Pagtatalaga ng overseers sa mga lugar na may mataas na COVID-19 transmission, kinuwestiyon

Robie de Guzman   •   August 15, 2020   •   178

MANILA, Philippines – Kinuwestiyon ng ilan ang ginawang pagtatalaga ng pamahalaan ng overseers o mga tagapagbantay sa mga lungsod sa Metro Manila at ilang lalawigan na may mataas na community transmission ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Kabilang sa mga hindi pumabor sa hakbang si Dr. Anthony Leachon na dating special adviser ng National Task Force.

Aniya, medical experts ang kailangan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan upang gabayan ang kanilang mga plano kaugnay ng paglaban sa coronavirus pandemic.

“The LGUs need medical experts to guide them in the execution of their plans,” ani Leachon sa kanyang Twitter post.

Nagpahayag rin ng duda si Senator Nancy Binay sa hakbang na aniya ay tila hindi pinag-isipan ng pamahalaan.

Aniya, hindi tiyak kung may kapasidad ba o kakayanin pa ng Cabinet secretaries na gampanan ang dagdag na trabaho.

Kamakailan, itinalaga ang mga miyembro ng Inter-Agency Task Force, na karamihan ay mga miyembro ng gabinete ni Pangulong Duterte, bilang tagapag-bantay sa iba’t ibang lugar na may napapaulat na mataas na insidente ng hawahan ng COVID-19.

Kabilang sa mga lugar na ito ang 16 siyudad at isang munisipalidad sa Metro Manila, gayundin sa mga probinsiya ng Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna at Rizal.

Ngunit paglilinaw ng pamahalaan, layunin nito na tulungan ang mga lokal na opisyal na agad maaksyunan ang anumang suliraning kinakaharap kaugnay ng banta ng coronavirus disease.

Sinabi rin ni Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles na ang pagtatalaga ng overseers ay batay na rin sa karanasan ng pamahalaan sa pagpigil sa pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa Cebu City.

Matatandaang itinalaga ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte si Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu bilang overseer ng COVID-19 response ng pamahalaan sa Cebu City na noo’y napapaulat na may mataas na kaso ng nakakahawang sakit.

Ayon kay Nograles, naging matagumpay ang paghawak sa krisis sa Cebu dahil sa hakbang na ito.

“Because of the experience we’ve had with Cebu City wherein the President assigned Secretary Roy Cimatu, member of the IATF, to act as kumbaga overseer doon sa Cebu City,” ani Nograles.

Sa ngayon, nasa 153,660 na ang kabuuang kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa; 71,405 sa mga ito ang gumaling sa sakit habang 2.442 naman ang nasawi. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Facility-based isolation for asymptomatic, mild COVID-19 cases now mandatory

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is now requiring facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases through IATF Resolution 74.

The new policy however, exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities and their home meets the conditions specified in the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Administrative Order 2020-0001. 

Likewise, another exception is when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

Iloilo City placed under MECQ from Sept. 25 until Oct. 9

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo City has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective September 25 until October 9 due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque the new measure is based on the issued Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 74 which also requires facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.

However, the resolution exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities as confirmed by the local health officer.

Another exception would be when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

On Tuesday (September 22), 33 employees of the Iloilo City Hall tested positive for COVID-19 prompting the three-day temporary closure of the establishment beginning Wednesday (September 23) as declared by Mayor Jerry Treñas in Executive Order No. 215-A.

Prior to that, 13 barangays in the city were placed under total lockdown due to the increase in community transmission of COVID-19.

No more deadline: Hiring of contact tracers to continue until target is reached – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it will do away with deadlines and instead continue to hire contact tracers until their target of at least 50,000 is reached.

In a statement, DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the agency’s provincial and city field offices will continue to accept applications until the slots allocated to them have been filled up.

The department earlier announced that the submission of applications for contact tracers is only until Sept. 23.

 “What’s important to us is to fill up the slots and recruit the most number of Contact Tracers as provided in the Bayanihan 2 law so those who meet the deadline will immediately be processed but we will continue to accept applications until we have met our targets,” he said.

Malaya said that some 10,000 individuals have already applied in Metro Manila but many have incomplete documents so they are giving more time for them to complete the requirements on a first come, first served basis.

“As soon as they are deemed qualified by the selection board, they will be hired, trained, and deployed to the various LGUs,” he added.

The DILG official said the first batch of DILG-hired contact tracers will be deployed to the local government units by first week of October.

The department earlier said that local and overseas Filipino workers whose service have been recently terminated or their employment contracts were not renewed amid the pandemic will be given priority in the hiring process.

 To qualify, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree or college level in an allied medical course or criminology course.

Aspirants must also be skilled in data gathering and have assisted in research and documentation; able to interview COVID-19 cases and close contacts in order to gather data; possess the ability to advocate public health education messages; and have investigative capability.
 
“While our first preference is college graduates or college level of allied medical courses or criminology, we are also open to graduates or college level of any course. So, we urge them to apply and help the country defeat COVID-19,” he said.
Malaya said applicants are required to submit an application letter, Personal Data Sheet, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, diploma or transcript of record, and drug test result to the nearest DILG provincial or city field office.

Contact tracers will earn a minimum of P18,784 per month in a contract of service status.

Their responsibilities include conducting interviews, profiling, and perform an initial public health risk assessment of COVID-19 cases and their identified close contacts; refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sectors; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days, and perform such other tasks in relation to the COVID response.

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