CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – A Bangsamoro leader said local government leaders should learn from Cagayan de Oro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Zia Adiong, parliament member of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao praised Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno for doing things differently from other LGUs.
Cagayan de Oro has maintained open borders to non-residents and even offering to help neighboring local governments whose Covid-19 cases are on the rise, particularly Iligan City and Misamis Oriental, which are both part of Northern Mindanao.
Moreno, Adiong said, “has proven that there is an effective way to control the spread of the virus without putting his city into lockdown or preventing outsiders from coming in. Learn from this guy.”
Cagayan de Oro has tallied 59 active cases as of August 18, based on data of endcov.ph.
The BARMM lawmaker noted that while Moreno’s counterparts from neighboring cities are imitating a “’Dirty Harry’ approach because they thought it’s appealing to the people and thus expecting public applause, Mayor Oca stands out from the rest.”
Adiong added that Moreno has shown other local government chiefs that “in this pandemic what we need is a leader who makes executive decisions based on consultative inputs, number and facts and not on arbitrary orders based on impulses and fear.”
He said other LGU leaders could implement some of the measures being adopted by Cagayan de Oro, to “balance life and livelihood, health and economic security” of their people and to “secure them from potential infection and from threat of losing source of income.”
“That’s what I saw in Mayor Oca’s management approach since the outbreak of Covid-19,” Adiong said.
Adiong cited the initiatives taken by the city government such as the targeted lockdown on villages with local cases of transmission, strictly imposing the minimum public health standards, and not shutting down of essential services and public transport of goods and others.
He said Moreno was also the first local government leader to impose the barangay exit pass to manage local residents from going outside of their homes except only for making purchases of essential items.
Adiong also noted the city government’s decision to strictly monitor business establishments to comply with the recommended 50 percent capacity accommodation, especially on restaurants and other commercial establishments.
During the daily press Covid-19 briefing on Monday, August 17, Moreno said that while public health is paramount, he also emphasized that the economy must also be kept afloat and must not be disregarded “using public health as a reason.”
“We realize that the more openings you made, the more risks you take. The most effective is lockdown, but what will happen to our economy? Can we survive? We have to design ways. That’s why the minimum public health standards is fundamental,” Moreno said.
The mayor noted that if these non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as wearing of face mask and face shield, washing of hands, social distancing, and disinfection, are not being implemented, “You are bound to take some hit.”
Since the country has been put on a state of public health emergency in March, Moreno has been consistent in not putting the city on a lockdown and even allowing people from other parts of the region and Mindanao to pass through or enter Cagayan de Oro. (davaotoday.com)