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Philippine city offers bounties for dead rats

Published on Aug 6, 2014 5:27 PM

MANILA (AFP) - A Philippine city is offering bounties for dead rats in an effort to prevent a repeat of a deadly epidemic spread by rodent urine, an official said on Wednesday.

Olongapo city residents are being paid 10 pesos (S$0.29) for each adult rat captured and killed, and five pesos for juveniles, to battle the bacterial disease leptospirosis, city health administrator Jaime Alcano said.

Olongapo mayor Rolen Paulino came up with the idea for the anti-rodent campaign, which Mr Alcano said has no known precedents in the Philippines, as a public relations exercise to educate people about the disease.

Residents have only swapped 44 dead rats for cash since the month-long campaign began last week, Mr Alcano said, but he insisted the headlines generated by the bounties are more important than how many rodents are killed.

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