March 23, 2023

The City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council has prepared a contingency plan in anticipation of a surge in Covid-19 cases brought about by the congregation of people during the recent holidays and due to the threat of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19.
Plans for contingencies include sustaining granular lockdowns, monitoring of occupancy rates of isolation facilities, mandatory enforcement of quarantine of returning overseas Filipinos, expansion of temporary treatment facilities (TTMF), liquor ban, curfew, ensure adequate supply of test kits, establish a processing center for specimens collected, emergency hiring of contact tracers, and stricter border control policies.
In a report during the management committee meeting Jan. 4, CDRRMO head Antonette Anaban said the contingency plan’s goals are to suppress transmission of the virus; reduce exposure; protect the vulnerable; and reduce the mortality and morbidity from all causes and save lives.
For granular lockdowns, Anaban said the city government should be able to ensure that there are enough food packs to be distributed in areas where a lockdown will be declared.
For the proposed expansion of TTMFs, activation of other isolation units; repair of damaged beds at the Baguio City Community Isolation Unit and recalibration of the Covid-19 home isolation benefit package criteria were among the measures suggested.
The CDRRMO is also pushing for a temporary ban on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages and liquor from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. the following day and curfew hours should also be set at 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. the following day.
As to Baguio’s contract tracing thrust, she said there is a need for the emergency hiring of contact tracers; augmentation from trained contact tracers from uniformed personnel; and re-hiring of contact tracers hired by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Anaban said the city must also ensure adequate supply of test kits; pioneer self-test kits; and establish a dropping and processing center for specimens collected.
She is also is calling for stricter border control by only allowing essential travels of vaccinated individuals to Baguio.
There should also be a gradual reduction in the number of leisure travelers to the city and random monitoring of establishments including those that are Safety Seal certified to check whether these are strictly complying with minimum public health standards.
Safety Seal certified establishments found to be non-compliant with MPHS could have their certifications revoked, she added.
Anaban said safety seal compliance of government offices and facilities should be mandated and that random monitoring of these be conducted especially those frequently visited by clients.
She also advised the implementation of alternative work arrangements prioritizing those 60 years and older; with underlying health conditions, and pregnant.   
Started in November last year, the city contingency plan is also in line with the National Action Plan’s Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate strategy. – PIO