THE BREADWINNER | Mario F. Fetalino Jr.
Fifteen Local Isolation and General Treatment Areas for COVID-19 cases centers of selected local government units and jail facilities under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology recently got financial support from the Government Insurance Service System.
The help, which is part of the state pension fund’s corporate social responsibility, came after it signed individual memorandum of agreement (MOA) with each of the LGUs and BJMP in a combination of virtual and onsite event at the Coconut Palace in Pasay City last December 4.
“The Adopt-A-LIGTAS COVID center program is another contribution of GSIS in the fight against the destructive COVID-19 virus. We wholeheartedly support the national government’s response to the pandemic,” said GSIS Chairman and former Supreme Court Justice Lucas Bersamin who attended the event virtually.
The state pension fund’s financial assistance will help the LGUs and BJMP to purchase the centers’ resource requirements such as patient care equipment, hygiene kits, handwashing facilities, oxygen support and maintenance, medication, and other requirements.
Each LGU and BJMP facility received Php500,000 from GSIS for their respective LIGTAS COVID centers.
“Ito pong “Adopt-a-COVID Center” project ang tugon namin sa panawagan ni Presidente Duterte na mag tulong-tulong tayong labanan ang COVID,” said GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet.
Macasaet was referring to Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Proclamation 922, and RA 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, enjoining government offices to provide assistance to lessen the COVID-19’s adverse impact.
The LIGTAS COVID centers adopted by GSIS are the following: Old Pagamutang Bayan in Malabon; Las Piñas City COVID Center; Pateros Evacuation Center; Manila Infectious Diseases Control in Sta. Ana, Manila; Kanlungan COVID Center in Susano Road, Caloocan; Eastern Manila Hotel and Conference Center and Antipolo Institute of Technology in Antipolo City; Victoria Quarantine Center and San Jose Municipal Gymnasium Quarantine Facility in Tarlac; Sta. Teresita Community Isolation Center in Cagayan; El Salvador City Isolation Unit and Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Misamis Oriental; Zamboanga City Jail; New Quezon City Jail in Payatas; and New San Fernando City Jail in Pampanga.
The centers were selected based on Executive Order 112 which imposed community quarantine in high-risk geographic areas. GSIS, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health, also ensured wider geographical coverage in the identification of recipients.
“Today’s MOA signing is a testament that the government is working more closely than ever in the whole-of-nation approach to improve the fight against COVID-19. Makakasiguro po kayong ang donation or contribution to each LIGTAS COVID Center will go a long way in beefing up the much needed medical supplies, isolation facilities, PPEs, and other needs of the Centers,” said DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.
GSIS Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and Strategic Advisory Teodoro Banaag signed the MOA for the pension fund while BJMP Chief Alan Iral signed for the three jail facilities. Both were present onsite during the event.
The other signatories who were virtually present were the following local government executives: Rizal Governor Rebecca Ynares; Antipolo Mayor Andrea Ynares; Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III; Victoria, Tarlac Mayor Christian Tell Yap; Sta. Teresita, Cagayan Mayor Rodrigo de Gracia; and El Salvador, Misamis Oriental Mayor Edgar Lignes.
The rest of the LGUs were represented by their city administrators.
Strenghtening cooperation between government agencies to improve national response against the pandemic is key to faster recovery from the crisis.
This is bayanihan at its best!
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