Ormoc City residents were dismayed that the city reported its first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case due to the supposed lack of coordination from the national government over the return of overseas Filipino workers to their home provinces, Mayor Richard Gomez said on Tuesday.
"Actually, medyo na-disappoint sila kasi alam naman nating lahat na it could have been prevented na pumasok dito tapos lumapit sa ibang tao," Gomez said in a Dobol B sa News TV interview.
"Ang gusto sana namin talaga, pagpasok dito, alam namin na COVID-19 affected siya or affected, isolate kaagad, pati 'yung ambulansya na gagamitin specifically para lang doon sa mga infected. Meron na kaming nakahanda na ganoon," he added.
Gomez previously lamented the supposed lack of coordination from the national government as local government officials were expecting a proper notice on the return of the OFWs.
Gomez said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has talked to him regarding the matter.
According to Gomez, Año explained that the Department of the Interior and Local Government ( DILG) had a previous circular indicating that the agency will inform the local government units three days ahead should it send back of OFWs to their provinces.
"Pero ang sabi ni Presidente, 'Ipadala niyo na lahat ng OFWs, sige na, bilisan niyo na, dalhin na sila sa probinsya.' Nawala na ['yung circular]. Tinanggap na namin na wala na 'yung coordination na ganoon," he said.
Gomez said Año confirmed that prior to the arrival in Ormoc City, the repatriates, including the patient, had tested negative but that they could have easily been re-infected. The World Health Organization earlier said it was looking into reports of patients testing positive again after recovering from the disease.
"Pagdating dito ng mga repatriates, na-testing naman sila, pero na-test sila April. Puwede ka nang nagkaroon ng re-infection. Ganoon 'yung nangyari sa dumating dito," Gomez said.
"Sabi nga ni Secretary Año, nagkaroon talaga ng miscommunication," Gomez added.
"Sabi ko walang problema 'yan. Kaming mga mayor, we really want na maging successful 'yung proyekto ng national government, kasi kapag hindi naging successful, that means may failure on our part. Kaya sabi ko, kailangan talaga coordinate lang, kailangan magtulungan lang eh, 'yun lang naman ang hinihingi namin," Gomez said in reply to Año.
The Ormoc City Mayor previously clarified that he however is not laying the blame. -MDM, GMA News