The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has urged local government units (LGUs) to take “proactive measures” to prevent the transmission and spread of monkeypox.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said that while monkeypox is being monitored at the national level, LGUs should also be prepared to roll out countermeasures.

“While everyone is assured that our public health surveillance systems are able to detect and confirm monkeypox cases, all LGUs are nonetheless called to carry out measures in close coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) in stemming the spread of this new virus,” he said.

“The adage prevention is better than cure still applies today. As the primary front liners in your areas, it behooves upon our LGUs to initiate precautionary measures and spread awareness to your constituents about monkeypox and what they need to do about it,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) announced the country’s first case of monkeypox on July 29: a 31-year-old Filipino who had been to countries with monkeypox cases and had since been discharged.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles earlier said monkeypox was “of concern” but was not as contagious as Covid-19.

“First of all, it’s only one case, number one. Number two, as you can see, it doesn’t affect the entire population. Number three, this is not like Covid that can be spread by air very easily and could possibly be fatal,” she said.

“This is not particularly fatal, but it is of concern,” she added.

The World Health Organization on July 23 declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. John Ezekiel J. Hirro