By | August 18, 2020
Art Defensor Jr. with face mask.

Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. has unrolled a rehabilitation program aimed to bring about economic recovery and heal social life in the Province of Iloilo following the coronavirus pandemic.

Dubbed “Plan for the Rehabilitation and Transformation of the Province to Catalyze Recovery (Plan RT-PCR),” the program is prescribed in Executive Order No. 183 that the governor issued on August 17, 2020.

The executive order also hoisted a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the province where minimum public health standards as well as disease prevention and control measures will observed.

Plan RT-PCR focuses on the areas of health, local economy and psychosocial welfare, according to Defensor.

“It shall focus on restoring money being withdrawn from the local economy, promoting confidence and safety in people circulation, and protecting their psychosocial welfare,” his executive order reads.

For health care system, Iloilo will ensure the accessibility of quality essential health services by upgrading the personnel, infrastructure, facilities and equipment of its hospitals for strengthened Covid-19 response.

It will also enhance its Operations Center for Health (OPCEN) as the nerve center for health emergencies and disasters, and to support the Provincial Quarantine Team (PQT) stationed at all ports of entry in the province.

Defensor also ordered the full implementation of the Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-234 which calls for the establishment of Ligtas Covid-19 Centers as quarantine facilities for contacts, suspects, probable and confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Under this program, the Iloilo Provincial Hospital and the 12 district hospitals under the provincial government have been designated as Ligtas Covid-19 center hospitals that shall cater to, and accommodate suspect and confirmed Covid-19 cases.

For local economy, Iloilo will seek to revive establishments, industries and livelihood sectors affected by the implementation of community quarantine measures, and restore income in business and provide employment.

“The Province shall likewise re-channel and refocus its existing programs and projects to serve the above objectives,” the order added.

It will also boost agriculture and fishery in order to restore lost capital and income suffered due to unsold products, price differential and disrupted supply lines.

This can be carried out, according to Defensor, by ensuring the availability and accessibility of agri-fishery products, through intensified and refocused programs and, by shifting to technology based methods.

These methods include projects involving rice-based and organic villages, establishment of corn seed farm, agri-productivity, urban gardening, vegetable development, and aquaculture development, among others.

For psychosocial concerns, the provincial government will implement the Program for the Resilience of Iloilo in Mind and Emotion (PRIME) to address the collective anxiety and emotional stress experienced by the people due to community quarantine.

PRIME aims to restore the social functioning, and improve the coping and resilience of persons who have traumatic experiences, difficulty in handling changes, and those who are exposed to various risks.

This will be implemented by Task Force PAG-ASA or the “Provincial Agencies in Action to Prevent Suicide Among People of All Ages” which will administer
Psychological First Aid (PFA) and conduct Psycho-Social Processing (PSP).

Although there is no basis for directly attributing the recorded 50 suicide cases in Iloilo from January to August 2020 to Covid-19, Defensor said this “sounds the alarm” over the psychosocial wellbeing of the people in the middle of the pandemic. (via Balita Halin sa Kapitolyo)

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