OPAV mulls EOC in all Visayas LGUs
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - October 22, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Citing effectiveness in the fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cebu City, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas is looking at institutionalizing the Emergency Operations Center for all local government units in the Visayas regions.

“We are cascading the concept of EOC to where it is most needed,” said OPAV Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales during the culmination of the Train The Trainer (T3) program in Bacolod City last week.

The EOC in Cebu City was created to strengthen the management of the COVID response.

The EOC strategy calls for the coordinated response against the COVID-19. This is done by consolidating efforts, including contact tracing and testing protocol. It also aims to gather accurate and timely data for a more efficient referral system among LGUs in the Visayas.

With retired Major General Mel Feliciano and Councilor Joel Garganera co-piloting Cebu City’s EOC together with a team of doctors and representatives from other departments, they were able to bring down the number to as low as 200 active cases now from as high as close to four thousand cases in a day.

Interestingly, when Cebu City was already able to flatten the curve of new infections, other areas in the Visayas suddenly have a surge in COVID-19 cases, including that in Bacolod City, that OPAV had to request Feliciano to help them out as well.

OPAV alongside the IATF is extending technical assistance to LGUs in the Visayas to better equip them when it comes to their COVID response measures.

“We are bringing this EOC concept to other provinces in Visayas,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales also urged the T3 participants to be at the forefront of implementing the EOC in their localities.

The participants included provincial health officers, health emergency management and ICS staff, and surveillance officers. They will echo the hands-on training they completed with their respective LGUs.

OPAV Secretary Michael Dino said the adoption of the EOC will help LGUs better align their efforts in addressing the possible surge of COVID-19 cases.

“We are bringing this good practice of having a centralized COVID management system to capacitate our LGUs in their response efforts,” Dino said.

Feliciano also calls for a culture of commitment among those who will be instrumental in the establishment of EOCs in various LGUs.

“Passion, trust and confidence are important factors in the operation of EOC,” Feliciano said. /FPL (FREEMAN)

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