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Dengue officials may be fired

First Posted 12:11:00 12/21/2007

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CEBU CITY, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he wants to fire city health officials in charge of addressing dengue cases.

Osmeña got angry after learning that the city health department and the Cebu City Dengue Task Force refused to follow his order to pour used oil on a suspected breeding site of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in barangay Labangon.

?Fire them. They (city health officials) are useless. I may get somebody to do the job. They are only good for press releases,? Osmeña said.

He did not say, however, who he wants fired.

Earlier, assistant city epidemiologist Durinda Macasocol said that the task force was advised not to pour used oil into the 1.4-hectare lagoon in Labangon because it could harm the ecosystem.

Instead, the task force wanted to use chlorine or larvacide because it is more effective and safer to use.

But Osmeña said chlorine is good only for 30 minutes. It can kill the mosquitoes but after five days, the mosquitoes breed again.

Osmeña said using six liters of used oil will not damage the environment.

?We lost 50 lives this year and they talk about saving the earth,? he added.

He said that the city health officials should be more concerned about the health of the people than the environment.

?They should not be in government,? he said. /Correspondent Chris A. Ligan


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