‘Cebu formula’ eyed to address Bacolod’s COVID-19 woes

BACOLOD CITY (PNA) – The formula used by the team of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu in Cebu City, which highlighted the cooperation of the public in the fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is being considered as a strategy that will bring down the number of cases here.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia (left) and city administrator Em Ang (2nd from left) present the data on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in Bacolod City during a meeting with Environment Secretary Cimatu (3rd from right), Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino (2nd from right), and Inter-Agency Task Force-Visayas deputy implementer Gen. Melquiades Feliciano (right) on Thursday. The “Cebu formula”, which highlighted the cooperation of the public, is also seen as a strategy that will bring down the number of cases in Bacolod. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City PIO via PNA)

“I would like to (take) this opportunity to encourage, not only encourage, but to make sure (that the people here) cooperate with your leaders. This is the formula that we had adopted in Cebu, bring down the battlefield to the barangay, and let the barangay captains do the rest,” Cimatu said in a video interview by the City Public Information Office on Tuesday night, following his visit to Bacolod.

Cimatu, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, and Inter-Agency Task Force-Visayas deputy implementer Gen. Melquiades Feliciano met with the city officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran as a response to the mayor’s urgent appeal for assistance to President Duterte on Tuesday.

“We are here to help Bacolod, help the people, help the mayor because (he) sent a letter to the President asking for some assistance, manpower, and other equipment, including how to stop the rising cases in Bacolod,” he added.

Cimatu was deployed by Duterte to Cebu in June to oversee measures to curb the soaring number of COVID-19 cases in the Central Visayas capital.

“The average case here in Bacolod is 30, while during that time in Cebu it was 350 cases per day, (but now it’s only) 10 to 15, Here 30, we can easily bring (the number) down, with the cooperation of the people,” he said.

As of Tuesday, Bacolod has 765 cases, including 17 deaths. There are 491 active cases and 257 recovered cases.

The data on the COVID-19 situation in Bacolod, such as the number of cases per barangay, the status of operation centers, the implementation of lockdowns, and the molecular laboratory operations, was presented by City Administrator Em Ang during the meeting.

Dino, who is based in Cebu, said they have “a very good plan for Bacolod,” including the deployment of an initial batch of 12 military healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, to the city on Friday.

“We want to show you that the national government is here to help you. We want to boost your morale that’s the reason why we are here. President Duterte and Senator Bong (Go) sent us here. Secretary Cimatu and General Feliciano, they are both here because they were already successful when we were having problems in Cebu,” he added.

Dino urged the Bacolodnons to follow the instructions of the city officials and exercise self-discipline to help curb the transmission of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Leonardia thanked the President for the fast response to his call for assistance amid the increasing COVID-19 cases.

“I am thanking President Duterte for the big help. After writing the appeal on Tuesday afternoon, I got a response from Senator Bong Go in just a matter of hours,” he said.