BONTOC, Mountain Province – This capital town is a grateful recipient of test kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed from the National Interagency Task Force (IATF) in the fight against Coronavirus disease -2019 (Covid-19).
Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey wrote a letter to Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., who is also the Chief Implementer of the National IATF on Covid -19 on May 11, 2020, asking assistance for the possible provision of 1,000 pieces of Covid-19 test kits and 500 sets of PPEs for Bontoc.
In response to the letter of Mayor Odsey, the National IATF provided 1,000 pieces of Rapid Test Kits, 500 pieces of PPE Suit, 500 pieces of Medical Overboot (Shoe cover), 500 pieces of medical goggles, 500 pieces N95 mask, 1,000 pieces medical gloves, 500 pieces surgical mask, 500 pieces of Protective Gown (Surgical Gown), and 500 pieces of Head Cover.
Odsey is grateful to the National IATF for responding promptly to the request of Bontoc, adding that the donations came in timely. He likewise thanked the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) for facilitating the release of the Rapid Test Kits and PPEs and Lt. Col. Clifford Basco of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who is also the OpCen Action Officer of Covid -19 NTF for his assistance on the request of the Bontoc LGU to the National IATF.
The mayor added that the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) shall prioritize the frontliners and the suspected case or Person under Investigation (PUIs) to undergo the Covid-19 test.
The mayor mentioned that the Bontoc LGU recognizes the important use of Covid-19 test kits and PPEs as precautionary and preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19.
Odsey relayed that since the placement of the entire Luzon to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on March 16, 2020, the Bontoc LGU has been persistent in contacting suppliers even in the National Capital Region (NCR) for the procurement of Covid-19 test kits and PPEs. However, even the suppliers are experiencing difficulty in looking for the source of test kits and PPEs.
With the shifting of Mountain Province and other places to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the movement of persons for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate also added to the numbers of individuals from other places coming to the municipality.
Bontoc is the capital town of Mountain Province is where most transactions take place and where the largest number of population is found considering that it is the seat of the municipal and provincial governments, national government agency-provincial offices; and the center of commerce, trade, and education.
Also, the possible influx of individuals from Bontoc, Mountain Province who are either stranded or residing outside Mountain Province who may wish to come home is expected. Also, with the Oplan Suma-ar Program of Bontoc, at least 83 Bontoc residents stranded in Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet came home to Bontoc with the transportation assistance provided by the Bontoc LGU on May 13, 2020.
Thus, Mayor Odsey reiterated that Rapid Test Kits and PPEs provided by the National IATF is timely to be used by the frontliners who will be checking on the repatriates who are undergoing the 14-day quarantine and the next batches of repatriates.
By Alpine L. Killa