TWENTY-FOUR barangays in Cebu City will receive P100,000 each from the City Government for recording zero coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases for 60 straight days, or from Nov. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31.
They are Barangays Adlaon, Agsungot, Babag, Binaliw, Bonbon, Buot, Guba, Kalubihan, Kamagayan, Lorega-San Miguel, Lusaran, Malubog, Parian, Paril, Pung-ol Sibugay, San Antonio, Sinsin, Sirao, Sudlon I, Sudlon II, Tabunan, Tagba-o, Taptap and Tinago.
The money will be taken from the budget for city-sponsored activities.
Mayor Edgardo Labella said the City Treasurer’s Office will be processing the incentive, which was offered in October to motivate barangays to achieve zero Covid-19 transmission.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who was appointed as overseer of Cebu City’s Covid-19 response, had challenged city officials to flatten the curve by achieving zero cases during a visit that same month.
However, City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said the barangays on the list do not necessarily mean they are “Covid-19-free.”
“I have to clarify this. I am not saying that these barangays are Covid-free. No, it’s not. There is no reported transmission lang kay wa man ta nag-mass testing (because we did not conduct mass testing in these areas),” Garganera said.
He also pointed out that the number of barangays that reported no Covid-19 cases in the past 14 days dropped from 59 to 46 between Dec. 14 and Jan. 3, 2021, which leaves 34 of the city’s 80 barangays with active cases.
Garganera said the city has been logging double digits in new cases for the past six days.
For the first three days of January alone, the city averaged 17 Covid-19 cases daily, he said.
Despite this new development, Garganera said the EOC is on top of the situation, adding they have been expecting this due to the movement of people last December in view of the Christmas holiday and Misa de Gallo.
“Medyo taas gyud (The number of cases is somewhat high), but we are very confident we can contain this,” he said.
He said only 18 percent of beds reserved for Covid-19 patients in public and private hospitals in the city are occupied.
But this doesn’t mean the public should let down their guard, especially with the threat of a variant of the coronavirus that is reportedly 70 percent more transmissible.
Cebu City has logged a total of 10,863 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 10,050 having already recovered. The death toll remains at 690, leaving the city with 123 active cases.
Meanwhile, Labella clarified that the four barangays that have had no Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in March are Buot, Paril, Tabunan and Tagba-o.
Barangays Taptap and Sudlon 1, which have appeared in previous reports, are not on that list, he said.
The two barangays, though, were on the list provided by the city’s EOC. (JJL)