January 29, 2023

The Cordillera Regional Task Force is now looking into the needs and welfare of children in Covid-19 affected communities in Itogon and Tuba, Benguet as management of cases is now improving.

In the RTF Covid-19 OPLAN Tuba-Itogon (TUGON) special meeting on Nov.16, Benguet Provincial Health Officer Nora Ruiz reported active cases in Itogon are down to 149 and 60 in Tuba.

Ruiz said contact tracing activities, quarantine, and isolation of active and suspect cases are continuing. She added there are enough beds at the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.   

One concern brought out in the meeting by the RTF’s regional incident management teams (RIMTs) deployed in the two towns is the need to give more focus on the needs and welfare of children, both those tested positive and the children of Covid-19 confirmed patients.

The RITM reported that there were 23 children 17 years old and below in the list of Covid-19 confirmed cases in the two towns.

Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Director Leo Quintilla who heads the RTF Oplan TUGON volunteered the activation of the agency’s Reception and Study Center for Children in Irisan, Baguio City as a temporary shelter for children of Covid-19 patients.

He said he will assign personnel to look into the needs of children in Covid-19 affected communities in Benguet.

Quintilla also urged the activation of the local councils for the protection of children in the barangay for the assessment of their needs and to ensure their welfare.

For assistance provided by Oplan TUGON, DSWD reported that 2,816 family food packs (FFPs) were provided to Itogon while 460 FFPs and 222 hygiene kits were provided to Tuba.  

There were 5,670 FFPs; 300 sleeping kits; and 500 shawls also approved and set as augmentation for Itogon.

Office of the Civil Defense-Cordillera Director Albert Mogol expressed gratitude to the members of RTF-Covid and for the continuing partnership and coordination in the fight against the Covid-19 and the challenges brought by the recent tropical cyclones that affected the region and the country.

Mogol also called for continuing synergy towards the goal of ensuring safe and resilient Cordillera communities.

“This is but another test of our resilience and capabilities. We need to be on guard to ensure effective planning and implementation of interventions; it is important to continuously enhance  action plans   based on the existing national and regional strategies, along with local requirements and needs,” he said. – Carlito C. Dar