DENGUE OUTBREAKS: Ex-mayor’s only child is latest dengue fatality

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

IN SUCCESSIVE Facebook posts early afternoon of July 13, 2019, former Mayor Jose “Jojo” de Paula has shared previous videos and photos of his only child, 10-year old Jasmine Joy.

The girl, whom de Paula fondly called as JJ, succumbed to dengue fever evening of July 12.

De Paula has turned to Facebook to recount memories of her daughter JJ – videos of his child’s school activities and Father’s Day greeting to photos of them while on vacation.

The former mayor briefly wrote in his captions the words “We love you, Anak,” as he also thanked her for the memories they had.

De Paula, who lost his re-election bid last May 13, 2019, said they knew that his daughter had dengue, as he was ending his term as mayor of Janiuay, Iloilo.

JJ, who was studying at the Calvario Memorial Christian Elementary School in Janiuay, died at the Iloilo Mission Hospital in Iloilo City 16 days after she was diagnosed with dengue fever.

Because of what happened, de Paula said he plans to pursue advocacy on how to prevent dengue as he would like no other parent, brother, sister, or children, to experience what he is going through now.

Earlier, the Iloilo provincial government has sounded alarm over the rising cases of dengue in the province.

The 12 provincial government-run hospitals, which have a total bed capacity of 615, are now overflowing with 851 dengue patients as of 8 a.m. of July 12.

Records from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) reported 5,435 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to July 6, 2019. The number is 901 percent higher compared to last year’s 543 cases during the same period.

Last year, there were only three deaths recorded but it has swollen to 20, de Paula’s daughter excluded, this year.

Pototan town has the most number of dengue at 489 while Janiuay is on the ninth spot at 187.



On July 5, Gov. Arthur Defensor, Jr. Signed Executive Order No. 016 declaring the dengue outbreak in the entire province.

A provincial-wide cleanup drive was ordered for four consecutive Saturdays, starting July 6.

Meanwhile, following the deaths of two pupils of Maasin Central Elementary School due to dengue, Maasin has declared a state of calamity.

Mayor Francis Amboy said that one of fatalities was aged 10 from Barangay Cananghan who died on July 7. The other is a 9-year old girl from Cartagena Street.

The town has recorded 170 dengue cases.

On Thursday, the province Guimaras has declared an outbreak of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.

Governor Samuel Gumarin signed Executive Order No. 36 on July 12, 2019, declaring an outbreak in the island as it recorded a 1,046 percent increase of dengue cases.

The province has 493 cases with two deaths from January to July 6, 2019.

Meanwhile, Governor Esteban Evan Contreras of Capiz also declared a dengue outbreak because of the rising dengue cases in the province.

He issued Executive Order Number 1 on July 12 which ordered the provincial and district hospitals in the province to provide free medical services to dengue patients.

He also instructed the local government units to institute preventive mechanisms in the respectively municipalities to avert the spread of dengue cases.

He also enthused LGUs to conduct “Kontra Dengue Day.”

Contreras also ordered the creation of committees and task forces to spearhead the intensive campaign of Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue, enhanced 4S strategy, and the 4 o’ clock habit.

Records showed that Capiz provinces recorded 2,177 dengue cases with 14 deaths from January 1 to June 29, 2019.