Antique seeks state of calamity over rising dengue cases

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The Antique Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has sought the declaration of a state of calamity due to the increasing number of dengue cases.

Antique Provincial Board Member Pio Jessielito Sumande said  that during their PDRRMC meeting on July 12, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Ric Noel Naciongayo, requested that the province be declared under a state of calamity, given the total of 1,405 cases of dengue with five deaths as of July 2.

The figure is 527% higher than last year’s 224 cases, including two deaths, for the same period. “There are also two towns  — Sibalom and Anini-y, which have already been declared under a  state of calamity due to high dengue cases,” said Sumande, who will sponsoring the resolution for the provincial declaration during their first regular session on July 14.

The town of Sibalom was placed under a state of calamity on June 3, and Anini-y on July 5. “The municipality of San Jose de Buenavista, which tops the list out of Antique’s 18 towns with dengue (cases), also plans to have its own state of calamity declaration shortly,” Sumande said.

Under the National DRRM Council Memorandum Order 60, series of 2019, a province may be declared under a state of calamity by the provincial board when two or more municipalities are affected by a disaster and upon the recommendation of the PDRRM Council.

Under the same memorandum, local government units, upon the declaration of a state of calamity, could use its Quick Response Fund “for relief and recovery programs that will respond to the situation and living conditions of people in communities or areas stricken by calamities, epidemics, or complex emergencies may be normalized as quickly as possible.”

As of July 2, all 18 municipalities of Antique have reported dengue cases. The top five are San Jose de Buenavista with 320 cases; Sibalom, 259, plus one death; Hamtic, 172, plus two deaths; Bugasong, 136, plus one death; and Anini-y, 96.

The other fatality due to the mosquito-borne disease was recorded in Patnongon. (PNA)