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Daig pa Christmas bonus! Labella dangles P500K reward for villages free from COVID-19

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Aiming to have zero coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) case by yearend, Mayor Edgardo Labella on Friday announced that he is giving a PHP500,000 reward to every barangay (village) that would be Covid-free from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

During the turnover of the new Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) by the Department of Public Works and Highways to the city government here, Labella said the city government conceptualized the reward system in order to operationalize the challenge given by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the Cebu Covid-19 response overseer, to have a zero-Covid capital city.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Cimatu said this city that used to be tagged as a coronavirus epicenter has now flattened the curve and already known as the “epicenter of recoveries”.

This development prompted Cimatu to challenge the city to aim for zero Covid-19 cases.

“Mr. Mayor, I am confident that you can have zero Covid here in Cebu,” Labella quoted Cimatu as saying.

“We will try our best to achieve that ideal, because we are inspired” by how the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has addressed the coronavirus crisis in the city, the mayor answered Cimatu.

Due to a spike of Covid-19 cases here last June, President Rodrigo Duterte instructed Cimatu to oversee the government response to the health crisis, mainly the open defiance of the residents of the minimum health standards such as mask wearing and physical distancing, among others.

But Cimatu said it is now possible to aim for zero Covid-19 cases in Cebu City.

“I don’t really foresee a problem in our tasks especially in your organization here because you are already exposed to the day to day works since the start of the crisis,” he told the Cebu media.

Cimatu recalled that when they arrived last June, the number of patients and deaths here was alarming.

“If you look at the data, more than 600 deaths all from Cebu City since June and bigla na lang naging (suddenly becomes) zero. This is an indication of success, that effort of the (Emergency Operation Center) team paid off,” he said, adding that for seven days now, the city has zero fatalities due to Covid-19. (PNA)