Almost a year after the country was placed in “community quarantine” to combat theCOVID-19pandemic, we could say that Las Pinas City has adapted well to the pandemic and continues to rise-up to the challenge.
Dealing with the pandemic is not easy, but the public officials in the cityjust kept on doing its bestto serve the people.Here are their initiatives:
- COVID-19 testing laboratory
To help in the government’s strategy to ramp-up COVID testing, particularly for the residents of Las Pinas and others in the south of Metro Manila, Sen. Cynthia Villar exerted earnest efforts since March 2020 to make sure that the Las Pinas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGHSTC), the DOH-operated hospital in Brgy. Pulang lupa, will put-up and operate its own COVID testing laboratory. Sen. Villar and her family immediately donated essential RT-PCR testing laboratory equipment to LPGHSTC. In coordination with Sec. Mark Villar, the San Miguel Foundation likewise donated a RT-PCR equipment to the hospital.
While initially the LPGHSTC administration was not able to start with the construction of the laboratory due to some bureaucratic process, this was forthwith resolved when Sen. Villar decided to donate also the construction works to finish the testing laboratory according to the DOH and WHO-approved standards. The LPGHSTC COVID Testing Laboratory was finally opened in August 2020 and at present, it has the capacity to up to one hundred fifty (150) COVID test samples per day.
- Efficient Contact tracing in Las Pinas City
From its first case of COVID in March 2020 and up to now, Las Pinas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar made it possible for the surveillance team of the city governmentby continuously conduct its meticulous contact tracing operation. Suspected COVID-infected individualsare being thoroughly located and monitored. All businesses establishments were mandated to require people, entering their premises, to fill-out contact-tracing forms, in writing orthru an online app.
- Lodging facility to accommodate frontline workers
In March 2020, one of the buildings that was donated by the Villar Family for the Las Pinas Drug Abuse and Treatment Rehabilitation Center (LPDATRC) in Brgy.Daniel Fajardo was converted to a lodging facilityforthe LPGHST frontline workers in nearby Brgy.Pulanglupa1. This spared the frontliners from the rigors oftravelling during the pandemic, and due to its proximity, it has allowed them to get sufficienthours of rest despite their hectic schedule.
- Provision of PPEs and food for healthcare frontline workers
The healthcare frontline workers were provided with PPEs and food supply.
Sen Cynthia and Congw Camille Villar donated PPEs and hygiene supplies for the LPGHSTC frontliners. Also, while the ECQ was in effect, they likewise sent food packs for all the LPGHSTC healthcare workers on a daily basis.
The city government of Las Pinas provided PPEs and food supply to the city healthcarefrontliners.
- Provision of PPEs and food to all the barangays
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Senator Cynthia Villar, Congw. Camille Villar and Mayor Imelda Aguilar provided PPEs, food supply and hand washing stations to all the barangays of Las Pinas City during ECQ.
- Las Pinas Community Quarantine Centers
To cater to confirmed, suspect and probable mild COVID-19 cases, the City Government of Las Pinas currently operates the following two (2) community quarantine centers, namely: (1)the LIGTAS-1 Center located at the 2Villar Family-donated buildings at the LPDATC Compound in Brgy. Daniel Fajardo, which has the capacity to accommodate up to one hundred (100) COVID patients; and (2) theLIGTAS-3 Center in Brgy. Almanza 2, which was constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) led by Sec. Mark Villar. This may accommodate up to eighty five (85) COVID patients. The accommodation, food and water, essential medicines, and the proficient monitoring by health professionals are provided for free in these LIGTAS Centers by the city government.
- Procurement of Astra Zeneca and Novovax Vaccines
Las Pinas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar has entered into two (2) agreements for the procurement of COVID vaccines that are expected to arrive in July 2021 – first, with AstraZeneca for 300,000 doses of vaccines; and second, with Novavax for 200,000doses of vaccines. The city government has likewise engaged the services of Zuellig Pharma to provide the necessary logistical support, which include storage, transportation and delivery systemtoprotectthe integrity and quality of the vaccines.
Las Pinas City is also entitled to get its share ofvaccinesfrom theNational COVID-19 Vaccination Program, including those from the COVAX Facility (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Initiative promoting equitable access to vaccines led by WHO, among other), tofill-in the gapand complete the vaccination of the city’s target population.
It is also worth mentioning that some private companies in Las Pinas, led by All Home of the Villar Family, will also procure enough volume of vaccines, allowing them to donate 50% to the national government and 50%to cover their employees.
Given the foregoing, there is assurance that there will be more than enough vaccines to coverall Las Pineros, aged 18 years and above.
- Placing signages on health and safety protocols at strategic places
SIignages on the basic health and safety protocols were put-up in strategic places all over the city, through the efforts of Sen. Cynthia and Las Pinas Congw. Camille Villar, to serve as constant reminder for the people.
- LPGHSTC’ supgrade and increase in its the bed capacity from 200 to 500 beds
Through the sponsorship of Congw. Camille Villar and Sen. Cynthia Villar, RA No. 11497 mandating the increase in LPGHSTC’s bed capacity, from 200 to 500 beds, was enacted into law in November 2020. The budget component for the purchase of land and construction of a multi-story hospital building were allocated in the General Appropriations Act (GAA), through the initiative of Sen. Villar – P144 Million in 2020 and P500 Million in 2021. The increase in the bed capacityof LPGHSTC is envisioned to better equip the hospital inprovidingthe necessary healthcare servicesand facilities, including provision of ample isolated ICU rooms, particularly when there are outbreaks of COVID-19 or other similar infectious diseases, which may occur in the future.
Those are just some of the COVID response initiatives of our public officials in Las Pinas City, who are constantly working in order to combat the pandemic, including the anticipated delivery of a successful vaccination program in Las Pinas, where no one will be left behind.
More than ever, we wish for the good health and safety of everyone.