MATI CITY, Davao Oriental: Department of Health (DOH) has officially declared the Province of Davao Oriental free of malaria and filariasis. During the ceremonial declaration and awarding on Friday at the Provincial Capitol, DOH Undersecretary for Technical Services, Dr. Vicente Belisario, Jr., lauded Davao Oriental’s feat for eliminating two major public health diseases. The elimination of these mosquito-borne diseases has been attributed to the provincial government’s years of rigid implementation of disease-control programs. In the case of filariasis, the Public Health Office has been giving prophylaxis treatment to susceptible and predisposed groups particularly in far-flung areas. In order to efficiently implement a sustainable set of measures to ensure that filariasis and malaria will continually be eliminated as a public health problem in the province, the DOH has turned over to the provincial government a two-million-peso cash grant for filariasis and malaria control, which will further boost the province’s disease-control programs. In the region, Davao Oriental is the first to be declared as malaria-free and the third as filariasis-free.