By Liezle Basa-Inigo
Pangasinan Governor Amado I. Espino III calls on all local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMC) to adhere to the standards of emergency response in line with the existing Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) protocols.
This came after PAGASA announced that the eastern and central part of Pangasinan are now under typhoon signal No. 1.
Espino, as chairperson of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), issued Memorandum No. 2020-01 addressed to all mayors and punong barangays urging them to prepare for the upcoming rainy season and the anticipated effects of Typhoon Ambo, which may pass through the province over the weekend.
He ordered each council to review all necessary protocols in emergency response preparedness plans, disaster management plans in line with the IATF COVID-19 protocols; to practice continuous minimum health standards in evacuation centers such as disinfection, social/physical distancing, wearing of face mask, proper hygiene, and handwashing.
The governor also directed the mayors and punong barangays to identify alternative evacuation centers, especially those local government units (LGUs) that converted their evacuation centers into quarantine facilities. They are likewise advised to always maintain proper occupancy rate.
Also included in his directive is to isolate evacuees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat; to give special care and attention to vulnerable sectors who are considered to be high risks like persons with underlying diseases, children, pregnant women, PWDs, and senior citizens.
At present, the province has a total of 40 COVID-19 cases.
Espino also asked the mayors and punong barangays to consider pre-emptive evacuation based on their local assessment and monitoring, especially those families living in identified landslide and flashflood-prone areas.
He urged coastal municipalities to implement a “no swimming policy” in line with the quarantine protocols of the IATF.
“Let us all keep safe, monitor weather updates regularly, and continue to be prepared and resilient in these trying times,” said Espino.