BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Bacolod Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia is requesting the Chief Implementor of the Philippines’ Declared National Policy Against COVID-19 to intercede for the city with the Department of Education for the continued use of public schools as quarantine centers.
In his August 5 letter to Chief lmplementor Carlito Galvez Jr., Leonardia stressed the need for suitable sanctuary for residents who should be quarantined.
He cited the harsh effects of the COVID-19 saying that it “bled both our economy and our hearts.”
Leonardia said the city needs the schools as quarantine facilities for its locally stranded individuals (LSIs), Balik Probinsya residents, returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), and COVID-19 positive patients who are asymptomatic.
“Our aim is to make our people safe and calm in these schools which serve as their temporary home while we insulate our whole community from any possible contamination which could emanate from any of these quarantined returnees,” he said.
He added that the city spent millions for the repairs and improvement of the schools and while the city government is aware that classes may reopen on August 24, they are aware too that classroom face-to-face instruction is proscribed in the meantime to keep students and teachers safe from the virus.
“The continuous use of these schools as quarantine centers will in no way hamper the education of our children nor the professional development of our teachers. If not used, however, these schools will only deteriorate,” Leonardia said.
“We therefore earnestly entreat your honor to intercede for us with the DepEd in our quest to continually use these public schools as quarantine centers for as long as necessary during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Otherwise, we might only plunge our city headlong into unimaginable risk. And that may not spare our schools and the children for whom they exist to teach, ” he added.*