March 27, 2023

With 12 days left before the lapse of the enhanced community quarantine status in the country, Baguio City is poised to shift its focus on planning for gradual transition to prepare its different sectors for a post-ECQ scenario amid the continuing coronavirus disease contagion.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said based on his personal assessment, the city had basically put in place all the essential systems to address the Covid-19 crisis and that it is ready to move on to post-ECQ plans that the national government will adopt.

The mayor said the city should work on the possibility that the national government will no longer extend the ECQ and will instead move for a modified quarantine status that would allow some sectors to go back to their normal functions to keep the economy afloat and allow people in certain sectors to go back to work.

The mayor said he will consult with the sectoral groups and solicit ideas from health experts to come up with guidelines for each sector that would spell out the parameters of their reactivation along with specific protective measures to ensure their safety from the disease.

For city government departments, the mayor asked to prepare for a “gradual transition to our usual functions and mandates but with due consideration to the requisite ‘work from home’ arrangement.”

He said more effort would be exerted on planning for the gradual resurrection of businesses in the tourism industry being the bread and butter of the city’s economy.

Another focus will be the resumption of big construction works, especially those with perilous excavations that lack slope protection and need to be done before the rainy season so as not to endanger the public.

As to the education sector, the mayor said he is inclined to prolong the suspension of classes noting the risk the exodus of students would entail.

The health team composed of the Department of Health Cordillera under Officer-in-Charge Amelita Pangilinan and heads of the different hospitals and medical facilities in the city promised to help the city craft the sectoral guidelines with integrated control measures.

The city will meet with the group on  April 6 on this development. – Aileen P. Refuerzo