SANTA CRUZ, Laguna – The step of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) tasking Cabinet members to oversee the implementation and compliance of LGUs with the National Action Plan against COVID-19 is significantly bearing results, especially in Laguna.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, who is also the COVID-19 response “Big Brother” for Laguna, lauded the local governments as the province is finally showing significant decline in number of cases and is no longer on the roster of areas considered as hotspots.
According to Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez, even with the various interventions provided by the national government, the LGUs were given their independence on managing the situation in their area.
He discussed that the designation of COVID-19 response “Big Brother” ensured that response efforts among LGUs are sustained through constantly reminding public stakeholders of their duties to help quell the virus while providing assistance to affected families.
“Importante talaga na ‘yung mga leaders, mga mayors natin ay binibigyan natin sila ng motivation na nakikita nila na ang effort nila hindi lang nakikita ng kanilang mga nasasakupan, nakikita din ng national government [It is really important that we give our leaders, our mayors motivation. They see that their effort is not only seen by their constituents, but also by the national government],” he said noting that the LGUs are the frontliners in the fight against the pandemic.
Governor Hernandez attributed the intensified partnership and coordination as key factors in containing the infection and the high recovery rate of patients.
“Maganda talaga yan. Ang ginawa ng national government bumaba sila at hindi lang basta bumaba, sila’y naging hands-on sa local government [That’s really good. The national government is very hands-on and helps the local government],” he said.
“Dati kasi ‘pag sinabi mong Secretary, ‘pag sinabi mong head ng ganyang ahensya ng pamahalaan, parang minsan mo lang siyang nakakaharap. Pero nitong pandemic, kahalubilo na lang siya ng ordinaryong tao, ng grassroots [Before, we seldom meet a secretary or head of an agency. But during this pandemic, we can see them mingling with ordinary people, the grassroots]” he added.
Laguna has large industrial zones, with around 2,400 companies, which was one of the biggest contributors of economic activity in the province and was greatly affected by the virus.
Governor Hernandez was pleased to report that some companies hit by COVID-19 became model companies in implementing the health and safety protocols.
Government assures on track economic recovery from COVID-19
With the declining number of new COVID-19 cases in Laguna, Secretary Andanar expressed confidence that the recovery efforts of the government remains on track.
He emphasized that the partnership with local government units (LGUs) and private stakeholders remains a priority in implementing response efforts against adverse impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and other disasters coming in the country.
“Prayoridad pa rin natin ang patuloy na pakikipag-ugnayan kay Governor Hernandez, at sa mga local government units ng Laguna dahil mahalaga ang papel na ginagampanan ng buong lalawigan sa muling pagbubukas ng ating ekonomiya at pagbangon sa mga kalamidad [Our priority is still to maintain coordination with Governor Hernandez and all local government units in Laguna since they have an important role on our efforts to restart our economy and recover from calamities],” he said during another leg of the Pagdalaw sa Laguna: “Explain, Explain, Explain” conference here on Thursday.
He reiterated that PCOO and its attached agencies will continue to work and fulfill its mandate of keeping the public informed.
“Patuloy din ang ating pagtugon sa pagtulong at pagresponde sa mga naapektuhan ng Bagyong “Quinta” at “Rolly” kamakailan dito sa probinsya ng Laguna [We continue to respond and provide assistance for those affected by Typhoon “Quinta” and “Rolly” here in Laguna province],” he said.
“Sinusuportahan namin ang pagsugpo sa ‘infodemic’ o ang paglaganap ng mga maling impormasyon sa social media tungkol sa COVID-19 at sa pagtugon ng gobyerno sa pandemyang ito [We support the fight against ‘infodemic’ or the spread of misinformation on social media about COVID-19 and the government’s response to this pandemic],” he added.