The Philippines and about 210 countries and territories globally are affected by the Coronavirus (COVID19) that originated in Wuhan, China with a total reported confirmed cases of 2,994,436 and with a death toll of 206,973 deaths to date. The Philippines alone recorded a total confirmed case of 7,579 with 502 deaths. The province has not been spared, but fortunately the Municipality of Bangued remained to be free without any reported / recorded cases as of this writing.
The Bayanihan to heal as one or RA 11469 was enacted 23 March 2020 granting the President additional authority to combat the 2020 corona virus pandemic in the Philippines. Earlier Presidential Proclamation No. 922 s. 2020 was issued declaring a state of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines due to the Corona Virus Disease (covid 19) and the Code Level system for COVID-19 was raised to Red Sublevel Two (2) in accordance with the recommendation of the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force in the Emergence of Infectious Diseases. Further, Presidential Proclamation No. 929 s. 2020 was issued declaring a State of Calamity throughout the country and imposed an Enhance Community Quarantine throughout Luzon.
Strict home quarantine observed in all households, movement limited to accessing basic necessities. Classes and all school activities, and mass public transport facilities suspended, commercial business establishments closed with only establishments providing basic necessities and such activities related to food and medicine production etc. In all such open establishments, their respective managements ensured the adaption of strict skeletal workforce supporting operation, as well as strict social distancing.
The prevalent situation makes life very difficult especially to the daily wage earners and laborers of the poorest of the poor. Thus under Section 4 of the “Bayanihan to Heal as one Act,’’ pursuant to Article VI, Section 23 (2) of the Constitution, the President given the authority to exercise powers that are necessary and proper to carry out the declared national policy ordered the reprogramming, reallocating, and realigning from savings on other items of appropriations in the FY 2020 GM in the Executive Department, as may be necessary and beneficial to fund measures that address and respond to the COVID 19 emergency, including social amelioration for affected communities, and the recovery of areas, sectors and industries severely affected.
In addition, local government units are provided with the Bayanihan Grant (Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities) which is equivalent to a one month FY 2020 Internal Revenue Allotment share of cities and municipalities. The Department of Budget and Management issued Local Budget Circular No. 125, dated 07 April 2020 providing for the guidelines on the release and utilization of the referred grant.
The local administration, guided by the provisions of the aforestated Local Budget Circular and after a review on the exclusivity in the utilization of the referred grant decided to procure Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), Medicines and Vitamins, Hospital Equipments and Supplies, Disinfectants, Sprayers, Disinfection Tents and Otherst to contain the spread and likewise treat patients should the situation worsens or warrants.