The Provincial Chief Executive of the Province of Lanao del Norte has called on all Municipal Chief Executives, Presidents of the Association of Barangay Captains together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, Department of Public Works and Highways and other concern government agencies in the province to discuss important issues and concerns that need an immediate response in the fight against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo expressed her appreciation to all Municipal Mayors in their actions in initiating necessary measures and steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their locality following the Executive Orders issued by the Governor, particularly EO 06, Series of 2020, “An Executive Order Providing for the Guidelines on the Declaration of an Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Province of Lanao del Norte and for Other Purposes,” in partnership with the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire and Protection, and the Philippine Coast Guard.

The Governor has emphasized that one way to win this battle against the unseen enemy is to prepare ourselves by anticipating actions that are essential in protecting the safety and health of the general public and appealed to the Barangay Chairmen to closely monitor their constituents who are coming in and out of their communities and to the Local Chief Executives to fast track the establishment of their Municipal Isolation Facility, especially with the repatriation program of the National Government through the recommendation of the National Inter-Agency Task Force in allowing the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) back to their respective provinces.

Governor Angging strongly supported the move of the National Government, with the conditions that these returning OFWs have completed the 14-day quarantine period, not showing any signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and the Department of Health should guarantee that they have diligently performed the standard measures or protocol. And with regards to the concerned government agencies managing the repatriation program, an advance notification or information should be given to the receiving LGUs for proper coordination.

After the presentations of the IMT Incident Commander and the Provincial Information Officer Lyndon G. Calica, the Deputy Incident Commander and the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Teresa M. Reponte, and Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Mark Christopher Babor, an open forum was set to hear the stand of the Municipal Chief Executives whether or not the Province of Lanao del Norte will continue to be under the Enhanced Community Quarantine or will adopt the General Community Quarantine, which is necessary to strengthen the stand of the Provincial Government before raising the issue to the Northern Mindanao Inter-Agency Task Force, especially if it wants to remain under the ECQ.

Also, Governor Angging asked the LCEs if they are in favor to allow the construction of national projects, such as road widening, bridge repair, and sewerage along the national highway, provided that the workers will observe the proper safety measures to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, an opportunity to take advantage in this time because of the fewer vehicles traversing the national highway, which was noted by Engr. Alykhan Ali, the 2nd District Engineer and representing the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The meeting was held at the Mindanao Civic Center Gymnasium, Tubod, on April 29, 2020. PIO-LDN