ADDRESSING GAPS: To ensure a more thorough response to the COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Dong called for a meeting with the City Health Office (CHO), the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), Office of the City Agriculturist (AGRI), and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO). He wanted to ensure that the City is doing its best in terms of testing, treatment, and contact tracing.

City Health Officer Dr. Arman Carrera and CDRRM Officer Ms. Julie Ann Hipona identified the low compliance with social distancing and mask-wearing protocols, the influx of travel violators, and lags in contact tracing as setbacks to the City’s COVID-19 response.

In order to encourage citizens to abide by the health protocols in place, Mayor Dong suggested a stronger information campaign to educate the people of the still-present risk of contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, to prevent tourists from crossing our borders unchecked, Mayor Dong and City Administrator Gary Fantastico will look into the deployment of additional manpower to man our borders and the sanctioning of establishments which accommodated tourists from outside Region 1 and Baguio City.

Lastly, to expedite the contact tracing process, Mayor Dong and Mr. Fantastico urged the CHO and CDRRMO to tap into the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) to inform families of confirmed COVID-19 cases to conduct home quarantine. They also called for the continued training of the BHERTs in order to ensure the strict enforcement of protocols.

Given these setbacks in the COVID-19 response, Mayor Dong challenged the CHO and CDRRMO alongside AGRI and CSWDO to implement the proposed solutions to prevent the virus from spreading and upending more lives in the People’s City of San Fernando.