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Pursuant to the earlier declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte placing the entire country under a “State of Calamity,” the Provincial Board of Palawan adopted the same measure for the whole province during their first ever online session yesterday, March 20.
The local declaration was first recommended by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) through Resolution No. 3-2020 of which the members had likewise convened earlier that day.
Present in the historic computer-aided session at Legislative Building were Vice Gov. Dennis Socrates, presiding officer; Board Members Cesareo Benedito Jr., Leoncio Ola and Al Rama, the majority floor leader; Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Anyatika Rodriguez and IPMR Purita Seguritan while the participating board members online were Board Members Sharon Onda, Maria Angela Sabando, Ryan Maminta, Juan Antonio Alvarez, Eduardo Modesto Rodriguez, David Francis Ponce de Leon, PCL-Federation President Clarito Demaala IV and ABC Provincial Federation President Ferdinand Zaballa.
With the declaration, the P150 million Quick Response Fund and the Accumulated Trust Fund amounting to P100 million of the PDRRMO were unlocked and can now be utilized to combat the pandemic COVID-19.
“With this, we hope that they can respond immediately and appropriately in any contingency that may arise during this COVID-19 crisis,” Board Member Rama said during the plenary discussion.
Also approved during the said session was the P21,619,207.81 Supplemental Budget No. 1 for the operation and management of the different hospitals in the Province of Palawan namely, Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital (SPPH) in Brooke’s Point, Northern Palawan Provincial Hospital (NPPH) in Taytay, Aborlan Medicare Hospital, Narra Medicare Hospital, Roxas Medicare Hospital, and Cuyo Medicare Hospital.
The amount comes also from the various incomes of these hospitals that’s why it is given back to them for their operation and administration expenses.
“This is not a part of our five percent calamity fund; we still have a lot of money of the five percent Collection of these hospitals, but since this is their collection, therefore, this amount will also be used…by them,” Committee on Appropriations chairman, Board Member Ola said.
Likewise, the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan acted on the PDRRM Council Resolution No. 4-2020 of which they requested the proper authorities to include establishments engaged in selling supplies, agricultural supplies, including but not limited to animal feeds, vaccines and others, be allowed to operate during the enhance community quarantine.
“The intention of this resolution is for the continuous production and the productivity in the Province of Palawan by ensuring the supplies of various goods, especially on agriculture…and not to limit the movement of these agricultural products within the Province and not limit these agricultural products,” Rama also explained.
Meanwhile, the latest session of the 43rd Sangguniang Panlalawigan was the continuation of their regular session last Tuesday, March 17, under the “Other Matters” of which items were the letters of Gov. Jose Alvarez and the PDRRMC.
The Provincial Board also said that they will not adjourn the session as long as the threat of the COVID-19 is present in order to convene anytime when needed, and that time, once again, through tele-conferencing.