LGUs 'vital' in COVID-19 fight in the Philippines: gov't official


Posted at Apr 18 2020 01:06 AM

People maintain safe distance as they queue to enter the public market in Zapote-Bacoor on April 17, 2020. Czar Dancel, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Local government units (LGUs) in the Philippines are vital in the country's fight against the novel coronavirus, a government official said Friday.

National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said that LGUs are needed "always" in the national government's plans to flatten the curve, which has been tough to achieve since COVID-19 took its first victim in the Philippines.

"Ang LGUs po ay kinokonsidera bilang 'stewards of health system and first responders.' Napakalaki ng papel na ginagampanan ng mga LGUs upang ma-control natin ang pagkalat ng virus," Galvez said in a press briefing.

He lauded the cities of Baguio, Valenzuela, and Davao and the Caraga region for implementing good measures to curb the fast spreading pathogen, and called on them to share their "best practices" to other areas.

Galvez also lauded Pampanga for setting up quarantine areas for COVID-19 patients, persons under observation, and OFWs returning from countries hit by the virus.

"Sa pamamagitan nito, nako-control na nila ang pagkalat ng virus sa pamamagitan ng ginagawa nilang modeling," he said, adding the province's emergency unit excels in responding to possible COVID-19 cases.

"Kapag may tumawag sa kanilang hotline tungkol sa posibleng COVID-19 case, agad nila itong pupuntahan upang ma-assess ang kalagayan ng pasyente."

He also noted Tarlac, which has dedicated hotels and other facilities for positive and possible COVID-19 patients.

"Sana ay ma-replicate ito sa ibang bahagi pa ng ating bansa," Galvez said.

As of Friday, the country has logged 5,878 COVID-19 cases, with 487 deaths and 387 recoveries, the health department said.