Bacolod City has been identified as one of the four Philippine cities, including Muntinlupa, Baguio and Iligan, to be the case study sites for a project that aims to capacitate local government units (LGUs) in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and coping with the new normal.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia and other city officials have been invited to attend an online orientation meeting yesterday to officially introduce the project and discuss details of the engagement.
“We are grateful for this rare chance for our city to avail of the expertise of these people in the handling of public health emergencies. I am sure that whatever we will learn from them will greatly help us fight COVID more effectively,” he said.
The project is a partnership among the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
These three agencies are undertaking a project called “Planning for Greater Resiliency, Addressing Pandemics/ Biohazards and Public Health Emergencies and Its Impacts to Most At-Risk Populations.”
They aim to support efforts in strengthening the capabilities of local governments in coping with the new normal, mitigate and address impacts of COVID-19 particularly on vulnerable sectors, and plan for similar emergencies that may occur in the future.
Specifically, the project aims to review existing LGU-related planning policies and procedures in view of assessing their relevance and effectiveness in preparing for and responding to Public Health Emergencies (PHE).
It also aims to recommend an LGU planning framework that integrates PHE with measures in reducing vulnerability and mitigating risks of health pandemics against the vulnerable and affected groups.
The Planning and Development Research Foundation, Inc. (PLANADES) will support the undertaking by conducting case studies on selected LGUs to provide in-depth scoping of LGU experiences, sector resources, capacity issues, and innovations within the purview of expected LGU roles set out by national policies for COVID-19 response and management./WDJ