LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government reiterated that the conduct of mass testing among members of high-risk sectors in the municipality had been moved to April to pave the way for the implementation of the programmed vaccination of frontliners that had been identified by the health department, contrary to claims that it reportedly rejected the same.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated it is unfortunate that some local officials are losing their credibility for constantly issuing sweeping pronouncements that the municipal government does not want the conduct of mass testing even without validating the same with the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the premier government agency in charge of the scheduling of mass testing in the different local governments around the country and not just the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) area.
He disclosed that in the case of La Trinidad, the mass testing was originally scheduled during the time that the implementation of the vaccination of health workers was to be done in the municipality so the municipal health officer and the assigned BCDA personnel agreed that the same be moved to April to prevent possible conflicts in the schedule of the health workers and to avoid possible stress among the frontliners.
The municipal chief executive added that the targeted sectors for the April mass testing will include market vendors, porters, disposers, truckers, packers and vendors in the vegetable trading centers and 10 percent of the employees of all establishments operating in the municipality.
Mayor Salda urged that, as early as possible, owners of the different establishments submit the list of the 10 percent of their workers who will be undergoing the required swab test to ensure the smooth implementation of the mass testing and to maximize the 1,500 test kits that will be provided by BCDA to the municipality for the activity.
According to him, the sweeping accusations against LISTT officials that they have been refusing the conduct of mass testing in their areas of jurisdiction had been repeated over the past several months which is patently intended to ruin the image of the concerned municipal officials to cover the increasing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in their places.
He reported that the mass testing in the BLISTT had been agreed upon during the recent meeting of the concerned local executives so he is wondering why there are some local officials who are making such premature pronouncements without understanding the prevailing situation in their area and other related matters which they are fully aware of.
Salda challenged his fellow officials to exercise due diligence by getting first-hand information on the present situation in their areas of jurisdiction to appreciate the facts before coming out with public statements that tend to malign their counterparts in nearby areas and put into practice the real purpose of the BLISTT which is to enhance the camaraderie among officials of the surrounding communities. By HENT