BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Metro 3rd Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the nerve center of the 3rd district in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, will be operational starting Monday, its action officer, Mary Ann Dino, said yesterday.
The EOC aims to integrate resources and support structures of Victorias City, EB Magalona, the cities of Silay and Talisay, as well as Murcia, in the fight against the pandemic through 24/7 operations.
Key personnel and staff of the center, located at the EB Magalona public plaza covered court, were blessed yesterday with Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Stephen Paduano and Board Member Juvy Pepello, chairperson of the provincial Liga ng Barangay, present.
Paduano said the creation and activation of EOC is part of the whole process that Inter-Agency Task Force wants to implement in Visayas, especially in regions and provinces, with high COVID-19 positive cases.
While they want to encourage the provincial government to spearhead it, Paduano said they cannot wait for it because of the proximity of the 3rd district local government units to Bacolod City.
As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Bacolod, it is also increasing in the 3rd district, citing cases in Talisay and Silay cities, as well as in Murcia, and Bago City in the fourth district.
“For us to contain the spread of the virus, we have to do double time in our effort to fight the COVID-19, by intensifying our contact tracing efforts, swabbing, testing, isolation and treatment,” Paduano said.
“With the creation of the EOC, we are augmenting and capacitating the five LGUs in the district in the fight against the spread of the virus,” he added.
The Metro 3rd EOC will have its quick response team for emergency cases, contact tracers, swabbers and data encoders to supplement the capacity of local government units, and medical referral system through a tele-medicine system.
Paduano said he, Rep. Francisco Benitez and provincial consultant Alfredo Benitez will provide operational expenses and allowances for the EOC staff, with the support of the five local government units.
The mass testing in the 3rd district already started in cities of Silay and Talisay, with the help also of Rep. Benitez and the provincial government of Negros Occidental.
Benitez has requested 18,000 COVID 19 testing kits from the Department of Health, on top of the 10,000 already availed of by the molecular laboratories of the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, and Corazon Locsin Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City, Paduano said,*