LGUs in action against COVID-19
As per writing, in Valenzuela City, a total of 3,209 senior citizens already received their Social Pension (SocPen) led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The assistance aims to provide every senior citizen a budget for their daily and medical needs. Education Recently, Sotto posted on his social media accounts his hope to provide education for Pasig students despite of the quarantine. He said that the local government is looking for funds that will provide students personal learning gadgets they can use in their studies whether if it is a face-to-face or virtual class. But if it is the latter, he shared that they were “preparing better internet connections at the barangay level.”
"Immediately the instruction from the national government was to make sure you feed your people so we have to respond. What do we have to do? Immediately we ordered the goods, then repacked, and then think of ways to feed and get it to the people," explained Gatchalian. However, despite the relief goods being distributed in every family, there were times that they still needed to come to public places like market and grocery stores to buy their food. With that, Valenzuela City conducted its own its “Market on Wheels” inspired by Pasig City's Mobile Palengke that are placed in areas far from marketplaces. These are mobile markets that bring fresh vegetables, meat, and basic goods to prevent Valenzuelanos from going to wet markets to maintain social distancing. The City of Pasig, that leads this initiative, launch Mobile Palengke on March 24 to encourage its constituents to stay home rather than going to Pasig Mega Market. But for those Pasigueños who still want to buy at Pasig Mega Market, they can opt to Community Mart app and buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat. More than its roving stores, Sotto also distributed food coupons to Pasigueño students that can be used in Pasig Mega Market, Mobile Palengke, and selected public markets. Healthcare Valenzuela City first conducted its intensive mass testing to its constituents in April. It had partnered with The Medical City and Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory Inc. which helped them in testing Valenzuelanos. With swab tests being submitted everyday, the LGU becomes more aware of the accurate number of cases in the city helping them to be prepared. "Actually, the number of positives [COVID-19 cases] are growing in the case of Valenzuela because we are testing more. With this capacity, we know that there will be an increase but we are not going to be alarmed because number one, it is better to know. Number two, so that we can act and we can put them in a central isolation unit or we put them in a hospital. We are getting a clear picture, but is there a reason to be alarmed? No, because the LGU is prepared together with our hospital partners," explained Gatchalian. Sotto also executed "mass screening" in a barangay recently using rapid antibody test kits from Project ARK initiative. It also conducted rapid testing for its government employees since the city hall will resume full operations starting June 1. Transportation With the lifting of the modified enhanced community quarantine to general community quarantine of the busiest region in the country, Metro Manila, private businesses are expected to reopen and millions of Filipinos are also expected to resume working. Most Filipino workers depend on commuting and public transportations. However, strict protocols are still executed Luzon-wide, which require PUVs to impose social distancing. Without tricycles, jeepneys, buses, or even FXs, how can Filipinos go to their respective destinations? In Pasig City, through an app Sakay.ph, Pasigueños can look for the location of “Libreng Sakay” bus. Without the unavailability of public transportations, the city introduced its "Libreng Sakay" that picks and drops off commuters in specific routes. In this pandemic time, our respective local government unit is trying its best to provide or meet our needs. The LGU cannot do it alone, us, the constituents, must do our part. "We hope that you continue to be our partner in these times and you can expect that in the next coming days, we will launch programs that will help the Pamilyang Valenzuelano. Again, I would like to direct you all to follow the health protocols, policies, and national laws, and ordinances imposed in the City of Valenzuela. Always stay safe and remain vigilant at all times—practice social distancing, proper
hand hygiene and wearing of face masks," told Gatchalian. May we do our part so that we can survive this—altogether. May we follow the implemented protocols—whether if it's national or local—to help "flatten the curve."