The Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte, through the Incident Management Team (IMT), conducted a Coordination meeting with the Municipal Health Officers (MHOs) in the province on October 15, 2021, at the Multi-Purpose Gymnasium, Capitol Compound, Pigcarangan, Tubod.
The purpose of the meeting is for them to discuss matters regarding COVID-19 cases and the Progress Report of Vaccination in each municipality and the province as a whole.
In his opening message, Incident Commander Mr. Lyndon G. Calica thanked the cooperation of his team, the IMT, and the MHOs for their cooperation and professionalism in dealing with the COVID-19 situation in the province. However, despite now having lower cases, he expressed his deep concern with the low percentage of vaccinated individuals.
“Lanao del Norte has done their best in controlling the COVID-19 situation, and this would not be possible without your help. We have the lowest cases in Region X, but we also have the lowest percentage in the vaccination. We have to think of ways to speed up our vaccination program.,” the Incident Commander said.
Based on the data presented, as of October 13, 2021, the total number of confirmed cases in the province is 4,312, 3,785 of which have recovered, 284 deaths, 3,612 local transmissions, and 244 active cases, the majority of which are unvaccinated.
As for the vaccination status, seven (7) months and five (5) days after the start of the LDN vaccination program, only 15.27% of the desired herd immunization was achieved, leaving 416,096 residents still unvaccinated. According to the Provincial Health Office (PHO) headed by the Deputy Incident Commander Dr. Marujeta Opamen, the reason for the slow progress is Low Vaccine Uptake (even if the available vaccines are US-made: Pfizer or Moderna), Low turnout for Second Dose, Fake Vaccination cards, and the lack of healthcare workers.
Given such information, the National Vaccination Operation Center (NVOC) issued Advisory No. 48, which is the Urgent Institutionalization and Implementation of COVID-19 Vaccination TUTOK A2 Strategies, Simultaneous Vaccination of A1-A5 and Rest of the Adult Population (ROAP) aged 18 years old and above for Herd Immunity Coverage on October to November 2021.
In preparation for the new academic programs approved for limited face-to-face classes, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) also requested the NVOC for the issuance of Advisory No. 89, which is the Vaccination of Public and Private School Teaching, Non-Teaching Personnel in Education Institutions and Students aged 18 years old and as part of the ROAP for the same purpose of achieving herd immunity on October to November 2021.
Moreover, the PHO announced the launching of vaccination to 12 to 17-year-old minors in anticipation of a potential move by the national government to expand inoculation coverage in the Philippines. The pilot municipalities for this program will be the municipalities of Bacolod, Maigo, Kolambugan, Lala, and Kapatagan.
Also present during the meeting were the department heads and IMT core personnel composed of the Planning Section Chief Engr. Anecita Ledio, Operation Section Chief Ms. Anabelle Mendez, Deputy Planning Section Chief Ms. Euginie Pusing, EOC Manager, and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, Ms. Abeliza Manzano.
Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo, along with the 1st District Representative Congressman Mohamad Khalid Quibranza Dimaporo and 2nd District Representative Congressman Abdullah Dimakuta Dimaporo, are one with the National Government, DOH, IATF, NVOC, IMT, PHO, and MHOs in their fight against COVID-19. With the cooperation of the constituents and the mutual desire to eliminate the effects of the pandemic, the province of Lanao del Norte can fast-track the vaccination program.
“I am hoping for your positive and prompt enactment in this situation. I am encouraging all concerned offices to intensify your information drive to reach your daily target. We are hoping for Herd Immunity for a Merry Christmas,” Governor Angging said. PIO-LDN