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Residents tackle city fly problem

By Armie B. Gunay

NAGA CITY --- A people’s dialogue was conducted Sunday afternoon, July 16, at Carolina Barangay Hall here to discuss the pestering fly infestation that has been plaguing the city’s upland barangays for months now. The following facts have been brought to the fore: • residents in the upland barangays, particularly Carolina, Panicuason, Pacol, and San Isidro are taking their meals inside mosquito nets even at daytime to keep the insects from partaking of their food; • flies are swarming over food displays and cooked dishes inside the eateries or canteens in schools; stains left by flies discolor uncovered meat products, clothes and utensils; • students are having hard time to focus on their studies because of the swarming and buzzing house flies; and • many room and cottage reservations inside resorts and other recreation areas in the upland barangays have been cancelled due to the overwhelming presence of flies that scare off visitors and tourists. The mushrooming of poultry farms in the city’s upland barangays and adjoining towns has been pointed out as major cause of housefly over-population and infestation. At least three big poultry farms are situated in the upland barangays with their chicken dung and wastes left open for flies to feast on. Chicken dungs are also used as fertilizer and soil nutrients by corn and sugarcane farmers which prompted former City Councilor Tuazon to suggest that farners should use chemical fertilizers instead. City Agriculture Officer Edna Bongalonta, however, revealed that chemical fertilizers in crops do not yield good harvest, which the farmers agreed. The farmers further volunteered that they have been applying organic fertilizer as an environment-friendly measure. Mayor John Bongat seconded the farmers’ sentiments as he stated that corn and sugarcane plantations have been observed to be free from flies. The City Veterinary Office, for its part, said they had recommended use of an attractant by poultry farm operators, which is similar to chemical fumigation used against mosquitos. A

poultry worker had told this paper that during fattening and poultry raising, flies traditionally stay within the premises of a poultry farm. The flies begin to fan away and far after each poultry harvest when poultry workers would spray their poultry farm to prepare for another batch of poultry raising. During the dialogue, it was revealed that a draft ordinance regulating the operation of commercial poultry farms, including piggeries and other livestock has already been approved by the Sangguniang Panlungsod for enforcement and implementation. It was also disclosed that the city government had been consulting with the adjacent municipalities of Calabanga, Bombon and Pili, among others, to prepare similar measures, including regulation of hauler vehicles, which are also being blamed for bringing in flies and wastes, especially in upland barangays where poultry and livestock suppliers are located. Meanwhile, the city government of Naga will strictly issue citation tickets to violators of existing sanitation code and other national laws to strictly impose necessary rules on the operation of poultry farms, as well as possible prohibition in their expansion and the construction of new ones within the city limits. Mayor Bongat strongly made his point that his constituents’ health and the city’s eco-tourism program are his administration’s priority concerns. “Yes, we are generating income from poultry-raisers’ taxes, but we cannot sacrifice the inconvenience being suffered by the residents in the area,” the mayor explained.

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