Marikina City has declared an all-out war against leptospirosis by offering cash incentives to residents who can catch rats.
Vice Mayor Marion Andres, a doctor, told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo today that the reward would depend on the size of each rat caught. The city government has allotted a PHP50,000 (US$1,028) budget for the project, which will end today.
“Many people are hunting for rats in the Philippines, but this one gives an incentive. Some of its symptoms could be mistaken for COVID-19 during diagnosis. Sometimes [leptospirosis] exhibits fever, body aches, which people can mistake for COVID-19,” Andres said.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that human beings can get from contact with rat or cattle urine. It can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress, and death. Marikina, which sits near a river, often gets inundated with floods during the rainy season, making its residents susceptible to catching the disease.
Andres said all rats caught will be killed by the city government by drowning them in harmful chemicals (yikes!).
“This is an incentive for all our countrymen; we have declared rats our public enemy number one, so we could help people be healthy,” he said.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.