By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong is hoping that the city will be able to handle returning residents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and local workers with the well-placed systems proactively that have already been established here.
This as the country braces for the surge in the arrival of OFWs in the coming weeks, and more freedom of movement with the easing of quarantine levels.
Magalong said the city has put in place, since April, a management system consisting of a containment facility, triage and disease management scheme for the OFWs and a returning Baguio residents (RBR) system for local residents and workers with strategies for online entry, triage and infection management.
The OFW facility set up at the Teachers’ Camp which initially offered 129 beds under the management of the Dept. of Health and the City Health Services Office has processed a total of 260 returning OFWs from Baguio City, Benguet Province and Mt. Province since April 17, in collaboration with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Cordillera headed by Regional Director Manuela Peña and the Benguet and Mt. Province LGUs.
Peña lauded the efforts of the three localities in complying with the guidelines of the line agencies in managing the entry of the workers.
The DILG Regional Office under Regional Director Marlo Iringan is now sorting the data on the number of OFWs who will come home to the city, Benguet and Mt. Province.
The RBR system, on the other hand, is being handled in cooperation with the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO).
Magalong said he insisted that the RBR process crafted according to the city’s requirements be incorporated in the PNP procedure for Local Stranded Individuals to ensure its smooth run.
“It is our city and we know what we need and what needs to be done to make these systems work. We believe our BCPO can do it but since the task is beyond their core competencies, they will need our assistance,” he said.
For the RBR system, the city prepared an online system to control the number of entrants, and prevent overwhelming the triage and isolation and medical facilities and ensure that suspected and infected persons are properly managed to avoid spread of the disease.
As of Friday, the city has processed a total of 4,897 (RBR) applications.
Magalong appealed to stranded residents to follow the system and to bear with the delays because of the bulk of applications being received.
“We have to do this to ensure that your arrival is managed properly by way of segregating at once those suspected and probable cases and contain the transmission. We want you to come home to a safe city so please let us cooperate,” Magalong added.