Punchline

Soon Dagupan, Pangasinan dengue-free?

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

HERE’S a heads up to the Dagupan City government, and yes, to the provincial government.

Firstly, I hope the city government will soon realize that Dagupan City can pride itself to be the only dengue-free city in the country! How so? 

The city government, barangays and civic groups only need to turn to Bitstop’s Wilson Chua’s Mosquito Real time Census Project to get to the root source of dengue – the breeding places of deadly-dengue carrying mosquitoes!  

His project readily provides a “lesson on data visualization” that depicts actual and full picture of the situation on the ground, specifically areas where stagnant waters can be found, ergo, where mosquitoes breed. These through color-coded images from a satellite!

In his Facebook account last week, Wilson featured two satellite images where stagnant waters are found in ALL the barangays. With this information, communities can simultaneously save time from scouring every inch of the barangay just to locate stagnant water.  It will also prep schools and homes to adopt preventive measures where large areas of stagnant water are found because the probability of being stung by mosquitoes in these areas is high.

The color-coded images bring to the fore the benefit of technology if the information is used as a basis for definitive approach to arrive at solutions.

With the data available, the city government can do more than to allocate the right resources on a given timetable. The mobilization of communities will help usher in collaborative action ala bayanihan in the city.

The city government must not delay in tapping Wilson to guide and train barangay personnel in using his data. Each hour is crucial and critical for the barangays.

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DRUG-CLEARED NA, DENGUE-FREE PA? How can Wilson’s project be of crucial use to the provincial government?

The Provincial Health Office has identified towns where the most number of dengue patients are reported. That information alone will indicate where a large number of mosquitoes are breeding. Translation: Where the many stagnant water can be found.

As the empirical experience of Wilson’s project in Dagupan City has shown, his project can be made to focus on the town most prone to dengue. With the data, the affected local government (with perhaps the help of the provincial government) can launch a well-studied strategy to beat the dengue crisis, town by town.

What could fast track an effective collaboration backed by technology would be a resolution from the provincial government directing the governor to enter into a memorandum of agreement with Wilson’s company that owns the project, for the purpose of adopting his project to be used in the campaign contra dengue.

If the collaboration is successful, the provincial government’s initiative will likely be made the model in fighting dengue across the country amid the declaration of the national crisis.

Through this technology-backed approach, where results and resources are measurable, the province need not wait for the endless debate on Dengvaxia to end.

Pangasinan may yet be known as the only province that transformed its barangays not only into drug-cleared (courtesy of Pangasinan PNP), but dengue-free (courtesy of LGUs-Bitstop partnership).

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MAKING BARANGAYS ACCOUNTABLE.  If you think Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is the best thing yet that happened to Manila City, I note that he made one particular initiative admired by many that we are seeing here in Pangasinan as well.

Mayor Isko is making waves by making barangay chairmen accountable for their performance in accomplishing his directives. It’s a policy that was never adopted in Manila, and practically in all cities. The principle of accountability is finally being made to work to get results.

Back here, we are finally seeing the same in the field of law enforcement. Police Provincial Director, P/Col. Rederico Maranan has made barangay chairmen and police chiefs accountable for the presence of illegal gambling in all forms in their territories! He got the right approach, spot on! 

His directive is practical because we all know nothing happens in a barangay without the kapitan not knowing about it, not even the latest spat between couples in the neighborhood.      

I’m praying that the day will come when all the kapitan in the province will be made similarly accountable for illegal drug trading in their communities. If only the provincial federation of Liga ng mga Barangay agrees to launch such an accountability campaign, they would create such an impact on the economy and peace and order in the province. 

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