• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The declaration placing San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, under state of health emergency, was defended yesterday an official of the City Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO).
CDRRMO head Joe Alingasa yesterday clarified that Mayor Renato Gustilo coordinated with the Provincial Health Office that sent oral hygiene salts and hygiene kits to San Carlos City.
Under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, Alingasa said “it is the responsibility of the mayor to implement an initial response.”
He added that Mayor Gustilo was forced to make such declaration due to the rising cases of amoebiases patients admitted at the San Carlos City Hospital, which already surpassed its bed capacity.
While we respect the pronouncement of Health Undersecretary Sec. Maria Rosario Vergeire that Gustilo should have coordinated first with the Department of Health central office, “but the mayor is just performing his responsibility to stop the rising cases of amoeba,” he said.
Acute gastroenteritis and amoebiases cases in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, has reduced to 55, as of Tuesday, from its peak of 469, Alingasa disclosed.
The DOH central office dispatched nine health personnel, on top of six others from the regional office in Iloilo, to augment the manpower of the City Health Office in San Carlos City.
Alingasa said the medical teams have been deployed to different areas of San Carlos City where there are many cases of gastroenteritis and amoebiasis, in order to determine the extent of contamination.
Of the remaining 55 active cases, Alingasa reported that three are being treated at the San Carlos Doctor’s Hospital and four at the San Carlos City Hospital, while the remaining are home-managed.
Alingasa added that there are two confirmed fatalities.*