BONTOC – A study that aims to look into public safety concerns in Mountain Province amidst the COVID-19 paved a collaboration between the Provincial Government and the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC).
The collaboration for the research was sealed through a Memorandum of Agreement that was signed by Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and MPSPC President Rexton F. Chakas on September 23, 2020.
The study will be used for policy formulation; specifically, it seeks to determine the arising problems in Mountain Province that affect public safety along education; work and employment; community health; tourism and business-related activities; food security and supply; and law and order. It also seeks to identify the good practices employed by the Provincial Government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and propose policies addressing the COVID-19 related problems.
With the title, “Public Safety Concerns in Mountain Province Amidst COVID-19: Reference for Policy Formulation,” the research was funded by the Provincial Government thru its Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO). The research team is composed of MPSPC’s Dr. Rexton F. Chakas, Dr. Claire Kaplaan P. Lafadchan, Dr. Annie Grail F. Ekid, Dr. Willow F. Pangket, Parline Angyap T. Ullalim, Flemington M. Comicho and Annie Lourie Y. Paredes.
According to the governor, the study will help the Local Government Units (LGUs) and the province as whole in adjusting to the current situation.
As of September 6, 2020, the COVID-19 situation in Mountain Province shows that there were 14 recorded cases with four admissions, 16 recoveries and no deaths. According to the background of the study, the figure means that the LGUs and the local Interagency Task Force has been so far successful in curbing the dreaded virus. How the LGUs and the Provincial Government responded to the crisis is a good evidence of a proactive management; nonetheless, the local economy of Mountain Province took a subdued downward trend.
Since it is the concern of the Provincial Government and other local LGUs to delve into inquiries and know more about the persisting difficulties in the community during the crisis on COVID-19, it needs an empirical data to support its decisions and to craft the sound plan to improve services and to formulate other initiatives to address the emerging problem.
Moreover, it is also in the vision of the PDRRMO to provide vibrant sustainable development through proper and effective mechanisms for disaster preparedness, mitigation and response that saves lives, properties and livelihood.
The context of the research also acknowledges that there is a dearth of studies conducted on LGU initiative to mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 and studies on the public safety concerns on the local front have yet to be conducted, although policies are being proposed to prevent the spread of a virus in a general measure.
Likewise, the study also states that “while there are certain political and economic limitations in formulating an appropriate policy, there are equally some policy areas in which it has the strength to develop and implement a strategic policy based on its capacity; thus, the study is timely.” By Erwin S. Batnag