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Prov'l IATF readies LGUs, conducted ocular inspection

Kalinga - The Kalinga Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (PIATF) on COVID-19 conducted an ocular inspection on the eight (8) Local Government Units of the province starting April 18, 2020 up to date for the possible influx of individuals traveling in and out of the province once the ECQ is lifted by April 30, 2020.

The said inspection aims to ensure preparedness and readiness of barangay and city/municipality isolation units as well as the management of the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). It also aims to check and capacitate whether these conform to the guidelines of the IATF and to see if these complied with the standard of the Department of Health.

The Incident Management Team (IMT) composed of responsible officials namely: Governor Tubban, Congressman Mangaoang, Incident Commander Vice Governor Odiem, Operations Chief DILG PD Adong, BGEN Doyaoen and PHO Dr. Cawas, conducted a site inspection at the identified isolation units in the city/municipalities of Tabuk, Tinglayan, Lubuagan, Pasil, Balbalan, Tanudan, Rizal and Pinukpuk, respectively. The LCEs of the aforementioned city/municipalities ensured the IMT that they will finish the isolation units as soon as possible to cater their constituents who will be coming home if ever the ECQ will be lifted.

This is in compliance with the DILG Kalinga Memorandum Order re: Readiness of Isolation Facilities issued last April 20, 2020 addressed to all city/municipal mayors reiterating their roles as Local Crisis Managers embodied in DILG MC 2020-023 dated February 6, 2020 in particular the identification of an appropriate place that will serve as Barangay Isolation Units (BIUs) to accommodate, as many as possible, detected or identified PUI and PUM.

In line with this, the DILG MC 2020-064 dated March 29, 2020 requiring all Provincial, City and Municipalities to set up their own Special Care Facility and directing the same to identify government facilities that may temporarily be converted into isolation and quarantine facilities. This is to efficiently manage the expected surge in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, PUIs and PUMs which is in accordance to the provisions of IATF Resolution No. 16 dated March 27, 2020. In support thereto, DILG Kalinga Provincial Office issued Memorandum dated April 15, 2020 requiring LCEs to facilitate the identification, establishment, setting-up and furbishing of BIUs in compliance to the above issuances.

Based on the reports submitted to DILG Kalinga as of April 19, 2020, a total of 93 BIUs were in place, which is equivalent to 61% completion rate out of 152 barangays in the province. DILG PD Adong, during the PIATF regular meeting on April 22, 2020 reported that of the city/municipality the team inspected, good practices relative to their preparedness and management of the ECQ were observed. Furthermore, he advised the body to be fully prepared for the possible influx of individuals coming in and out of the province. Tabuk City Mayor Executive Assistant Aurora Amilig reported that the city is currently preparing for the possible influx of individuals after April 30, 2020 and identifying Tabuk City gymnasium housing 80 beds, Tabuk City National High School which will be housing 100 beds and Agbannawag Evacuation Center as its isolation facility.

Furthermore, Governor Ferdinand B. Tubban advised the city LGU to inform every barangay on their inventory and to prioritize those barangays, specifically urban barangays, who has the largest number of constituents coming from outside of the province to fast track the establishment of their isolation units. He also advised every city/municipality LGU to utilize their funds from the Bayanihan Grant Act wisely in aiding their needs in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

PPDO Moldero shared to the body its partial assessment and observations from said inspection during the PIATF regular meeting on May 15, 2020 that under the Bayanihan fund, the provincial holding facility at the CARAA ground has seen improvements with the usage of plywood as partitions and provision of beds and beddings. The Provincial Evacuation Center was also prepared as an isolation facility however, the PIATF found that rooms were simply divided by curtains and only common comfort rooms were afforded. PPDO Moldero also recommended Rizal holding area as an ideal facility for its organized system by labelling its rooms with numbers and providing separate comfort rooms for male, female and disabled; and that rooms were constructed with own bed and beddings, hygiene kits and electric outlets.

During the PIATF ocular inspection held in Tinglayan on April 21, 2020, DILG PD Adong asked the usual support of the communities by simply following the ECQ guidelines so as not to add burden to the front liners. He also gave emphasis on the readiness of the LGU and BLGU on the need to have quarantine or isolation area when they will be placed under GCQ on May 2020. He likewise encouraged the LGU and BLGU to use their 20% Development Fund and SK Fund for Covid related expenses. He said that the LGUs might imitate the practice of Balbalan during the incumbency of Mangaoang as Mayor wherein their 20% Development Fund were utilized in implementing projects thru intensive labor base.

“Now this problem arises that communities would not accept their PUMs even if there are existing or identified IUs in their areas. It is the duty of every LCE to educate their constituents. Apay nga ideny tayu dagitoy kakailyan tayo nga haan da met nga probable nu ket PUM da met. Sapay kuma ta agfunction as Isolation Units dagitoy inidentify tayu per LGU. Haan kuma met nga i-identify lang for the purpose of compliance nu saan ket isu kuma ti usaren tayu to follow daytoy OPLAN LIGTAS NA PAMAYANAN in all barangays nationwide. We have to reconcile our differences. Dagiyay naidentify nga isolation units per LGU ket dapat nga mausar”, DILG PD Adong said. ##Lyka B. Asbucan