By Roy Moraleta I Published: June 18, 2020
Tanauan folk have risen strong and recovered fast from getting knocked off harsh and hard by Typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) six years ago. Once again, resolute strength proves their indestructible resilience in the face of another cruel misfortune, a mishap they and the whole world will have to battle with, the COVID-19 pandemic.
From initiating the mandatory wearing of face masks since the first days of quarantine periods to being first among the local government units (LGU) to have responded on the need to set up isolation centers for the coronavirus disease suspects/patients, to providing generous reliefs to all of its constituents by giving each households a sack of rice each, to the giving of P3,000 cash aid to those who did not avail the Social Amelioration Program SAP, Tanauan, through Mayor Pel Tecson, is on it again.
Tecson is showing outstanding leadership and magnanimity amid the crisis brought about to his town by this pandemic.
Government Reaches Out
When asked of his policy and obviously generous social services initiatives, “this is the time the people need the government, this is where the government must urgently respond,” was Tecson’s confident reply.
On top of the coordinated initial distribution of relief food packs and rice, Tecson would also distribute one sack of rice to each of the 15,200 households.
Tanauan was among the few municipalities in Leyte that would give such level of generosity at the height of the quarantine period. The others, as reported, are Ormoc City and Pastrana town.
Their readiness for the consequence of the new normal COVID-19 has forced on everyone has spared Tanauan the inconvenience of making extra rigid quarantine measures other LGUs have been constrained to enforce, said Tecson.
These include imposing lockdowns, even during the instance of its first accounted two confirmed cases after two of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) were tested positive of the coronavirus.
Tanauan established health and safety protocols.
Thanks to the Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 Leyte, the cases were readily contained as they were readily anticipated to be so.
Tecson expressed confidence Tanauan town is safe and there is no need to fear nor panic despite the seemingly alarming increase of cases in the province of Leyte.
As for all the reported cases in the town, the mayor said, “All of them, including the COVID-19 suspects, are safely quarantined at its referred isolation centers.”
To date, Tecson has set out to convert a resilient four-building evacuation center in Barangay Cabuynan into a permanent quarantine area for COVID-19 patients.
In this way, Tanauan records among the few firsts among LGU executives to initiate such a potentially necessary permanent facility.
“All indications tell that coronavirus is in fact here to stay,” hence the urgency for such a permanent center is indisputable, said Tecson.
Probably, in all Leyte towns, properly in place in Tanauan now is a defense system that fortifies the entire town and people from a potential spread of the coronavirus disease.
Even with the eventual arrival of more potentially COVID-19-infected returning stranded individuals, he said. “It’s a system that involves greatly the commitment of Barangay Health Emergency Response Team BHERT as well the community themselves in monitoring all arriving individuals to their respective barangays.”
Tecson said the defense system had been backed up with a Sangguniang Bayan ordinance. Violators are penalized, even for a simple failure to wear facemask or inadvertent breach of social distancing protocol.
Having all these in place, and as doors and ports are likely to open any day now, influx of arrivals of individuals from Manila, Davao, Cebu, and other urban centers is unavoidable.
Tecson has readied 18 units of multi-purpose vehicles to pick up the returning residence at the airport, port terminals and bus terminals.
The town’s tested leadership and its well-crafted readiness Tecson so confidently claim will again, as was six years ago, prove the stubborn resilience they possess as a people especially in times so troubling as now.