“The fight against COVID-19 is the fight of every man, woman, and child. But it is only when we help each other and fight as one that we will also survive as one from this terrible scourge.”
This was the statement of Mayor Evelio Leonardia as he encouraged the core team members of the Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to share their learnings and best practices with other local government units (LGUs), which are interested to put up similar anti-COVID response organizations in their areas, a press release from Bacolod City PIO said.
Since October, 14 LGUs in Negros Occidental and Region 6 have already sent their pertinent officials to observe the daily workings at the Bacolod EOC.
Last week, upon request of the San Carlos city government, the Bacolod EOC sent five of its core team officials there to help strengthen its own EOC operations.
Councilor Lady Gles Pallen, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, deputies for medical Dr. Hector Gayares and Dr. Chris Sorongon; World Health Organization (WHO)-Philippines consultant on COVID response Dr. Ralph Nico Selibio, and Dr. Ma. Jocelyn Gayares, representative of the Philippine Psychiatric Association, conducted a two-day training and mentorship seminar there.
Pallen said, “Although the San Carlos EOC already visited Bacolod EOC last Oct. 27, they further invited us to go to San Carlos and join them so at least we can check and listen to their daily huddles to further assess the functionality of their EOC.”
Pallen said they met with the 18 barangay captains of San Carlos and shared Bacolod EOC’s protocols and best practices.
She passed on to them what Secretary Roy Cimatu said when he visited the Bacolod EOC last September – that the the fight against COVID-19 is ultimately at the grassroots where the barangay captains play the major leadership role.
“We have to bring the battle to the barangays as we hunt down the virus in every home, office, or store,” she added.
For his part, Dr. Sorongon said, “We shared with them how our EOC clusters operated. We also conducted trainings on contact tracing.”
During the training, Gayares shared the concept and operations of the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) that was adopted by Bacolod City from Cebu City.
The OHCC aims to facilitate the transmission of critical and medical information from hospitals to the EOC on a daily basis. Such data is then used to manage the healthcare capacity of the locality. The OHCC has proven helpful in decongesting hospitals of asymptomatic or mild COVID cases and making those hospital beds accommodate more of the moderate to critical COVID patients.
Dr. Ma. Jocelyn Gayares, wife of Dr. Hector Gayares, also discussed topics on mental health and community reintegration of patients.
In his letter of thanks to President Rodrigo Duterte last week, Leonardia said it was noteworthy to report to the President that the Bacolod City EOC is now becoming a practical academy of sorts for other LGUs in the province who come to observe how we operate it so that they, too, may be guided on how to put up a similar organization in their own LGUs.
The Bacolod EOC was established under the guidance of Major General (Retired) Mel Feliciano and his wife Mia and their team, who spent the last two months in Bacolod to oversee its daily operations, as part of President Duterte’s response to Leonardia’s appeal for help when COVID cases in Bacolod spiked last August.
“(This) is another legacy of MGen. Mel Feliciano and his wife Mia that we are deeply grateful for,” the mayor added.*/BACOLOD CITY PIO