Third District Congressman Francisco Benitez and Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano jointly led a three-hour meeting yesterday, 22 September 2020 in Silay City to step-up coordination and preparations for the full-swing operationalization by next week, of the first integrated district-wide COVID 19 Emergency Operations Center in the province, a press release from Board Member Ryan Gamboa said.
Retired Major Gen. Melquiades Feliciano of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Visayas who was main resource speaker in the combined face-to-face and zoom meeting hosted by Silay City Mayor Mark Golez, stressed major critical factors to make the EOC effective and efficient – strong coordination with the command center that must have a centralized structure; accuracy and timeliness of data collection, critical meaningful data analysis that is key to intervention, and a workable referral system flow, among others.
Both Benitez and Paduano stressed on the importance of standardized guidelines on data-gathering, processing and analysis among the five local government units that comprise the Third District – cities of Victorias, Silay and Talisay and the municipalities of E. B. Magalona and Murcia.
Benitez announced that his office has requested 18,000 COVID 19 testing kits from the Department of Health to augment supplies of all the LGUs in the Third District and these are expected to arrive late this week.
Each of the LGUs led by their respective Mayors and assisted by their local task force officials reported on the status of initiatives and measures, to include critical statistics of the pandemic in their communities. It was a sharing of best practices and experiences in the implementation of swabbing, contact tracing and data gathering that were evaluated in turn by Feliciano who pinpointed areas for improvement as well as points for emulation.
Present were Victorias Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca, Silay Mayor Mark Golez, EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon, Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas, and Talisay Executive Assistant Nicolai Jalandoni representing Mayor Neil Lizares.
The Metro 3rd Emergency Operations Center assisted by the IATF – Visayas, the Negros Occidental Provincial Government, and the Department of Health, will augment and supplement efforts of LGUs in fighting the pandemic.
It will also strengthen coordination and cooperation efforts for better management of resources from both the public and private sectors in the implementation of quick emergency response systems, medical referrals through telemedicine and existing structures in the communities, and effective monitoring of testing, tracing, isolation and treatment procedures.
The meeting was moderated by Provincial Board Member Ryan Gamboa who is also Silay City Councilor with the assistance of Metro 3rd EOC action officer Mary Ann Dino, Silay City Executive Assistant and executive director of the Betty Bantug Benitez Foundation.*