By Betheena Unite
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) carried out clearing, desilting, and declogging operations on potential mosquito breeding grounds along national roads and construction campsites nationwide amid the national dengue epidemic.
“Addressing this mosquito-borne viral infection requires a collective effort and that’s why we in the DPWH are doing all the necessary actions to ensure that communities along national roads, bridges, and construction sites are safe from the risk of dengue by clearing and declogging open canals, drainages, inlets, gutters, and box culverts on an average of two to three times a year,” said DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.
From January to June this year, a total of 2.4 million linear meters of culverts and canals in different areas across the country were cleaned and cleared, according to Undersecretary Maria Catalina Cabral.
According to Villar, the initiatives were in compliance to the DPWH Memorandum Circular No. 76 series of 1996 regarding the Presidential Administrative Order No. 281 dated July 23, 1996, entitled “Launching of the National Tepok Lamok and Dengue Sapok Program” and an interagency agreement led by Department of Health, which include the prevention of stagnant water in canals and major water arteries.
It is the role of the agency to ensure that construction sites will not serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and provide proper drainage of streets to mitigate flooding and formation of mud and water puddles.
Other agencies included in the memorandum of agreement are the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).