THE City Mayor Honorable Benjamin Magalong recently issued Memorandum Order Number 16, series of 2020 ordering all the 128 villages in the city, through their respective officials, to conduct a survey for persons, both foreign and local, who have traveled and arrived in the city from China, Hong Kong, and Macau since December of last year (2019) up to the present.
The memorandum of the mayor likewise directs the concerned village officials to comply with the order within 24 hours from receipt of the directive, aside from conducting regular monitoring of persons identified in the said surveys for possible symptoms of the 2019 new coronavirus or its new name Covid-19.
The memorandum of the mayor is on top of his other directive to the barangay officials to form their barangay health emergency response team (BHERT) in response to the order of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) previously handed down to local government units nationwide.
This shows that on the local level, particularly in the city of Baguio, the threat of the COVID-19 is being taken seriously.
On the other hand, if the national government intends to lend a hand and contribute further to the effort towards protecting local communities against the dreaded virus from China, such as what the city government has been doing this past few weeks, perhaps President Rodrigo Duterte can likewise issue an order directing all concerned national agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to collaborate and coordinate in filtering out and identifying all local and international travelers (visitors and workers) who have arrived in the country from China, Hong Kong and Macau from late last year up to the present date and who are right now in the city of Baguio.
Through this collective effort by these national agencies and offices the barangay officials will be equipped with better information in how to go about locating these and monitoring these individuals.
The city mayor and the local government is exerting maximum effort in mitigating and reducing the chances and probability of Baguio citizens being infected by the Covid-19 and this can be done the soonest if the city is equipped with the pertinent data and information on how to track, identify, and monitor these individuals who have travelled to China, Hong Kong and Macau last December of 2019 and who are now within our midst.
If the city is to be safeguarded from the threat against the Covid-19 then all concerned agencies and offices, other government institutions and even non-government organizations in the locality must work closely together in establishing a barricade of vigilance to thwart any unexpected intrusion by the COVID-19 into our beloved city.
This is not a precursor for a lockdown of the city but merely to engage everybody towards finding effective measures to protect the community against this unprecedented threat against the health and well-being of our citizenry in Baguio.