The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) is supporting Mayor Evelio Leonardia in his appeal with the Department of Education (DepED) to grant the City “indefinite permission” to use the public schools as quarantine facilities as needed, a press release from Bacolod City PIO said.
During the online airing of “Mugstoria Ta” hosted by OPAV assistant secretary Anthony Gerard “Jonji” Gonzales today 6 August, 2020 Leonardia brought up his concern that quarantine facilities of local government units will be pulled out from schools by August 15.
“If we’re talking about healing as one, then we should all be coordinated. There is no more practical place for us to go,” Leonardia said, as he stressed that the use of schools as quarantine facilities seems to be most practical at this time of pandemic.
Gonzales gave an assurance that OPAV will back up the LGUs on their request to use the schools as quarantine facilities for the meantime.
“We will help you and try to convince DepED to allow the use of schools,” Gonzales said.
Moreover, the OPAV official also cited that there is a possibility that schools will not be used by DepED by August considering that President Rodrigo Duterte will not allow face-to-face classes until a vaccine becomes available.
“Mugstoria Ta,” an online program of the OPAV hosted by Gonzales, discusses the COVID situation in the region, and the protocols enforced to counter it.
Joining Leonardia in the online program were Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and DOH-6 regional director Dr. Marlyn Convocar.
Treñas also agreed with Leonardia, saying that DepED must allow LGUs to use the schools as quarantine facilities.
For example, Treñas said, it is possible that when teachers hold classes or meetings in schools, they might be contaminated with the virus considering the rise in local transmission.
The Iloilo mayor called on Gonzales: “As the one in-charge for the whole of the Visayas, we call on you to please help us get this to the policy-makers. I second the motion in so far as the schools are concerned for Mayor Bing.”
In the online program, Leonardia also shared to the group the efforts of the Bacolod LGU in managing its quarantine facilities, and the investment of P13 million for its renovation and improvement.
“We installed screen protection on windows, provided electric fans in each room, we improved their water system, we painted, and we did so many things,” the mayor said.
Meanwhile, Convocar presented to Gonzales the current COVID situation of Western Visayas, including the number of cases and the number of molecular laboratories operating in the region.*/CITY PIO