RIATF to evaluate data, Ang says

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BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

Bacolod City Administrator Em Ang yesterday said she was tasked to submit the required data to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) so the recommendation of the Bacolod medical community to place Bacolod under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) again due the rising cases of COVID-19 can be properly evaluated.

In a letter sent to Mayor Evelio Leonardia on July 20, Canlaon Medical Society president Dr. Ma. Ivy Malata and Negros Occidental Medical Society president Dr. Robert Puerta expressed their alarm on the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in Bacolod and Negros Occidental due to local transmissions.

They recommended that Bacolod be placed under ECQ for at least two weeks again to limit the movement of people to contain the virus and prevent its spread to a level of high community transmission.

Ang said she will submit her report, which will include the number of COVID-19 cases in Bacolod and other parameters, to the RIATF today.

“According to the DILG, there are parameters that have to be considered before declaring a local government under ECQ status. The NIATF wants to balance our health concerns with our economy so the request for ECQ will depend on the evaluation of the NIATF,” Ang said.

However, she said the business sector is against placing Bacolod under ECQ status again because of its effect on the economy.

The appeal of the medical community was discussed yesterday by Leonardia and other city officials in a virtual meeting with DOH regional director Dr. Marlyn Convocar.

Joining the dialog were Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Office of the Civil Defense regional director Jose Roberto Nuñez, Department of the Interior and Local Government regional director Juan Jovian Ingeniero, among others.

During the virtual meeting, Nuñez discussed the data requirements that an LGU must submit to the National IATF Screening and Validation Committee for it to fast-track the decision-making on the LGU’s requested classification of community quarantine.

Nuñez explained that once the required data is submitted, the regional IATF will assess and recommend to the National IATF the prospective quarantine status for any LGU.

At its level, Bacolod has no more authority to independently declare its own quarantine status.*

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