Dengue surge triggers state of calamity in city

The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Iloilo City unanimously approved the declaration of state of calamity due to dengue during its special session on Friday. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

MAYOR Jerry Treñas on Friday announced that the Iloilo City government will hire additional doctors, nurses, and medical technologists to be deployed to all barangay health centers after the city was placed under a state of calamity due to dengue.

In an interview, Treñas said that the city will hire ten doctors, 78 nurses and 12 medical technologists to respond to the dengue outbreak.

“We will hire doctors, nurses, and medical technologists nga ibutang sa tanan nga barangay health centers all over the city para makabulig screen sang dengue patients,” he said.

Aside from screening purposes, Treñas said that the additional health personnel are vital once the barangay health centers are converted into hydration units.

The mayor said that the city will spend more than P1 million per month for the additional personnel.


“It will cost us P1,053,000 a month assuming makapangita kita doctors, nurses, and medical technologists but that will be a recurring expense until the dengue outbreak is still in place,” he said.


The Sangguniang Panlungsod during its special session on Friday unanimously approved the declaration of state of calamity in Iloilo City due to dengue.

A resolution by the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) pushed the declaration.

City Health Officer Dr. Annabelle Tang reported to the city council the increasing dengue cases in the metro with 1,119 cases and nine deaths from January to July 20, 2019.

“There are 67 barangays in the city that have clustering of cases this week. We have a high attack rate compared to the other provinces which is now at 0.6. Our case fatality rate (CFR) also increased from 0.7 percent last year to 0.8 percent this year,” she explained.

Treñas said he is seeking support from the health department for the purchase of treated mosquito screens to be distributed to daycare centers.

Fogging machines, misting machines, and chemicals will also be given to barangays and schools.

“We want to give this to the vulnerable sector para sila mismo maka-conduct sila spraying activities. Our City Health Office has only two teams which can only do so much, indi na dapat kita maghulat pa,” he said.

Instead of plain sweeping, Treñas also reminded the community to exercise massive cleanup of the possible breeding sites of mosquitoes.

Magsiling ta tinlu-an, ang daan nga goma, lata nga may tubi, containers, and ang tanan nga may nabilin nga tubig nga pwede mangin breeding sites. Ang aton ubrahon indi lang manilhig, dapat tanan kita gabinuligay,” he emphasized.

With the calamity declaration, the city government can utilize its P34-million Quick Respond Fund for equipment and P5-million maintenance and other operating expense trust fund from 2018 for the hiring of medical personnel.

However, the SP said that they will be discussing the state of calamity initially declared in the city last April due to El Niño.

Dengue outbreak has been declared in all the five provinces of Western Visayas – Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo.