In furtherance of the foregoing actions taken by the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte to curtail the spread of COVID-19, as well as delivering and initiating various programs, projects, and activities in response to the pandemic, the members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council hold a meeting to discuss and share updates of the measures implemented, as well as actions that need to be executed in response to the COVID-19 crisis in the Province of Lanao del Norte.

Ms. Sittie Aminah Quibranza-Dimaporo, the Provincial Administrator and the Incident Management Team (IMT) Deputy Responsible Officer, presided the meeting on behalf of Provincial Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo and said that the Provincial Chief Executive is humbly requesting to realign some of the Provincial Fund that have not been used in order to address the increasing demand of the four (4) thematic areas in response to COVID-19, 1. Prevention and Mitigation, 2.Preparedness, 3. Response, and 4. Recovery and Rehabilitation Programs.

The Provincial Government through the Bayanihan Grant appropriated by the national government to the local government units have been carefully and diligently utilized to fund the purchase of Rapid Test Kits, and the preparation and construction of the Laboratory Testing Center in the province at Old Kapatagan Provincial Hospital.

Rapid Test Kits are considered an essential tool in the first line of defense. Returning Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) will be then subjected for the said test at the Provincial Health Office before they will be quarantined, either in their barangay, municipality or at the MCC Grandstand and after 7 to 14 days before they will be released to the community, they will undergo the same test to ensure that they are free from COVID-19, for there are possibilities that the virus may develop after 7 to 14 days. And for those tested positive on the rapid test, they will be immediately isolated and swab will be taken for the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) confirmatory test.

Provincial Director Bruce A. Colao of DILG Lanao del Norte, expressed his appreciation to the effort of the Provincial Government through the initiative of Governor Angging in creating a Laboratory Testing Center that would soon provide fast test result and convenience not only to the person subjected to the test but also to the Provincial and Municipal Governments, thus it will not prolong the agony of waiting and the subject will then be treated immediately according to the result.

The members of the council unanimously agreed to realign some budgets of the 5% Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) for 2020, as well as the 5% Unexpended LDRRMF of 2019 for COVID-19 related response.

“The success of being to contain so far (COVID-19) would not have been made possible if it were not of the partnership of all concerned agencies,” Ms. Sittie Aminah said and added to express on behalf of Governor Angging thanking President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the unceasing support extended to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte. PIO-LDN