The Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte strongly recognizes the important role of stakeholders’ in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 7, 2020, through the Incident Management Team spearheaded a coordination meeting with the officers of the Municipal Health Office, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office, the Provincial and Municipal Chief of Police, Doctors to the Barrio, and Private Hospital Association of Lanao del Norte.

Ms. Sittie Aminah Quibranza Dimaporo, the Provincial Administrator and the IMT Deputy Responsible Officer, on behalf of Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo, thanked the participants for attending the meeting and have encouraged to share their ideas, suggestions and other concerns with regards to the strategies and approaches initiated by the Provincial Government in curbing if not containing the spread COVID-19.

Governor Angging has recently approved the realignment of some of the Provincial funds to immediately address the continuing health threat by focusing on programs and activities related to COVID-19 until December of this year. One of which is the need to purchase additional Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kits for COVID-19, primarily intended for Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

Based on the data presented by Dr. Teresa M. Reponte, the Provincial Health Officer, the LSIs and ROFs greatly contributes to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the province. As of August 6, 2020, 115 LSIs and 20 ROF were confirmed positive of COVID-19, and in total, the Province of Lanao del Norte has 148 confirmed cases, 87 of which have already recovered, however, it recorded also its first fatality due to local transmission.

The PHO Officer has also informed the participants that the Provincial Hospital in Kolambugan which was converted into an Isolation Unit with 61 Bed Capacity is now ready to accept patients that are Symptomatic IgM Positive, Suspect Cases, Probable Cases, and Confirmed Symptomatic.

Additional Isolation Units were also created to augment the isolation unit in Old Kapatagan Provincial Hospital, such as the Infirmary and Annex Building in the new Kapatagan Provincial Hospital, and the Mindanao Civic Center Stadium.

And with regards to the COVID-19 PCR Laboratory at Old Kapatagan Provincial Hospital, Dr. Reponte said that all personnel are currently on their level four (4) training, the infrastructure is 100 percent complete, the equipment is 95 percent ready, and it is only awaiting the team from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and the Center for Health Development-Regulations, Licensing and Enforcement Divisions (CHD-RLED) for final inspection and approval to operate.

The Provincial Information Officer and the IMT Incident Commander Lyndon G. Calica, also thanked the efforts of the Municipal Government Units, the Private Hospital Association, and the Philippine National Police, and all concerned stakeholders for continuously sharing ideas and actively coordinating with the Provincial Government in facing the problem of COVID-19 pandemic, and said that Governor Angging is doing the best she can to protect the health and safety of the residents of Lanao del Norte.

Atty. Mark Christopher A. Babor, the Provincial Legal Officer, explains the provisions of Provincial Ordinance 10-2020, “AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE GUIDELINES ON MAINTAINING VITAL HEALTH PROTOCOLS IN THE ENTIRE PROVINCE OF LANAO DEL NORTE TO FIGHT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 AND FOR THE OTHER PURPOSES,” particularly the single motorcycle which allow only 1 back ride, provided that the driver and the passenger shall wear helmet, face mask, gloves, and jacket or long-sleeves, and shall add in the provision that a barrier will be installed between the driver and the passenger in harmony with the guidelines of the National Government Task-Force.

The meeting was also attended by DILG Provincial Director Bruce A. Colao, who also shared his wisdom particularly on issues regarding APOR (Authorized Person Outside Residence) who are refusing to submit for testing and suggested to add provisions in the Provincial Ordinance 10-2020, for their penalties, as well as, requesting Municipal Local Government Units to procure Rapid Test Kits for their constituents.

Before the activity was concluded, the new Police Provincial Director, PCol Rolindo M. Suguilon, appealed to the participants to help the PNP in informing the public and make them understand that what the PNP is doing is only to perform its duty by implementing the ordinances created by the Local Government Units, and has expressed that the PNP is committed to support the efforts of the Provincial Government and continue to work closely through active coordination for the welfare of the people.

The coordination meeting was held in Mindanao Civic Center Gymnasium, Municipality of Tubod. PIO-LDN