Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government commended the functional and efficient response efforts of Bacolod City against Covid-19 through its Emergency Operations Center.
“The DILG commends the efforts of the local government of Bacolod City in ensuring the functionality and efficiency of its EOC,” Año said in his letter to Mayor Evelio Leonardia dated April 26, 2021.
Leonardia said, “It is heartwarming to receive this commendation, which is richly deserved by our government workers and volunteers working so hard at the EOC and its various service clusters.
“While Secretary Año was primarily referring to how we contained the spike in Covid cases during those critical days last September 2020, it is still reassuring that the EOC formula that worked before is still helping us now to hold the fort with the recent surge in Covid cases again,” Leonardia added.
The Bacolod EOC was established by virtue of Leonardia’s Executive Order No. 59 of 2020, with the primary objective of containing the spread of Covid-19 in the City.
The EOC framework was adopted by Bacolod from Cebu City in order to address the surge of cases in September 2020 on the guidance of retired Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, who was designated by Malacañang as Visayas chief implementer.
The DILG acknowledged that through the EOC, Bacolod was able to “mitigate the spread of the disease by implementing a centralized, coordinated, collaborated, synchronized, and harmonized Covid-19 response.”
Under the EOC, Bacolod also established the One Hospital Command Center that facilitates the transmission of critical medical information from hospitals to the EOC on a daily basis. The data is then used to manage the healthcare capacity of the City.
The OHCC has proven helpful in decongesting hospitals of asymptomatic or mild Covid-19 cases by linking up the hospitals to step-down facilities like hotels accredited by the Department of Health and the mid-way isolation facilities of the City to accommodate these cases, making more hospital beds available for the seriously-ill Covid-19 patients.
“In addition to the creation of a responsive and data-driven EOC, Bacolod City was also able to ensure the continuous implementation of its adopted approaches and processes, therefore protecting the lives of everyone within its area of jurisdiction,” Año added.
ALSO AT THE PLAZA
To make testing accessible, the Bacolod Respiratory Outpatient (BRO) Center, located in front of the public plaza, also offers free consultation and free swabbing for Covid-19. Individuals showing symptoms of Covid are advised to come to the BRO Center for early medical consultation.
Several local government units have made benchmarking visits at the Bacolod EOC, including the municipalities of Isabela, Murcia, Moises Padilla, La Castellana, Hinigaran, and Binalbagan, the cities of Bago, Himamaylan, Silay, and Victorias, all in Negros Occidental, and the provinces of Aklan and Capiz.
Año said he hopes that Bacolod will sustain its efforts in effectively managing the pandemic and lend assistance to other LGUs for additional knowledge and skills in restructuring their own EOCs.*