By Minvera BC Newman
DUMAGUETE CITY – The provincial government of Negros Oriental has allocated P50 million as augmentation budget for its 25 towns and cities as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response fund to address the soci0-economic impact of the pandemic at local communities.
Governor Roel Degamo said the province has pledged to allocate P2 million each to the 25 LGUs in Negros Oriental to assist them in responding to the growing fallout from COVID-19.
He announced this during a meeting with the mayors and members of the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Tuesday.
According to Jennifer Tilos, provincial head of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Negros Oriental, the amount will be taken from the 20-percent development fund for the replenishment of LGUs’ depleted budget for COVID-19 expenses.
Tilos said Degamo asked the mayors to submit proposals for the initial purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs), food assistance of affected families, medicines, relief goods, among others.
It is expected that the quick response funds of LGUs would soon run out after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was fully implemented in Negros Oriental starting April 3 at 12:01 a.m.
Gegamo believed that the IATF meeting paved the way in ironing out and putting in place the guidelines to fully implement the local ECQ for Negros Oriental that must not contradict with the national government’s ECQ policy, Tilos added.
Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion, on the other hand, disclosed that, as of March 30, the province has recorded 293 asymptomatic persons who were in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient from Cebu and Manila, and are now undergoing 14-day quarantine.
Estacion said Degamo has tasked all the district hospitals in the province to accept moderate acute respiratory infection (MARI) cases, and the additional five severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) cases. The swabs from the SARI cases were already brought to Cebu for testing.