June 9, 2023

The city council on Monday held its session under amended internal rules, which allowed the conduct of sessions through video conference to tackle matters in the exigency of service in times of emergency situations, like the present Covid-19 crisis, where the council cannot physically convene.
Concerned of the welfare of the persons who have contracted the Covid-2019, including those under investigation and monitoring, the body through Resolution 207, s. 2020 has called on the public and concerned authorities for the strict observance and implementation of Ordinance 13, s. 2017 or the “Anti-Discrimination Ordinance of the City of Baguio” amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The ordinance enforces equal protection of the law without any discrimination on the basis, among other things, of health status, which refers to physical and mental health of an individual, group or populations as perceived by the individual or as diagnosed by competent medical health officer which subjects them to social stigma.
Among the prohibited acts concerning health status are denial of access to goods and services, inflicting stigma, inciting others to commit acts of discrimination, and inflicting harm on their health and well-being.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office as the lead office has the duty to coordinate with other appropriate agencies and offices for the strict implementation and monitoring the programs and provisions of the ordinance.
Persons or entities who violate the ordinance will be fined P1,000 or imprisonment of one day to 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court on first offense; P3,000 fine or imprisonment of one day to 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court, second offense; and fine of P5,000 or an imprisonment of one day to 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court, third offense.
The body in separate resolutions has authorized Mayor Benjamin Magalong in behalf of the city government to enter into memorandums of agreement with concerned agencies and offices for the implementation of programs in handling the Covid-19 crisis in the city.
The agreements are with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the release and distribution of the Social Amelioration Package to qualified households in the city amounting to P263,763,500 for 47,957 families or more; the Department of Health and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation for the use of the Sto. Niño Jesus Medical Center as a dialysis center; and with the managements of the Sto. Niño Jesus Medical Center and the Lindi Hotel for the use of their establishments as offsite care centers for Covid-19 affected persons.
The MOAs provided further requesting the DSWD for additional funds if the amount of the amelioration is not sufficient due to additional qualified families that may be validated later; and that the Covid-19 and dialysis centers will be run through joint efforts of the city government, the DOH, the City Health Services Office, and the medical staff of hospitals in the city.
The body has also solicited the participation and cooperation of private and public sectors relative to suppressing the spread of the Covid-19 and mitigating its effects through the following resolutions of request for the media outfits (radio and television) and mobile service providers such as Globe Telecom, Inc., Smart Communications, Inc. and Sun Cellular operating in the city to continue intensifying the promotion of physical distancing, frequent handwashing, wearing of face mask and using alcohol/sanitizer as part of their corporate social responsibility; for the mayor to order the early release of the 14th month pay of employees of the city government due to the Covid-19 pandemic; for all government offices and business establishments that are allowed to operate during the enhanced community quarantine to designate a hand washing area or provide disinfectants for their clients and customers; for the National Food Authority not to limit the purchase of rice to 10 cavans by the different barangays for their constituents but should be based on their needs.
In Resolution 200, s. 2020, the body encourages Covid-19 positive patients to disclose their identities to facilitate contact tracing to prevent and avert local transmission.
The resolution stated that one of the keys for the prevention and aversion of Covid-19 is transparency where positive patients sign a written undertaking of their willingness to disclose their identities to the public to alert the community and allow authorities to trace the people whom they had close contact with for proper medical action.
Through Resolution 200, s. 2020, the body calls for a liquor ban in Baguio during the enhanced community quarantine.
The resolution cited observations of staff on field that many residents defy curfew and quarantine rules by going out to purchase liquor and do not observe physical distancing protocols during drinking sprees.
It stressed that cooperation and strict compliance of the public to preventive measures will be further achieved if selling and drinking of alcohol is observed during the enhanced community quarantine.