Each barangay in Taguig City will receive P1 million in financial assistance to help the local government response to the coronavirus disease outbreak.
Mayor Lino Edgardo Cayetano made this announcement during the inauguration of its COVID-19 mega-complex on Friday.
“Taguig City has released a total of P1 million per barangay, to all barangays in the city of Taguig. The second tranche, which is P500,000, is released this week,” Cayetano said. “(The money) can be used by the barangays for COVID-related projects.”
The Taguig City government on Friday also hosted the National Task Force meeting and inaugurated its COVID-19 mega-complex facility, which will host the new city-run Molecular Laboratory, the Lakeshore Mega-quarantine facility, and the Lakeshore National Testing Facility.
These facilities are set to supplement an all-of-government approach to testing, tracing and treating COVID-19 cases, which has kept the city’s infections among the lowest in the National Capital Region this September.
As of Sept. 22, Taguig had the lowest number of active cases per 100,000 people across Metro Manila. It is also delivering major infrastructure projects to sustain what has been an effective effort to keep COVID-19 cases low.
City officials closely coordinate with the national government and its task force to overcome the pandemic, Cayetano said. The local government believes that in order to fight this dilemma, cooperation with the national government is essential.
The Lakeshore Hotel Mega Quarantine Facility will accommodate suspect and probable cases, as well as confirmed cases who are asymptomatic or show mild symptoms with both their comfort and recovery in mind, Cayetano said.
Alongside the aforementioned site inspection, the city government also inaugurated the Taguig City Molecular Laboratory, a laboratory which can process up to 600 specimens per day, at the Taguig Lakeshore Hotel complex.
These infrastructures aim to sustain what has been an effective effort to keep COVID-19 cases low, simultaneously being committed to health and safety of residents.
The Department of Health granted the Molecular Laboratory a license to operate (LTO) on Sept. 13. It had previously passed a five-step assessment, which included on-site assessment and proficiency tests for the staff.
The lab will have both a manual and automated testing machine managed by shifting teams composed of medical technicians, aids and others.
At full capacity, this molecular lab will help reach Taguig’s target of 100,000 RT-PCR tests by the end of the year, which is equivalent to 10 percent of the city’s total population.
Even without its own testing laboratory, Taguig managed to conduct almost 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests as of Sept. 23, representing over 5 percent of the total population. This was made possible with strong partnership with the national government and in private testing facilities.
“This testing facility will be a long-term benefit to the city to help us better manage the COVID-19 situation. Aside from that, the lab can also test pathogens affecting both humans and animals, allowing us to avert serious health issues in the future,” said Cayetano.
Within the same complex, the local government will be opening the much-awaited 500-bed COVID-19 Lakeshore Mega Quarantine Facility.
For Section 1 of the facility, 70 units opened on Friday, while the other sections will be opened over the next few weeks.
The entire complex is expected to be completed in three months, right before Christmas where the city anticipates a possible spike in COVID-19 cases.
Once completed, the Mega Quarantine Facility will add to the five quarantine facilities in the city that include newly built structures and repurposed government buildings.
The structures ensure comfort for patients. They are complete with beds, partitions, air-conditioning, a bath, a toilet and a living room. All units will also have tables to help in entertaining patients and consulting with doctors.
“Robonurses,” created by the young students of Taguig Robotics Team, will care for the patients.
Among the city’s touted homegrown approaches are the Systematic Mass Approach to Responsible Testing, aggressive contact tracing mechanisms tapping into barangays, and localized lockdowns.
The local government is working hard with the National Task Force for the city to effectively transition to the new normal.
In span of six weeks since the Modified Enhance Community Quarantine or the Timeout Taguig, COVID-19 cases in the city have already been flattened. In spite of these progressive results, the local government still vows to be aggressive in the fight against COVID-19.