Marikina starts rats-for-cash program
To help eliminate rats causing the spread of leptospirosis, the Marikina city government is offering anew a monetary reward for those who would be able to catch these pests, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In a Teleradyo interview on Thursday, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the program started on Wednesday and will run until Friday.
The captured rodents may be brought to the City Environment and Management Office (CEMO) headquarters, located at Gil Fernando Avenue in Barangay Sto. Nino between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Each rat, dead or alive, that weighs 150 grams and above can be exchanged for PHP200 while smaller rats can also be surrendered for a smaller amount.
"Last Wednesday, around 1,700 rats were brought to the CEMO and disposed of properly. We disposed of them like we were handling infectious waste," Teodoro said.
As of Thursday, the city government has collected over 3,700 rats from residents.
He added that the city government has already handed out close to PHP300,000 in exchange for these pests.
The funds were initially provided by the local government but several private group sponsors also joined the initiative.
Teodoro said the manner of disposing of these pests is in line with the guidelines of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Health (DOH).
Teodoro assured that the rats “undergo a proper method of collection, transportation, and disposal.”
The program which started in 2020 has generated more “hunters” now that more people have become aware of the program.
At present, Teodoro said there are only three cases of leptospirosis in Marikina City, of which two were identified as construction workers and one factory worker.
They were infected through floodwaters in their workplaces outside the city.