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Negros Occidental loses P1B to coronavirus

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Negros Occidental lost around P1 billion to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said.

Lacson revealed this in his first State of the Province Address.

To address the problem, the governor said “we saw the need for decisive actions and innovations to address public health and economic concerns.”

Lacson added that former congressman and provincial consultant Albee Benitez had initiated a recovery plan framework. (https://bit.ly/2DlUmWn)

Department and office heads as well as chiefs of hospitals had short-term planning for the recovery plans for each cluster, which include the projects, programs, activities, identified gaps, and the necessary interventions that focused on how to sustain and prevent losses in the business sector.

“We also planned to move towards the future by investing in digital revolution,” according to Lacson.

He also noted that the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Western Visayas lauded Negros Occidental’s good practices in its Covid-19 fight on the following areas:

-Putting up of temporary shelters in the earlier days of the community quarantine;

-Anticipation of emergencies, such as the recent mass repatriation of OFWs;

-Use of technology for hassle-free registration of repatriates for accommodation; also hastened data collection and sharing, and determined priority areas of hazard prevention and mitigation;

-Province acquiring testing kits that are used on those who would enter the quarantine facilities;

-database for its PUMs, PUIs, and positive patients, with geographic information map and graphs of lab testing results maintained at its Incident Command System;

-Stranded passengers and OFWs can also register online to facilitate their repatriation;

-Province’s declaration of hot zones to heighten the awareness and preparedness of residents in these areas; and

-Geographic Information System mapping, done in collaboration with the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, also provides comprehensive data, and hasten the identification of areas that the government needs to prioritize.

The province also distributed rice subsidy to all 31 cities and municipalities during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The Provincial Administrator’s Office likewise issued 1,200 ECQ Quarantine passes and assisted 20 foreign nationals for repatriation, the governor reported.

In dealing with the pandemic, the provincial government facilitated sweeper flights that brought home 2,360 inbound locally stranded individuals and about 3,000 outbound flights in partnership with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia.

The establishment of the Covid-19 Testing Laboratory in Negros Occidental, at the Teresita Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City was also cited.