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ITOGON, Benguet – The municipal government urged various mining companies operating in the municipality to consider possibly re-designing or decongesting their respective bunkhouses to minimize overcrowding of the occupants as a measures to prevent the rapid spread of the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 among miners and the members of their families.
Mayor Victorio Palangdan reported that the previous surge in COVID cases in the municipality causing the inclusion of the municipality as a high risk areas was traced to the bunkhouses occupied by miners and the members of their families which are located within the premises of the operating mining companies, thus, the situation in the said mine facilities has been contributory to the surge in COVID cases in the locality several months ago.
He pointed out that the reason for the rapid spread of COVID cases in the bunkhouses is because of overcrowding coupled with the use of common kitchen, common comfort rooms, among others, which facilitates the transmission of the virus from the infected persons to their close contacts.
Aside from possibly redesigning their bunkhouses, the mayor stipulated that mining companies should also consider decongesting the occupants of the mine facilities to ensure their compliance to the prescribed basic health and safety protocols, especially on the observance of physical distancing to prevent the transmission of the virus.
While it is true that the put up of additional bunkhouses by the mining companies will entail huge investments on their part, Mayor Palangdan asserted that the companies should try to look into possible means of reducing the congestions in the facilities to prevent the recurrence of surges in COVID cases because of the transmission of the virus to people living in the various mining camps.
According to him, most of the recorded |COVID cases in the municipality came from the mining camps of the operating mines that is why members of the municipal inter-agency task force on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases thought of coming out with the suggestion to the mining companies for the possible redesigning or decongestion of their bunkhouses for the health and safety of the occupants, especially the miners and the members of their families.
Palangdan expressed optimism that the management of the Itogon Suyoc Resources, Inc., Philex Mining Corporation and Benguet Corporation will take into consideration the aforesaid suggestion to help the concerned local governments contain the spread of the deadly virus in the municipality because what matters at this point is the health and safety of the residents living inside and outside the mine camps.
He emphasized that the proposal for mining companies to redesign or decongest their bunkhouses should be worth considering for implementation even after the COVID pandemic to help in preventing the spread of illnesses that will compromise the health and safety of the people in the future.