BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
The distribution of Social Amelioration Program grants in Bacolod City was temporarily suspended effective yesterday after a social worker was exposed to a Covid-19 positive patient, Department of Social Services and Development OIC Pacita Tero said.
Tero said the social worker is the wife of a city government employee who was among the 19 who tested positive for COVID-19, that was announced by the Department of Health Saturday.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said Sunday that 19 city employees working at the Bacolod Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs tested positive for COVID-19. The Persons with Disabilities Office is also located in the same area.
The social worker and nine of her colleagues in the DSSD and 10 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development were swabbed for Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests, and have been directed to undergo 14-day home quarantines pending the release of their results as a precautionary measure, Tero added.
She also noted that the initial SAP grants payouts were made in barangays that have been identified to have COVID-19 transmissions.
Tero said more than 75,000 had already received their second tranche SAP grants when distribution was suspended.
The second tranche will benefit 97,266 Bacolod residents.
The SAP, provided for under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, consists of two separate releases of P6,000 in May and July for qualified beneficiary families, she said.
The COVID positive city worker who infected the OSCA personnel is the sibling of a General Services Office employee assigned at the Bacolod Arts and Youth Center.
The Bacolod Respiratory Outpatient Center at the BAYS Center will continue to be closed until the RT-PCR test results of its staff are released.
The old Bacolod City Hall at Araneta Street has also been locked down starting yesterday until further notice for disinfection and preventive decontamination after some city employees tested positive for COVID-19.*