July 23, 2024

Over 700 rodents have been caught and disposed of in a period of two months with the ongoing Rat Catching Challenge of the city government at the public market.

The Rat Catching Challenge, which is being held for the second time, promotes cooperation and ingenuity of public market leaseholders and vendors to help sustain cleanliness and sanitation by eradicating the presence of rodents for a price.

Market Superintendent Ceasar Emilio encouraged the 46 public market section leaders to continue eliminating rats since a clean and safe environment will surely benefit the vendors and market goers.

The challenge was re-launched in May and will run for three months until Aug. 31 spearheaded by the City Treasurer-Market Section and the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office.

The activity aims to continuously involve market leaseholders and vendors including privately-operated business establishments within the market premises in the eradication of pests for public safety.

Entrapped rats, alive or lifeless, shall be turned over to the collection point identified at the public market. 

Collection for disposal is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays, by the CVAO. 

The Rat Catching Challenge was initiated by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong in 2020 during the Covid pandemic to eradicate rats visibly thriving at the public market. A month-long catching of rodents ensued yielding a total of 1,766 mostly caught by vendors at the lechon section, Pines Meat Mart, and entrails section.

This year, the section with the most rats caught will receive P25,000 cash prize; second place will receive P15,000; third place will receive P10,000; and P5,000 for the greatest number of rats caught by an individual.

Eradication of rats is prioritized to address leptospirosis cases in the city.

Leptospirosis, an infection from rat urine in flood waters, increased to 126 percent last year in July and August, at the onset of the rainy season that caused the death of seven individuals.

While efforts are concentrated at the city public market, search out on rats is encouraged citywide alongside simultaneous clean-up drives for the rats not to transfer from one area to another.

The City Health Services Office reported leptospirosis-infected humans have flu-like symptoms, yellow skin, kidney failure, and organ failure occurring within two weeks of contamination. – Jessa Mardy Samidan