The Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte under the untiring leadership of Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo host a consultative meeting with the Municipal Local Chief Executives, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police, two days before placing the Province of Lanao del Norte under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), on Monday, June 1, 2020, per recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF MEID).

Governor Angging called on all the Municipal Mayors, the Philippine National Police, and with the help of the Philippine Army to continuously monitor the people, especially those in public places to ensure that physical or social distancing and the wearing of face mask are properly observed.

Though the Province of Lanao del Norte will be under the Modified General Community Quarantine, however, the Provincial Chief Executive does not want to be complacent and wants to make sure that the safety protocols are still strictly followed and religiously observed by all residents including non-residents.

Lyndon G. Calica, the Provincial Information Officer and the IMT Incident Commander, discussed the actions taken by the Provincial Government through the Incident Management Team from establishing and manning the Quarantine Checkpoints to strengthen the security at the borders to the handling and managing of the Balik Lanorte Program to cater those residents who wanted to return to the province, including the returning OFWs, as well as issuing travel pass for those residents who want to go to other places outside Lanao del Norte.

The Incident Commander also expressed thanks to the Local Government Units for actively coordinating and responding to the communication sent by the PGLDN-IMT, particularly on the request regarding residents having no complete documents and were stranded in the QCPs by immediately issuing authority to allow entry.

Dr. Teresa M. Reponte, the Provincial Health Officer and the Deputy Incident Commander explains that in Lanao del Norte, the transmission of COVID-19 has been controlled through active coordination with the Municipal Health Office. The public health and medical services are available, no outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared and the timely installation or establishment of preventive measures and health protocols and the awareness of the people in the communities greatly help the effort in containing the spread of the virus.

Atty. Mark Christopher A. Babor, the Provincial Legal Officer, carefully read and explain each guideline under the MGCQ recommended by IATF MEID. To follow the protocols recommended by the IATF MEID and to ensure that the health and public safety will not be placed in jeopardy, the Provincial Government will allow residents only for non-leisure purposes to go outside of their residences except for pregnant women, people with immunodeficiency, or immunocompromised health risks, and those who are 20 years old and below and 60 years old and above unless for indispensable circumstances such as obtaining essential goods and services or for work in industries or offices that employs aged 60 years old and above.

The Department of Education-Division of Lanao del Norte headed by Schools Division Superintendent Edilberto S. Oplenaria presented the program of the department in preparation for the opening of this year’s classes. One major change is that students and parents are no longer required to personally go to school for enrollment. Parents can enroll their children by just texting the details required by DepEd. The program is already cascaded and coordinated with the Barangay Officials for additional information. In addition, face-to-face or in-person learning is not allowed for the time being. DepEd will utilize other means for continuous learning, such as providing printed materials through the Barangay or deliver directly to the student’s home and using the radio and television as School on the Air.

And for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Provincial Director Bruce A. Colao promised to actively work hand-in-hand with the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte in monitoring the Local Government Units and the Philippine National Police in guaranteeing that the health measures and protocols are religiously implemented in their respective municipalities and area of responsibilities for the safety and welfare of the general public.

During the open forum, Municipal Mayors shared their concern, suggestions, recommendations, and ideas that will be consolidated in the formulation of the guidelines of the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte.

Provincial Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo is doing the best she can to protect and safeguard the health of the people of the Province of Lanao del Norte and having a hard time to balance between economy and health. And to balance the two, Governor Angging is working hard to make the Laboratory operational in Old Kapatagan Provincial Hospital before the end of June 2020.

Before the conclusion of the consultative meeting, Governor Angging sincerely appealed to the Mayors, the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education and other concern agencies to continuously work together as one in protecting the constituents of the Province of Lanao del Norte.

The consultative meeting was held at the Mindanao Civic Center Gymnasium on May 30, 2020. PIO-LDN