December 9, 2022

Sagada, Mountain Province has once again integrated traditional practices in local governance in its bid to arrest the increasing number of residents affected by the Covid-19.
The town will implement a week-long sedey, the indigenous counterpart of a lockdown, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, which can be extended to Feb. 11, according to the advisory signed by Mayor James Pooten, Jr.
Communities in Mountain Province observe the sedey or tengao for various reasons. Once invoked, residents are not allowed to leave their residences and outsiders cannot enter the community for a day or more, depending on the reason why the practice is being observed, usually as a rest period or when the community performs other rituals that call for members to stay put.
This time, Sagada wants residents to observe the municipal-wide sedey and for outsiders to respect it to help the local government respond to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
The municipal government implemented zonal lockdowns in view of the surge of Covid-19 cases in its various barangays.
On Jan. 15, the town sealed off its four eastern barangays that recorded six cases. On Jan. 17, two central and seven southern barangays were locked down due to positive cases and to facilitate contact tracing.
As of Jan. 18, the town recorded 18 cases, of which 11 are active or patients who are admitted in hospitals or isolation units.
From Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, entry to the town will be prohibited and movements of community members will be limited only to essential and emergency purposes, as observed when lockdowns are implemented.
Vehicles that are merely passing through the town will be allowed entry, but subject to border checks for records purposes.
Residents are also required to continue practicing the basic health and safety protocols, including the observance of curfew hours from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Barangays and the municipal government and establishments providing essential services will continue their operations, such as financing institutions, health facilities, the agriculture sector, and public utility services like gas, electricity, and water.
For a week or longer, the conduct of rituals that call for mass gatherings will also be prohibited, except when the reason is death of a community member.
Sagada is one of the municipalities in Mountain Province that resorted to indigenous knowledge and practices to ward off the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mountain Province, which recorded its first Covid-19 case three months after the pandemic hit the country, have been consistently logging the least number until cases suddenly surged to 84 on Jan. 14, its highest so far in a day. – Jane B. Cadalig