A contingency planning workshop on COVID-19 in Medellin was held on January 7, 2021 at the Municipal Social Hall. There was a total of 22 participants.
The workshop opened with an invocation, national anthem and opening remarks by Municipal Planning and Development Council (MPDC) Head Giles Anthony Villamor. The participants were then introduced by the emcee project team leader Edgar E. Gahisan.
Dr. Erlinda Posadas then gave an overview of the project implemented by the VPHCS citing the various activities on “delay, contain and mitigate the effects of the pandemic” since August 2020 until the present.
The Municipal Public Health Nurse, Donnalyn Son then presented an overview of the COVID-19 situation citing statistics of the number of cases, barangays affected, and other situations of the pandemic.
She was followed by MHO Dr. Oliver Gimenez who discussed about the agencies or offices that are involved in managing the epidemic and their functions, about monitoring and surveillance of PUI, PUMs, border control, and locally stranded individuals. He then continued to talk about case detection, response, and management, RT-PCR testing, location, personnel, source of test kits, and rapid testing, facilitation and ongoing medical check up of patients, and the temporary treatment and monitoring facility in Barangay Panugnawan, as well as its accreditation by the Department of Health and PhilHealth. He added about BHERTs and contact tracers: trainings, roles and responsibilities, followed by the measures done on information dissemination on COVID-19. He also discussed about referral system of COVID-19 patients and other patients to higher level facilities.
Project team Irish Grace Ramirez then introduced the workshop’s facilitators who are from the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO). They include Neil Angelo R. Sanchez, Rhee S. Telen, Jr. and Emily N. Lagrimas, and Josephine Aves. Mr. Sanchez then talked about an overview of contingency planning.
Mr. Sanchez was followed by Ms. Lagrimas who thoroughly defined contingency planning, its background, laws related to it, meaning of contingency plan, where to apply contingency planning, benefits of contingency planning and the need for contingency planning for COVID-19.
The first workshop followed the talk of Ms. Lagrimas. The participants were grouped into five clusters, namely: a. Resources, b. Manpower and Logistics, c. Budget, d. Data Management and Information/Education, and e. Protocols and Policies. Representatives from different LGU offices formed each cluster. The groups were asked to write down the gains, successes and best practices of the municipality’s management and response of COVID-19. Each group then had a representative who presented the results of the workshop written in Manila paper in the plenary session. Their answers were then synthesized by Mr. Telen.
The second workshop was on the effects of the COVID-19 on the following aspects, namely: a. Health/mental health, b. Livelihood/ employment, c. Information/education and family, d. Response capability. There was one group who answered each aspect. Representatives of each group then presented the results of the workshops in Manila paper in the plenary session.
The third workshop was on identification of the gaps, issues, and lessons learned or recommendations in the management and response of COVID 19 in the following areas: a. Resources (manpower, logistics and budget), b. Data management/ information/ education, and c. Protection and Policies. Results of the workshop were then presented by representatives of the groups in the plenary session.
The entire proceedings were then synthesized by Ms. Lagrimas. She pointed out that the answers of the workshops will serve as inputs to making the contingency plan. The gaps that were identified in the third workshop will be addressed in terms of provision of resources to meet these gaps with the proper budget to be determined by the LGU to fund such resources. She recommended that concerned LGU officials will meet again to draft the contingency plan.
Mr. Villamor of the MPDC stood up and said that he will take charge of seeing to it that this is done. He said that the following day, he and other government officials were going to have a meeting on Response and Recovery with Dr. Juan Lava of the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians which is involved in another ReachHealth project. He asked for the proceedings of the contingency planning which will be incorporated with the proceedings of the said meeting, in order to come up with the contingency plan, which will then be presented to the Sangguniang Panglungsod then later to the Municipal Mayor, for approval. Ms. Lagrimas said that the PDRRMO will assist them in making the contingency plan.
The VPHCS project team finalized the proceedings and made the contingency plan drafts based on the proceedings and emailed to Mr. Villamor on January 28, 2021.
The participants came from the following agencies or offices, namely: Rural Health Unit (RHU), Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDC), Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Cebu Normal University (CNU), Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (SKF), National Auxiliary Chaplaincy Philippines (NACPHIL), Metropolitan Water District (MWD) Municipal Accountant, and Civil Society Organization (CSO).