BINANGONAN, RIZAL (11 AUGUST 2020) — Local governments units are demonstrating that prevention is still the best defense against COVID-19, as they carry out more aggressive measures to contain the spread of the disease in their communities.

This developed as a COVID-19 CODE (Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic) Team met with local officials of this municipality on Tuesday, to assess the health situation in the area and determine the best ways to improve the LGU’s COVID-19 response mechanisms.

CODE Teams, composed of representatives of line agencies, were created to help ramp up the capability of LGUs to effectively respond to the pandemic. These teams are part of the government’s interventions under the Phase 2 of the National Action Plan against COVID-19.

Deputy Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for Operations, and COVID-19 CODE Team Leader, Undersecretary Isidro Purisima identified the critical issues the Binangonan municipal government must focus on after Rizal was placed anew under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

“Isa po sa objective natin is kung paano mapababa ang cases in the next two to four weeks. Sana maemphasize sa atin ang prevention bago tayo umabot sa treatment kasi ang treatment mahal at delikado,” Purisima said.

Binangonan has 304 confirmed cases as of August 8, 129 of which are active cases. Of this number, 54 percent of the positive cases are work-related, while 46 percent are local transmissions. The municipality has reported 165 recoveries and 10 deaths.

Mayor Cesar Ynares discussed the municipality’s efforts to prevent the further transmission of the disease such as the installation of 30 washing facilities in strategic areas in Binangonan, as well as the conversion of their evacuation center into a COVID-19 isolation facility.

Ynares agreed with Purisima that early detection and prevention will be the key in averting a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Pag marami kang natest, mako-contain mo ang mga positive at maiisolate mo sila. Aggressive contact tracing pa rin ang kailangan nating pagtuunan, para hindi ka parang bulag na sundalo sa giyera,” Ynares said.

As part of its efforts to scale up its health care capacity, the Binangonan LGU plans to hire an epidemiologist or public health expert and additional medical personnel, contact tracers and other medical staff; heighten the enforcement of R.A. 11332 and Oplan Kalinga; and rally the support of barangay officials in the enforcement of minimum health protocols.

Also present during the dialogue were Binangonan Vice Mayor Cecilio Ynares; DILG Assistant Secretary Manuel Felix; Binangonan Chief of Police Lt. Col. Ferdinand Ancheta; Binangonan Municipal Health Officer, Dr. Angelito dela Cuesta; National Task Force Against COVID-19 resource persons Dr. Eleanor Galvez, Dr. Kezia Lorraine Rosario, Dr. Faith Alberto, and DILG representative Robin Lim; DOH IV-A Assistant Regional Director, Dr. Paula Paz Sydiongco; as well as municipal councilors, and representatives of line agencies. ###