November 27, 2022

The city council has approved Ordinance 14, s. 2022 for the mandatory Covid-19 swab testing of all persons deprived of liberty before their commitment or release from the Baguio City Jail in addition to the existing physical assessment and chest X-ray examinations.
The test is part of the city government’s efforts in the prevention and control of infectious diseases to ensure public health and safety.
After the issuance of a commitment order by the court for the commitment into the BCJ-male and female dorm, concerned PDLs must undergo swab testing to be conducted by nurse of the facility, the Department of Health, or the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center in a schedule duly coordinated with the personnel of the committing law enforcement agency.
While waiting for the swab test result, the PDL shall be detained at the designated detention facility provided by the committing agency.
Covid-19 positive PDLs shall be placed in the city’s designated quarantine facility until they are cleared from the infection based from the result issued by the molecular laboratory to be permitted to enter the designated detention cells.
Persons due for release and found positive with mild symptoms or asymptomatic shall be placed in the designated barangay isolation center where they reside as indicated in their official records. In cases where the barangay concerned has no approved isolation center, the PDLs may be referred to the city isolation facility.
PDLs who tested negative can immediately be released to the community with prior notice to the punong barangay where they reside.
The city council has approved Ordinance 15, s. 2022 amending the Baguio Face Mask Ordinance pursuant to Resolution 148-D, s. 2021 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
IATF-EID Resolution 148-D, dated Nov. 11, 2021 provides for the use of face shields as mandatory in community settings for areas under granular lockdowns, those under alert level 5 pursuant to the alert levels system for Covid-19 response in pilot areas, and those under the enhanced community quarantine.
For areas under alert level 4, LGUs and private establishments are given the discretion to mandate the use of face shields, and voluntary use for areas under alert levels 3, 2, and 1.
Also, approved is Ordinance 16, s. 2022 or the “Baguio City Sexually Transmitted Infection and Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Control and Prevention Ordinance of 2021” in line with the city government’s policy or war against all health concerns.
The ordinance, among other things, aims to ensure the delivery of non-discriminatory services in strong collaboration and partnership with non-government service providers, access to HIV and AIDS-related services by eliminating stigma and discrimination; the protection of the public from the further spread of HIV/AIDS through increased government and non-government capacities on awareness and capability building, inclusive governance and strategic foresight; and to address and eradicate conditions that aggravate the spread of HIV infection, including but not limited to, poverty, gender inequality, prostitution, marginalization, drug, and ignorance.
The ordinance complies with the required Aids Watch Council (AWAC) as a coordinating body in the advocacy, networking/coordination, education and prevention, capability building, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of activities and related programs on STI/HIV/AIDS in the city.
The city government shall also strengthen its City Health Services Office-Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) with adequate facilities, budget and trained personnel composed of a medical officer, a nurse, a medical technologist, and a laboratory aide with comprehensive reproductive health services and sexual health education, ensuring ethics, quality care, and information.
Further, it shall exert effort and collaborate with all other government agencies or institutions to implements a workplace policy and education program on STI, HIV, and AIDS either in person or through webinar.
Operators and/or managers, entertainers of entertainment establishments in the city are mandated to attend seminars on HIV/AIDS prevention, otherwise no permit to operate shall be granted to them.
All health professionals, medical instructors, workers, employees, hospitals laboratory personnel, recruitment agencies, insurance companies, data encoders, and other custodians of any medical record, file, data or test result of people living with HIV shall be strictly treated confidential.
An amount of P500,000 under the CHSO was appropriated under the ordinance for the implementation of the programs.
The CHSO-RHWC was tasked to formulate and issue within one month the appropriate rules and regulations necessary for the efficient and effective implementation of the provisions of the ordinance.
The three ordinances were submitted to the office of the city mayor for signing.