NEGROS Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson bared Tuesday, July 7, major projects after a year of his administration and showed that the realization of "Abanse Negrense" programs and projects has been moving on despite the threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Lacson, in his first State of the Province Address (Sopa), also encouraged the Negrenses to embrace the new normal under the present situation after the province has gone through with the community quarantine due to Covid-19.
"This is a golden opportunity to change to be better," Lacson said in his Sopa, which he delivered before members of the Provincial Board, department heads and other Capitol officials and guests.
For the Covid-19 prevention and management, Lacson bared the following updates as of as of July 5, 2020:
* Negros Occidental has 118 confirmed cases; 26 - recovered; 13 - suspected Cases; 4,830 - persons under monitoring (PUMs) actively monitored by PHO (4,118 in LGUs, and 712 in Provincial Quarantine Facilities).
* On February 4, 2020, the Provincial Incident Management System, its structure, composition and defining its team functions as response and management mechanism for Covid-19 was activated.
* Executive Order 20-09 was released creating the Provincial Novel Coronavirus (NCOV) Task Force.
* PIMT Operations Center at Negros Residences in Bacolod City was set up.
Executive orders were also released in declaration of community quarantine in the Province to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
* Executive Order 20-15 - An order implementing the closure of borders, ports, and airport effective immediately (March 15, 2020)
* Executive Order 20-20 Series of 2020, placing the Province of Negros Occidental under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from March 30 April 15, 2020
* Strict home quarantine observed in all households
* Movement limited to accessing basic necessities
* Provision for food and essential health services regulated
* Heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures
* Executive Order 20-20-A - Extending the duration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine over the Province of Negros Occidental from April 15, 2020 until April 30, 2020
* Executive Order 20-22 issued March 31, 2020, requiring the mandatory use of face masks when going out in public in Negros Occidental
* Executive Order 20-23, placing the Province of Negros Occidental under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from May 1 - June 15, 2020
* Executive Order 20-24, extending the duration of the General Community Quarantine over the Province of Negros Occidental until May 31, 2020
* Executive Order 20-25, placing the entire Province of Negros Occidental under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ)
* Executive Order 20-26, extending the duration of the Modified General Community Quarantine over the entire Province of Negros Occidental until June 30, 2020
* Executive Order 20-28, extending the duration of the Modified General Community Quarantine over the entire Province of Negros occidental until July 15, 2020
The Department of the Interior and Local Government in Western Visayas lauded Negros Occidental's good practices in the fight against the Covid-19, citing the following:
* Putting up of temporary shelters in the earlier days of the community quarantine
* Anticipation of emergencies, such as the recent mass repatriation of OFWs
* Use of technology for hassle-free registration of repatriates for accommodation; also hastened data collection and sharing, and determined priority areas of hazard prevention and mitigation
* Province acquiring testing kits that are used on those who would enter the quarantine facilities
* It cited database for its PUMs, PUIs, and positive patients, with geographic information map and graphs of lab testing results maintained at its Incident Command System
* Stranded passengers and OFWs can also register online to facilitate their repatriation
* Province's declaration of hot zones to heighten the awareness and preparedness of residents in these areas
* Geographic Information System mapping, done in collaboration with the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, also provides comprehensive data, and hasten the identification of areas that the government needs to prioritize
Provincial Government had daily online update through live streaming via Negros Occ FB Page spearheaded by the Provincial Information Office.
The province also distributed rice subsidy to all 31 cities and municipalities during the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.
The Provincial Administrator's Office also issued 1,200 ECQ Quarantine passes and assisted 20 foreign nationals for repatriation.
The Provincial Government facilitated sweeper flights that brought home 2,360 inbound LSIs and about 3,000 outbound flights in partnership with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia.
Establishment of the First-Ever Covid-19 Testing Laboratory in Negros Occidental, at the Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City last June 2, 2020.
* The Research Institute of Tropical Medicine has certified that the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital molecular laboratory in Silay City to perform independent testing for COVID-19 by Realtime Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
* The TLJPH molecular laboratory in Silay City has the capability to conduct 1,000 PCR tests per day.
"Covid-19 crisis is estimated to have brought about P9.57 billion worth of economic losses to the province, and we saw the need for decisive actions
and innovations to address public health and economic concerns," the governor said.
Lacson also bared that Provincial Consultant Albee Benitez initiated the recovery plan framework and the department and office heads, as well as
chiefs of hospitals had a short-term planning for the recovery plans for each cluster, which include the projects, programs, and activities, identified gaps, and the necessary interventions that focused on how to sustain and prevent losses in the business sector.
"We also planned to move towards the future by investing in digital revolution," Lacson added.
Major accomplishments and projects were also enumerated by the governor.