San Enrique Mayor Mediatrix Fernandez has appealed to the national government through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for a systematic and organized transport of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) to the province.
Fernandez, president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Iloilo Chapter, appealed during the Network Briefing live over Radyo Pilipinas and hosted by Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Wednesday.
“Some of them might be contracting the virus while on travel coming home here in our province. I hope that the national government, the national IATF can put up a coordinating team in Manila; per province, there is a desk that will manage locally stranded individuals,” she said.
She added that in Iloilo, the LMP has proposed to Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. to organize a team that will coordinate with the national government on the proper transport of LSIs so they will not get “compromised in terms of health”.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, also a guest in the show, said the sub-technical working group under the National Task Force Covid-19 is trying to draft updated guidelines on the transport of LSIs back to the province so local government units will not be burdened.
“What you are recommending mayor I think is very rational that there should be a desk that will be utilized for every LGU para mas organized po ang system (for a more organized system). I am taking note of these recommendations and I will be forwarding to the sub-technical working group for locally stranded individuals so that maisama po sa ina-update na guideline sa ngayon (so it can be included in the guideline being updated),” Vergeire said.
Moreover, Fernandez recommended that the intervals in sending LSIs back to the province be also included in the plan. “Since the testing is a bit slow din, so it affects the capacity of our quarantine facilities. With this, nako-compromise po ang health care providers natin as well as the LSIs (Since the testing is a bit slow so it affects the capacity of our quarantine facilities. With this, both the (health) of health care providers and the LSIs are being compromised,” the mayor added.
She also raised concerns about the sanitation and disinfection of transport carriers where some of the travelers could have contracted the virus on their way home.
However, Vergeire assured her that part of the minimum health standard is the regular disinfection of the transport system.
Data from the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development showed that as of August 4, Iloilo province has 327 LSIs, returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) who tested positive for Covid-19.
Of the confirmed cases, 195 have recovered, 128 are in facility quarantine, two home quarantine, one admitted and one has died.
During the same program, Fernandez also shared that almost 70 to 80 percent of the efforts of the provincial local governments are still focused on “containing the virus and preventing the spread of this in our community” due to rising cases of the disease.
There are also efforts to revitalize the economy such as the conduct of a mobile market during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine in San Enrique.
Market vendors and the transport sector get gasoline support from the local government for the farmers to sell their produce.
Other towns in Iloilo, she said, established their Tindahan ng Bayan where LGUs buy local produce. Goods from the upland are being sold to coastal areas while fishery products are sold to upland areas. (PNA)