MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government strongly discouraged residents of the town’s twelve barangays from unnecessarily travelling to the capital town of La Trinidad and Baguio City following the sudden surge in the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the said areas.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong said that the municipal government was constrained to become stricter in the issuance of travel permits to residents going out of the municipality for essential needs and he is personally evaluating and assessing the requests for issuance of travel permits.
He called on residents to understand why the local government is limiting the issuance of travel permits to residents going out of the municipality for essential travels only because the municipal officials do not want them to contract the deadly virus and eventually transmit the same to their family members, relatives and friends.
Earlier, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Baguio and La Trinidad over the weekend caused alarm and panic among the different local officials in the neighboring towns.
“We need to tighten our border controls and remain strict on the issuance of travel permits only to those with essential travels. We hope our constituents will understand why we have embraced stricter rules and regulations,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
Mankayan recorded a single COVID-19 case early last month and who recovered from the deadly virus after being confined at the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH).
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According to him, the municipal government already limited the travel permits being issued to residents where non-essential travels that could be postponed to a later date will not be granted until such time that the situation in La Trinidad and Baguio City will improve.
Mayor Ayong stated the virus is just lingering around the corner and waiting for the time that people will relax their guard and subsequently infect them and this will compromise their health condition and affect the health and safety of the people in their communities.
The municipal mayor said that the municipal government cares for the health and safety of the people thus it is enforcing the community quarantine to the fullest without fear or favor because local officials do not want a surge in COVID-19 cases in the municipality that will burden the existing isolation and quarantine facilities in the different barangays.
Ayong pointed out that the municipal government is strictly enforcing the health and safety protocols approved by the municipal, provincial, regional and national inter-agency task forces for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and that the locality does not merely come out with issuances without any basis.
He emphasized many of the residents are cooperating with the established protocols but there are still a number of individuals who continue to try their luck into seeking the issuance of travel permits even if their proposed travel will not qualify under the essential travel based on exiting guidelines crafted for the said purpose.
Mankayan is both an agriculture and mining town that where its upland barangays are the vegetable-producing ones while the lower barangays are the mineral-rich areas in the municipality.
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