Protect not only yourselves but others as well – Jasaan Mayor
JASAAN, Misamis Oriental (PIA) – “We call on you not only to protect yourselves, but also protect the people you love, your friends, your family,” Mayor Redentor S. Jardin of this town appealed to his constituents in the midst of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan City of Hubei province in China in 2019.
Effect of COVID-19
In an exclusive interview with Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Mayor Jardin disclosed that Jasaan is not different from other municipalities. “It is really sad that we have to go through this,” he said.
‘Before, most people believed that as long as we have strong immune system, it will not affect us in the Philippines and now, the country has reach its tipping point,” the mayor stressed.
To date, the Department of Health (DOH) reported over 4,000 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines with 221 deaths and, so far, has 140 recoveries. Region 10 recorded eight cases with one death with Misamis Oriental as the lone province having zero case among its five provinces.
“It is a very serious matter,” added the mayor. With the sudden increase or spike of COVID-19 cases, he knew it is going to grow faster every day and with no real end in sight. No one can ever tell if Jasaan would remain COVID-19-free, as the disease spreads exponentially the past weeks.
In terms of economic activities, Mayor Jardin said the town is so much affected, both the public and private sector, and he expressed more concern for the daily income earners.
Reponding quick to the needs of time, the municipal government implemented a four-day work schedule. The mayor, however, explained that the employees would receive the same pay. What worries him are those working for the private extablishments because they are at the mercy of their employers.
Moreover, he got elated following the latest announcement of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that it is extending cash assistane for private employees.
Having given access to the calamity fund, the municipality is able to provide food stuff other than rice for his most affected constituents.
Mayor Jardin was a bit worried about the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the economy, saying “the employment condition of the town has been affected by this pandemic, hurting the local economy.”
Mayor Jardin also said COVID-19 crisis has turned the municipality into a “ghost town” after telling the people to stay at home to contain the disease. Several events have been cancelled including the graduation ceremonies in both public and privae schools at all levels. Even the culmination activity of the Women’s Month was also cancelled.
Day care centers were temporarily stopped and several others that would encourage mass gatherings were also called off to ensure that no local transmission of the virus will take place.
“It is better to be in the safe side than to be sorry later. The fight is against an enemy with no body and no face and can be able to live in a body of infected person. “This is more difficult than the martial law years back that we experienced… Itong lahat ay [nakapa]ninibago but this is part of the game (This is more difficult than the martial law years back that we experienced… These all entails changes but this is part of the game),” he said. Everyone should be proactive not only to minimize but to eradicate the spread of the disease.
Call for Utmost Cooperation
“That’s why everybody must cooperate involving the national agencies. With President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order to combat the disease, the municipality of Jasaan including its 15 barangays, issued parallel EOs to support the call aimed at containing the contagion.
During the start of community quarantine, quarantine passes have been distributed to only allow one person per household to go outside to buy their basic commodities. A curfew was implemented. No one is allowed to go anywhere else. Everyone must stay at home. Workers are also required to secure travel pass to control who are coming in and out of the municipality. The municipality should be extra careful since having one infection is already a disaster.
In the early March, Jasaan has recorded more than 30 PUIs and PUMs combined involving teachers, students and their respective parents who attended a national tilt in Cagayan Valley in Northern Luzon.
Checkpoints were set up in different key areas, firstly in Barangay Aplaya – the boundary where Jasaan and municipality of Villanueva meets. He said there are challenges but there are also several positive feedbacks for an effective and efficient implementation. The checkpoint is manned by a composite team of Jasaan Municipal Police and Rural Health Unit personnel who, he said, he commended their efforts.
Regular disinfections are also made weekly specifically in the public markets, municipal hall, schools and churches. People are asked to observe social distancing and disinfect more than necessary.
Mayor Jardin also advised his constituents as well to stay informed because if they are informed, they will not panic. He further told them to stay away from fake news especially from social media. The mayor also discussed with his team on how to strength the information drive to combat fake news especially in this period.
Mayor Jardin’s Message
Faced with a battalion of challenges as a result of COVID-19, Mayor Jardin’s hopes for additional support the national government could provide in combating the disease. He recommended that testing kits be delivered quick in this part of the region including protective gears such as facial masks, and alcohols. As of now, the town has only two thermal scanners catering to over 60,000 populace.
He said the town is doing everything it can to heed the executive order of President Duterte, but more than the local chief executive, vice mayor, councilors, barangay captains, health workers and all the frontliners, they need the support of all, especially the Jasaanons so as to protect the town from this disease. The mayor said, “I want you to follow the orders of your mayor, so that everyone, allJasaanons, could surpass this problem at the soonest time possible. If everyone will cooperate and faithfully follow the guidelines, protocols and procedures laid down through the EO, everybody will be safe. And of course, let us not forget to pray.” (Irene Joy B. Dayo/PIA10)