Acting on the executive order of the governor, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during its regular ses-sion today has declared a state of calamity throughout the province of Negros Oriental.
Degamo issued Executive Order 21 MONDAY MARCH 16, which in effect provides for a general community quarantine effective midnight of FRIDAY March 17, 2020 until further notice. During the regular session today, COVID-19 task force ground commander Dr. Liland Estacion disclosed there are no more PUIs or patients under investigation and PUMs or patients under monitoring, BECAUSE all RESIDENTS are CONSIDERED POSSIBLE suspects because the virus is within the community.
Gov Degamo cautioned that the death of the Tayasan councilor whose remains were already cremated as his remains, could still POSSIBLY contaminate hundreds of those with whom was in contact, being a public official who was said to have met with his constituents and councilor-peers at that time BEFORE HIS CONFINEMENT. .
In fact the president and the medical director top medical officials of ACE doctors hospital are on self-quarntine and 38 others in the hospital for having contracted the Covid19 positive patient, and a similar number at Silliman Medical Center where the patient was transferred reportedly against the advice of ACE doctors. The patient died Sunday noon and his remains were cremated after the regulatory post mortem requirements. .
Section 2 provides for the closure of borders, ports and airports of Negros Orienal. This means that all borders, ports and airports of the province of Negros Oriental are now declared closed, effective immediately and shall remain in full force and effect until revoked, due to spread of Corona virus in the community.
Entry of persons shall be restricted except to the following: all duly identified residents of Negros Oriental, its cities and municipalities; members of the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and all branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; health workers responding to emergency; and persons travelling for urgent medical or humanitarian reasons and persons transporting essential goods, supplies and medicines.
Section 3 provides for the full activation of the inter agency COVID-19 border monitoring and regulation task force that will be composed of officials of the local government units and barangays of Negros Oriental, members of the PNP, AFP, Philippine Ports Authority, PCG and Aviation Authority of the Philippines. The task force is orderd to defend the borders of Negros Oriental and diligently perform their powers and functions.
The task force is also authorized to defend the borders of Negros Oriental by setting up check points and preventy entry of persons not allowed under the governor’s executive order, specifically along the highways located in the borders of Mabinay-Kabankalan, Bayawan-Hinobaan, San Carlos-Vallehermoso, La Castellana-Canlaon, and other roads that maybe used as entry points, In addition, the Inter-Agency COVID-19 Border Monitoring and Regulation Task Force shall be authorized to perform the following: deny entry to all non-residents of the province of Negros Oriental, with or without symptoms of COVID-19; allow entry of all returning residents of the province of Negros Oriental, with or without COVID-19 symptoms. All returning residents shall be required to present a valid government issued identification card prior to entry.
All returning residents must be checked for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and undergo the following:
A 14-day home quarantine, endorsement to the barangay or LGU where they reside and monitoring by the barangay health emergency response teams.
EO 21 of Gov. Degamo also allows entry to essential personnel speficially health workers responding to emergency, members of the PNP, PCG, BFP and all branches of the AFP, persons travelling for urgent medical humanitarian reasons and persons transporting essential goods, supplies and medicines, subject to the requirements under Section 3 sub-paragraph 2.
Meanwhile, upon the request of the provincial government of Siquijor, Degamo’s executive order has all its residents entry to Negros Oriental provided only those who buy goods and basic commodities are allowed entry, after they shall have shown a valid government issued ID, and shall have signed a health information form.
Provided further that those with flu-like symptoms shall not be allowed entry, and shall be sent back home to Siquijor immediately on board the next available trip. They shall be referred to the IPHO-Siquijor for quarantine procedure. Those who will stay in the province of Negros Oriental for more than 14 days will be advised to put themselves in a 14-day mandatory quarantine, or if they opt to go home before the conclusion of the process, provided no symptoms are manifested, they shall be endorsed to the IPHO-Siquijor for further assessment.
Section 5, provides that all air and sea travel are hereby banned during the effectivity of the executive order. The civil aviation authorithy of the Philippines is hereby directed to ensure that all airports in Negros Oriental remain closed during the effectivity of the executive order. The PCG and the PPA are also directed to ensure that all ports in Negros Oriental remain closed during the effecvtivity of EO 21.
Relative to Section 4, paragraph 4, given the necessity of travel for humanitarian reason, only one boat dedicated for travel by sea shall be allowed from the Port of Siquijor to the Port of Dumaguete, twice a week, especially Saturdays and Sundays.
Operators and dispatchers of bus or other public utility vehicles shall be required to refrain from crossing the borders of Negros Oriental. They are further required to check all passengers for COVID-19 symptoms and check their temperatures prior to boarding or the purchase of tickets.
Section 6 provides for the provincial health office-provincial epidemiology and surveillance unit (PHO-PESU) shall prepare and print health information forms for all residents of Negros Oriental. The preparation and procedures on the proper use, distribution, filling up and filling of the forms shall be under the supervision and control of the PHO-PESU.
Section 7 provides for the mandatory creation and activation of Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) to help in the monitoring of people under quarantine. Failure to organize and activate the BHERTs shall be dealt with accordingly.
The National Food Authority (NFA) in the province is also directed to see to it that there will be a significant supply of rice for the entire period of the general community quarantine as provided for in Section 8 of EO 21.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shall protect consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities by prescribing measures against undue price increases during this national health emergency.
And finally, Section 9 of EO 21 of Gov. Degamo calls for the suspension of classes in all levels for both private and public academic institutions and shall remain in force, and extended until further notice.
Sharing of fake news, unconfirmed reports is strictly prohibited and shall be dealt with accordingly. Only valid and verified information shall be published and shared, as provided for under Section 10 of EO 21.
On Wednesday’s regular session of the provincial board, the Sanggunian Panlalawigan in session declared the province under a state of calamity so the quick response fund can be used.
Under existing laws, 70 percent of the 5 % calamity fund can be used for pre-disaster activities while the remaining 30% will be used during and after the calamity, according to Vice Gov. Eduard Mark Macias.
He said the prerequisites for the declaration of a state of calamity had been met, thus, the SP declared a state of calamithy for the whole province.
This means that all local government units in the province including the barangays can already access their respective quick response fund in connection with COVID-19 prevention. Macias stressed such fund maybe used in the purchase of personal protective equipment such as gloves, suits, face masks, alcohol, among others.
The presiding officer said among the equipment needed is the purchase of respirators, ventilators upon learning the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital doesn’t have one.
A quick inventory showed that are a total of 16 respirators in Negros Oriental. (By CHOY GALLARDE and CHRONICLE STAFF)