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MANKAYAN, Benguet – The municipal government expressed its gratitude to the local officials of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur for recently opening its borders that will allow the smooth entry of food supply and aggregates for the residents of the municipality.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong stated that residents in the different barangays who rely on the food supply and aggregates coming from nearby Cervantes town had a sigh of relief after municipal officials decided to relax its borders for people wanting to purchase food supply and get sand and gravel from the lowland municipality.
Earlier, Cervantes officials ordered the closure of its borders to people coming from Mankayan after the first confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID) 20129 case in the municipality was reported early last month.
“We are grateful to our counterparts in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur for opening the town’s borders for our constituents procuring food supply and getting their supply of aggregates in the lowland municipality. We understand their previous decision to close their borders after the discovery of our first COVID-19 case because the virus is really vicious and unseen that is why what is needed for everyone is to be extra careful when leaving their homes and going out for certain essential errands,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
The local chief executive admitted that residents who usually purchase their food and aggregate supplies from Cervantes had a difficult time getting their aforesaid supplies from Buguias and even as far as La Trinidad for over a month that the Cervantes borders were closed.
According to him, what is important is that the town’s first COVID case was able to immediately recover from the deadly virus after being provided with the appropriate medical attention by personnel of the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) and was already able to report to his work station in Atayan, Balili barangay as a job order health worker.
He stated that municipal officials and residents understand the primary reason of Cervantes officials in closing their borders to Mankayan residents who usually purchase their food and aggregate supplies from the lowland town because they value the health and safety of their constituents aside from the fact that they want to maintain the town’s status as COVID-free to date.
Cervantes is the source of Mankayan’s rice supply that is being procured by businessmen while contractors and residents also get their supply of aggregates from the jurisdiction of the lowland municipality because of its proximity to the upland town.
Mayor Ayong is also optimistic that Bauko, Mountain province will also start opening its borders with Mankayan soonest to allow the uninterrupted transport of goods inside and outside the municipality because of the importance of ensuring the stability of food supply in both areas pursuant to existing guidelines governing the implementation of the prevailing community quarantine in the different areas of the country pursuant to directives from the national inter-agency task force on the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
Mankayan is situated in Benguet that was downgraded to be under general community quarantine while Cervantes, Ilocos Sur and Bauko, Mountain Province are both within provinces that had been declared under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) from July 1-30, 2020.
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