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BAGUIO CITY – The city legislative body approved a resolution strongly encouraging the city’s 128 barangays to use and disburse the 1 percent of their total annual budget for the programs, projects and activities that will benefit senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) specifically for the procurement and distribution of care kits or anti-Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 kits to the latter in their respective barangays.
The council, in the aforesaid resolution, stated that the senior citizens associations in the different barangays may be required to propose a plan for the procurement of the care kits or anti-COVID kits which may contain face masks, soap for handwashing, Vitamin C supplements to boost their immunity, and instructional materials about proper dis-infection of home, sanitation as well as practical habits and policies that could help prevent the spread of the deadly virus, that may be sought to their specific needs and to be subsequently submitted to the barangay council concerned for their information and consideration.
City legislators highly suggested that the 1-percent of the total annual budget of the barangays shall be proportionately divided among senior citizens and PWDs since the number of senior citizens is usually bigger than the PWDs in the different barangays.
According to the council, senior citizens, elders and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart and lung diseases and diabetes seem to be at high risk for developing more serious complications from COVID illness, thus , a sector that is highly vulnerable to the infection.
The council stipulates that recognizing the role of senior citizens in nation-building and in the community, the resolution is seeking to provide them with programs, projects and designed and aimed for their protection against the highly contagious illness caused by the rapid spread of the virus.
Section 29 of the General Appropriations Act provides the setting aside of government agency budget for programs, projects and activities related to senior citizens and PWDs.
The council asserts it is important for the barangays to have their own programs, projects and activities during this general community quarantine (GCQ) to allow senior citizens and PWDs to cope with the prevailing crisis situation as the said sectors had been identified by the national inter-agency task force on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases as among the vulnerable sectors prone to contracting the deadly virus.
Under the pertinent provisions of the IATF Resolution No. 35, series of 2020, that provides for the omnibus guidelines for the shift to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to GCQ, individuals aged 20 years old below and those 60 years and above, especially those with co-morbidities or underlying medical conditions, are still mandated to stay at home to prevent them from being exposed to contracting the deadly virus that might compromise their health condition.
Earlier, the city government relaxed its guidelines on senior citizens and allowed them to go out on Sundays for their essential needs in the different essential establishments that are open even if the city is on a lockdown mood on the said days. Pursuant to the rules and regulations crafted for the said purpose.
By Dexter A. See