The City Government of Puerto Princesa on Thursday has announced its impending request to the National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for an upgrade of its quarantine level.
City Mayor Lucilo Bayron announced this in a live video advisory at the City Information Department (CID) Facebook page June 25, few hours after the City Health Office (CHO) confirmed that the new five COVID-19 cases from Barangay Sta. Monica has transpired through community transmission.
“Magre-request tayo na i-upgrade ang ating quarantine level. At sa pag-upgrade ng quarantine level, magre-request tayo na magkaroon ng confirmation certificate ang mga parating na LSIs o ROFs. Ito ay upang ma-reduce natin ‘yong dagsa ng umuuwing LSI o ROF sa numero na kaya nating i-proseso,” said Bayron.
Mayor Bayron stated that this confirmation certificate will help limit toward a manageable number the per-transportation mass of resident-returnees namely the locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).
Curfew and border control
Bayron stated that the curfew hours effective immediately the same day, Thursday, will be from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Mayor Bayron said the city government has laid down its specific steps to take following the confirmation of this community transmission and rising number of COVID-19 infected individuals in Puerto Princesa.
He further stated that City PNP with the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will re-establish border control and implement stricter checkpoints.
“Ang border control sa mga boundaries ng Puerto Princesa ay ire-re-establish at pai-igtingin ang mga checkpoints sa loob ng siyudad upang ma-enforce ‘yong pagbabawal sa mga tao na hindi talaga kailangang lumabas at saka upang ma-enforce ‘yong curfew. Ang ating mga checkpoints ay siyempre tatauhan pa rin ng ating kapulisan at hihingiin natin ‘yong assistance ng ating mga elemento ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” he said.
Purchase of confirmatory test equipment
Bayron said the City Government is going to purchase additional confirmatory test equipment amounting to around P20-million.
He said this test equipment is capable of catering 300 results daily.
“Ang pamahalaang panlungsod ay bibili ng karagdagang confirmatory test equipment. Ito ay halintulad o equivalent sa tinatawag na RT-PCR at equivalent sa GeneXpert at ito daw ay tinatayang nakaka-kaya ng 300 na results sa isang araw na tatlong shift,” he said.
“Paiigtingin ang contact tracing. Ang ospital ang gagawa sa loob ng ospital, ang ONP ang gagawa sa loob ng ONP at ang city ang sa labas ng ONP. Ang City Government ay nakahanap na rin ng quarantine facility para sa mga health workers natin sa Ospital ng Palawan,” he added.
Bayron said they will also reduce the reporting workforce at the city hall and will prohibit vendors in its premises as well.
Call for public cooperation
Bayron also added that barangay local government units (LGU) will help in enforcing quarantine protocols.
Bayron further encouraged the public to unite and be one in obeying every established health safety protocol.
On the other hand, City Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates advised the public as well to strictly cooperate.
“Karagadagan pakiusap na lang po ‘yong galing sa akin na talaga po this time we should all cooperate. Hindi lang po ito sa kapakanan ng sarili natin kundi kapakanan ng ating pamilya ng atin pong buong community,” said Socrates.
Dr. Ric Panganiban, the City Health Officer (CHO) also requested the public to conduct mass gatherings only below fifty percent of the venue’s total capacity.
Dr. Panganiban noted that mass gathering is one of the activities and avenues with high probability of virus transmission.
“Although pinapayagan po natin na mag-fifty percent po tayo. Pero kung pupuwede po kung kaya po naman nating gawin na less than fifty percent doon sa ating mga mass gathering, kasi isa ‘yan sa puwedeng pagmulan talaga ng maraming transmission,” said Panganiban.