Solons back quarantine facilities in every region

Published June 29, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

 

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Lawmakers expressed on Monday, June 29 all-out support to the proposed establishment of quarantine facilities in every region in the country.

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (Rufus Rodriguez official Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (Rufus Rodriguez official Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, and Kalinga lone district Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang rallied behind the passage of House Bill No. 7005 or the proposed “Mandatory Quarantine Facilities Act of 2020, principally authored by Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr.

“The bill is necessary at this time because of the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country,” Rodriguez said in a Viber message.

“The country’s quarantine facilities are concentrated in Metro Manila. Since there is now a jump in COVID- 19 cases in the provinces, we need these regional quarantine facilities to serve our people in the countryside,” he said.

In anticipation of the bill’s passage, Rodriguez urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) “to already prepare the plans for the construction of these facilities in each region.”

“The DOH should also start a program to train medical personnel in the regions to operate these facilities,” he added.

Barbers agreed with Rodriguez, even as he asked the DOH to ensure that epidemiologists and qualified doctors will be deployed to the proposed regional quarantine facilities.

For his part, Mangaoang said Villafuerte’s measure will help strengthen the government’s fight against COVID-19.

He said he will ask Villafuerte to include him as one of the bill’s co-authors.

Quezon City 2nd district Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo, Muntinlupa lone district Rep. Ruffy Biazon, and Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman also expressed their support to Villafuerte’s HB 7005.

“That’s well and good. We will support the measure. We will allocate funding if necessary. We will help find suitable location, provide manpower and necessary equipment vital to its success,” Castelo said in a text message.

Biazon described HB 7005 as “relevant and good” proposal.

“The measure is long overdue. Had we implemented this system from the very start, we would have avoided the over-saturation of returning OFWs in Metro Manila and the humongous delays they encountered. This system should have been in place before the Balik Probinsya program” Roman said.

With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Villafuerte sought the establishment of quarantine facilities in every region in the country.

Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), he said the isolation of people who may have been exposed to any serious contagious or infectious disease is considered as the most effective measure to prevent its transmission.

He filed House Bill No. 7005 or the proposed “Mandatory Quarantine Facilities Act of 2020, citing the need for “efficient and effective response system” for emerging and re-emerging infectous diseases, epidemics, and health events.

“Since there is constant emergence of various highly contagious and seriously infectious kinds of illnesses, most especially with the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the need for the State to establish quality quarantine facilities in the country cannot be ignored,” Villafuerte in his bill’s explanatory note.

He explained that HB 7005 seeks to prioritize the setting up of quality quarantine facilities not only in the densely populated areas, but in every region.

“These facilities are designed to patients who are suspected to be infected or colonized with epidemiologically important pathogens that can be transmitted early by airborne or droplet transmission or by contact with dry skin or contaminated surfaces,” he said.

“The DOH is also mandated to provide adequate care for suspected patients,” he added.

HB 7005 provides the establishment of quarantine facilities in every region in the country.

Under the bill, the quarantine facilities shall be fully equipped to include the needs of individuals who are quarantined, including, but not limited to adequate food, clothing, means of communication, and competent medical care.

The measure tasks the DOH, in close coordination with the DPWH, and concerned local government units (LGUs) to identify the location of every quarantine facility.

“The quarantine facilities shall be easily accessible to a DOH hospital and shall be strategically located to ensure the safety of the community,” it provides.

HB 7005 mandates the DPWH, in coordination with the LGUs, to be in charge of the construction of quarantine facilities, and formulation of building specifications based on standards, issuances, and other guidelines.

The DOH, on the other hand, shall keep an eye on the operation, supervision, and management of the quarantine facilities. Under the measure, it is also tasked to issue the guidelines on the procedure and proper use of quarantine facilities within 30 days from the effectivity of the proposed Act.

The amount necessary to establish and operate quarantine facilities shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA), the measure provides.

Within 60 days from the approval of the proposed Act, the DOH, DPWH, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in consultation with relevant stakeholderd, shall issue the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.

The Department of Health (DOH) recorded on Sunday a total of 35,455 cases of COVID-19 cases with 653 new cases, 1,244 deaths and 9,686 recoveries.

 
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