Davao City must learn from Cebu on COVID containment, says Robredo

Published June 13, 2021, 3:24 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday, June 13, told the Davao city government to look at how Cebu City successfully controlled the surge of COVID-19 infections through private partnerships and the active presence of the medical community.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Geric Cruz/Bloomberg)

Davao City tops the list of the local government units (LGUs) with most new cases per day during the period of June 5 to 11, the OCTA Research said. Davao City has an average of 180 new cases per day during the period while Quezon City has an average of 168 new cases.

The vice president noted that Quezon City has a population of three million while Davao City only has 1.8 million as of 2020.

“So the mere fact na mas mataas siya, mas alarming iyon kasi mas kaunti ang kanyang population (that it is higher, it is more alarming because it has fewer population),” she said during her weekly radio show.

READ: OCTA: Davao City projected to have country’s highest number of new COVID-19 cases this week

Robredo cited it would help to look at how Cebu controlled their own surge, which was on a rise from January to March this year.

The peak of active COVID-19 cases in Metro Cebu was over 2,500 on February 23, but this dropped to 1,771 on March 29.

The LGU attributed to the drop in cases to its aggressive “test, trace, and isolate” strategy.

In the same period of June 5 to 11, Cebu City had an average of 37 new COVID-19 cases.

“Kasi kung titingnan mo ngayon na nagsaspike na, sa Cebu parang controlled, ‘di ba? Parang controlled and marami ang ginawa—ang partnership doon hindi lang talaga LGU pero very active doon ang medical community (If you look at the spike, in Cebu it looks like it is controlled, right? It looks like it is controlled and there are a lot of things you need to do—the partnership there is not just with the LGU but the medical community there is very active),” she said.

The vice president is familiar with Cebu’s situation since her office deployed teams there for COVID-19 response last year. They worked with the medical community, which she described as being “very, very active.”

READ: Another OVP team leaves for Cebu COVID-19 response

“So tingin ko ang mga lessons sa Cebu, ganoon din. Makakapulot ng aral ang Davao (So, I think the lessons in Cebu are the same. Davao City can pick some lessons),” Robredo said, adding that Davao City cannot be compared to Metro Manila because they have different “characteristics.”

She’s pushing for a “whole-of-government approach” and thumbed down a “business-as-usual” approach because transmission rates and infection cases are rising in the provinces, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, as well as in Bacolod, Dumaguete, Tacloban, Iloilo, and Butuan.

“Mas nakakatakot iyong ganitong sitwasyon sa mga probinsya. Kasi sa mga probinsya, very limited talaga iyong bed capacity ng mga ospital (The situation in the provinces are scarier. Because in the provinces, the bed capacity of the hospitals is really very limited),” she said.