TWO village officials in Cebu City believe that not all barangays can implement a village-wide quarantine if the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) affects the populace.
Franklyn Ong, Barangay Kasambagan chief and current president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in Cebu City, said not all villages have similar situations.
Ong made the reaction following the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte that villages can impose barangay-wide quarantine when there are at least two confirmed Covid-19 cases living in the area.
He said it is easier for mountain barangays to impose the President’s directive because they deal with fewer people compared to those living in highly urbanized villages.
Ong said another challenge for the barangays, especially big ones, is monitoring the movements of their residents, especially if community transmission would occur in the area.
Barangay Inayawan chief Kirk Bryan Repollo also shared Ong’s opinion.
Repollo admitted that his barangay lacks the necessary facilities, equipment and resources to address the needs in case a lockdown will be imposed.
“Our barangay has an estimated 33,000 population, and we have more or less seven entry and exit points by car and even more entry and exit points by foot. Thus, we cannot ensure that during the lockdown, everybody will be in their houses or just within barangay premises,” Repollo told SunStar Cebu.
As part of the City’s measures against Covid-19, barangay tanods are now being trained on responding if the situation will get worse, said Ong.
Ong also said almost all barangays in the city have already formed their Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) that serves as the first line of defense against the spread of the disease.
The BHERT is composed of an executive officer, a barangay tanod, and two barangay health workers, one of whom should be a nurse or a midwife.
He encouraged the other barangays to continue taking precautionary measures and use the equipment distributed by the City like the digital thermal scanner to check on their constituents.
Separately, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said the City will provide the resources available to help the barangays.
“In these trying times, we need to unite and help each other,” said Labella. / JJL