroy breeding places and that poses risks to more members of the family, their neighbors, and the community in general,” he said. (PNA)