Magsaysay LGU hopes to finish relocation sites for quake victims
DAVAO CITY, May 15, (PIA) – Mayor Arthur Davin of Magsaysay town in Davao del Sur province, is hoping that the construction of two relocation sites for the earthquake evacuees will be done the soonest while facing a fight against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
Davin said that if not for the entry of COVID-19 in the region, the relocation sites would have been completed to accommodate families from Barangays Balnate and Upper Bala, who have been displaced by the series of earthquake that severely hit the municipality last year.
The LGU has strengthened its monitoring system and border control since the onset of the community quarantine due to COVID-19, taking into consideration the situation in the evacuation centers.
The town is the most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection because of the situation in evacuation centers where physical distancing is a challenge, Davin lamented during the virtual presser of PIA Davao del Sur on Thursday (May 14).
As of now, he bared that there are more than 1,300 families who have remained in 13 evacuation centers in the municipality since the strong earthquake struck in October 2019.
With the situation, Davin said that the LGU has made efforts on the strict implementation of borders control and it has intensified monitoring individuals arriving in the municipality, especially those coming from areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
He said the monitoring is through the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) who closely handle and coordinate with the returning residents and make sure that they undergo the 14-day quarantine to prevent entry of the deadly disease.
The LGU has established a Border Quarantine Center at Barangay Barayong which as of now accommodates 31 returning residents for the 14-day quarantine protocol.
Davin said the quarantine center was offered by a seminar house of a local church.
Recently, the quarantine center took in one returning resident who was among the passengers of the sweeper flight from Manila on May 6, 2020 where another passenger tested positive of COVID-19.
Another returning resident who also boarded the sweeper flight took a strict home at her farm house in Barangay Barayong where she is said to be living alone.
“We make sure that the returning residents undergo the 14 day quarantine before they are reintegrated back to their communities,” the mayor assured.
He also assured that the two passengers of the sweeper flight have not shown symptoms of the disease, and they need not undergo swab testing yet.
He said the LGU has been providing the persons under close monitoring (PUCMs) at the quarantine center with their daily meals to ensure physical distancing at the kitchen.
Davin bared that some isolation units are being constructed to prepare for the worst such as contracting positive cases in the municipality, as school buildings which were damaged by the earthquake are still undergoing repairs.
“I am very thankful to our barangay captains and constituents for being cooperative. They understand well the effect of COVID. The barangay captains immediately report to us when there are new arrivals in their barangays,” he stated.
Apart from the strengthened border control and strict monitoring, the LGU has also made sure that precautionary measures are sternly followed by concerned government offices and by the constituents, such as disinfection, hand washing, wearing of face masks, liquor ban and among others.
Davin disclosed that the LGU has purchased 13 relocation sites from the funds of the municipal government and cash donations of other LGUs, while the housing units will be built by the National Housing Authority (NHA).
He said NHA has approved 2,002 houses for the residents, which first accommodated the 138 family evacuees from Barangay Malawanit.
He added that the LGU continues clearing in other relocation sites. (PIA-XI/Carina L. Cayon)