LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay municipal governments vehemently denied malicious insinuations that the said localities rejected the proposal of the State-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for the conduct of mass testing in their areas of jurisdiction to ascertain the percentage of the population infected with the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and identify the potential vulnerable sectors to contain the spread of the virus.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated that it is unfair for some respected leaders in the community to come out with conclusions that LISTT officials do not want the conduct of mass testing among their constituency without validating the same because it is turning out that they are relying on hearsays that might affect the credibility of their decision-making.
He disclosed that like his fellow local chief executives, they coordinated with the BCDA to follow-up the proposed conduct of mass testing in their respective areas of jurisdiction but the corporation did not provide them with a definite schedule because they are already pre-occupied with mass testing activities in other areas around the country that have reported sudden surges in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
“We understand that the BCDA does not only cater to the mass testing requirements of specific local governments because of their coverage that is why we do not insist on our desired schedules unlike what is being done by some local officials,” Mayor Salda stressed.
The municipal chief executive pointed out that all local officials are concerned over the welfare of their constituents that is why putting the blame on LISTT communities as the reason for the increase in COVID cases of nearby areas is unfair and without concrete basis.
According to him, LISTT officials are doing their best to convince their constituents to avail of the mas testing to be scheduled by the BCDA soon because they do not want to ram such decisions on the throat of the people but to convince more people to avail of the testing in a more democratic way.
The mayor admitted that one of the problems being encountered by health workers in their effort to convince people to avail of the free mass testing is the religious group where some of the residents belong as the same does not believe on the existence of the deadly virus as it has not been explicitly stated in the Bible.
Salda reported that the LISTT local governments are simply waiting for the advisory from the BCDA on the definite schedule of the mass testing in their respective areas of jurisdiction so that they can make the necessary announcement to convince more people to avail of the free vaccines.
The mayor asserted that LISTT officials never attempted to reject offers to conduct mass testing in their places because they considered the realities on the ground so that the efforts of the BCDA and the members of the teams organized for the mas testing will not be wasted and to maximize the benefits of mass testing for the members of the vulnerable sectors that are infected and should undergo isolation to prevent the spread of the virus in their places. By HENT