THE Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav), led by Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, gave recognition to its private and public partners in the Visayas, including in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental, in its fight against Covid-19 at an awarding ceremony at the Seda Hotel on October 29.
Opav gave out 29 plaques of appreciation to certain individuals who have "immensely contributed to Opav's goal of helping bring down cases in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, and Western Visayas."
Among the 29 awardees were six of the consultants and volunteers of the Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center: IATF-Visayas chief implementer Major General (Retired) Mel Feliciano, Mia Feliciano, Dr. Chris Sorongon and Dr. Hector Gayares Jr. - deputies for medical, Dr. Ralph Nico Selibio - consultant, and John Dave Duenas - deputy for Data Collection and Management.
Also among the awardees was Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of DOH-Central Visayas who also helps the Bacolod EOC in improving the testing capacity of its molecular laboratories, and one of the proponents of pool testing in the city.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who also joined the event, expressed his gratitude to Opav for its help and support to Bacolod.
"Game changer ang Opav. In just five hours from the time I requested for help, Opav immediately responded," he added.
Feliciano said it is noteworthy to state that Bacolod City situation is now stable.
It can be recalled that from almost 200 daily cases in September, Bacolod is now down to less than 30 new cases a day and still going down.
Opav said Bacolod EOC is the second EOC institutionalized in the Visayas -- after Cebu City EOC.
Opav said Dino thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Bong Go for their support to Western Visayas and for supporting Opav's work to bridge Visayas to Malacañang.
Meanwhile, Dino announced his donation of 50,000 face shields or 25,000 each
for Bacolod and Negros Occidental.
Also during his speech at the awarding ceremony, Dino said the Bacolod EOC is now considered a "tourist destination."
This is due to the influx of the different LGUs in the region that observe its daily huddle for benchmarking.
Dino said the decrease in the new daily cases in Bacolod is a big sign that they are doing well in the fight against Covid.
"I am very proud to say that the EOC in Bacolod has been tagged as sort of a tourist destination. Why? LGUs in the region have been swarming the New Government Center to undergo training. Bacolod is back on its feet. So, congratulations, Bacolod. Mayor Bing, congratulations," Dino said.
A total of 14 LGUs have so far visited the Bacolod EOC since October 7 for benchmarking, to intensify their own responses against Covid-19.
These are the municipalities of Isabela, Murcia, Moises Padilla, La Castellana, Hinigaran, Binalbagan and E.B. Magalona, and the Cities of Bago, Himamaylan, Silay, Victorias, San Carlos -- all in Negros Occidental, and the Provincial Health Offices of Aklan and Capiz. (PR)