TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN – In a bid to help curb the COVID-19 contagion in the Province of Cagayan, the DILG Provincial Office in partnership with the Provincial Government of Cagayan instituted a Whole-of-Province approach through a Barangay Summit on Pandemic Response on June 04, 2021 via Zoom online platform.
Attended by personnel from the Provincial Government of Cagayan, DILG Region 2, PNP, DOJ, and officials from the 820 barangays in the province, the summit was initiated and spearheaded by Provincial Director Ruperto B. Maribbay, Jr., for barangay officials and uniformed personnel to solidify and unify their efforts in ensuring the strict implementation of minimum public health protocols and the prohibition on mass gatherings particularly at the grassroots level and to bolster the inter-agency cooperation in enforcing pandemic-related laws and policies.
In his message during the virtual activity, PD Maribbay underscored that local officials are primarily responsible in implementing regulatory and preventive measures to stop the spread of the deadly virus in their locality and he pinned his hopes on the robust relationship between LGU and law enforcement in contributing to bringing down the number of COVID-19 infections in the province. He also reiterated President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s stern warning to all Punong Barangays that they may face arrest for dereliction of duty should they fail to implement the prohibition on mass gatherings in their respective areas.
During the plenary, discussants from the Provincial Health Office, DILG, PNP, and DOJ presented the COVID-19 situation and updates on pandemic policies and issuances. The message of the president during his “Address to the People” was also shown to the participants.
Meanwhile, Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba expressed his alarm on the rising cases in the province, particularly in the City of Tuguegarao.
“The the status of Tuguegarao City as provincial epicenter may be attributed to the number of positive patients who are still under home quarantine…such practice will be highly risky considering that COVID-19 is extremely contagious and just one member of a family may pass the infection to his entire household,” he said.
He asked the barangay officials to be very cautious on the situation in their territorial jurisdiction.
“Since the barangay government is more proximate to the people, it could have a precise viewpoint on the needed interventions. As such, they are in better standing to employ necessary means to stop pandemic policy violations, especially with regard to super spreader events,” he added.
Still, he pledged continuous technical and financial support to the barangays through the “No Barangay Left Behind” (NBLB) Program of the provincial government and he announced the allocation of P820 million for the establishment of barangay isolation facilities.
DILG Regional Director and RIATF Chairperson, Jonathan Paul M. Leusen, Jr, who also graced the activity, recognized the efforts of barangay officials and law enforcement officers for their unwavering service despite the pandemic and the necessity to sustain it.
“…with the emergence of new variants of the virus, there is a growing need to further strengthen the implementation of national and local policies as steered by the Omnibus Guidelines on Community Quarantine,” theRIATF Chair said.
He also called the participants to reinforce the vaccine information and education campaign activities to prevent misconceptions.
…false information is the reason why many are still hesitant to take the vaccine shots,” he stressed.
Capping the activity, the participants discussed and shared their concerns and best practices on COVID-19 response and vaccination process.
(SOURCE: LGOO II RENZ ANGELO P. UMAMBONG)