DUMAGUETE CITY — Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona on Tuesday said there is no scientific finding that geckos, locally known as “tuko,” can cure cancer, AIDS or other diseases as claimed by people who are spreading its supposed healing power.

Ona, who issued his statement while in Dumaguete on Tuesday, expressed surprise over the sudden emergence of rumors about geckos in the country in recent months.

Ona described it as “funny, but it is true not only in the Philippines but in other countries that when certain sickness strikes, before you know it, our grandparents already have solutions, that’s why we call them grandmother’s tale,” he said.

He stressed there is absolutely no basis for that perception or belief, as he urged the people to stop believing in such myths.

Reports have it that certain businessmen from Manila are in Negros Oriental to buy geckos weighing 300 grams and above, which has prompted even children to skip classes to hunt for these types of reptile and that even small ones are being caged, fed with cockroach with the belief that they will grow to the buyers’ desired weight.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENROP 2) Mario Aragon said the geckos are natural predators of cockroaches and other insects and are not supposed to be extracted.

He said violators may face sanctions under applicable laws, particularly the wildlife protection law.

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