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DILG orders LGUs to establish own isolation facilities for COVID-19

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday directed local government units to set up their own isolation facilities for coronavirus disease 2019 patients, ASAP.

In a public briefing, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Secretary Eduardo Año already instructed local officials to establish these facilities.

“Kailangan po ito kaya po naglabas si Sec. Año ng kautusan sa lahat ng ating LGUs na magkaroon  sila ng kani-kanilang mga isolation facilities dahil magkakaroon na tayo ng mas madaming testing,” Malaya said.

“Definitely tataas po ‘yung porsyento ng COVID-19 positive patients,” he added.

Malaya pointed out that the new confirmed COVID-19 patients with no or even mild symptoms will be advised to stay at these local isolation facilities as many hospitals were already congested.

Recently, the Office of the President approved the P30.824-billion fund or the “Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities” dedicated to boost the capacity of LGUs in responding to the COVID-19 threat.

LGUs can use the amount to establish isolation facilities.

“For example, meron po silang hotel na gagawing isolation facility at meron pong babayaran to make that happen that can also be charged under this Bayanihan Grant,” he said.

Malaya explained that local governments will receive an extra Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) in the same amount that they regularly receive from the Department of Budget and Management.

“Para po itong 13th month pay,” he said.

“We expect na ang guidelines po ng DBM ay lalabas ngayong araw. Kapag lumabas po ‘yan ngayong araw, in the next few days matatanggap na po ‘yan ng ating LGUs,” he added.

Chief implementer of the national plan against COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said they are planning to test all suspected cases of COVID-19.

Currently, they are working on turning venues like Philippine International Convention Center Forum Halls, the World Trade Center in Pasay, and the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila into quarantine facilities.

The government will isolate all persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) in these facilities, as part of the interventions to control the spread of the virus.

As of Tuesday, the Department of Health recorded 3,764 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, 177 fatalities, and 84 recoveries. —Joviland Rita/LBG, GMA News