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Cebu City Council to raise COVID-19 concerns to Cimatu

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 05,2020 - 03:55 PM
Cebu City vice mayor Mike Rama says that he will meet Secretary Roy Cimatu, overseer of the IATF in Cebu, to set up a meeting with City Council members and Cimatu and discuss the COVID-19 problems in Cebu City. | CDN Digital file

Cebu City vice mayor Mike Rama says that he will meet Secretary Roy Cimatu, overseer of the IATF in Cebu, to set up a meeting with City Council members and Cimatu and discuss the COVID-19 problems in Cebu City. | CDN Digital file

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council will be raising the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns of the city to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the overseer of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in Cebu, in a meeting on July 6, 2020.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama said he would seek an audience with the secretary so that he (Cimatu) could meet the the Cebu City Council members, who would discuss their concerns regarding the rising deaths, the lack of protocols, and the lack of concrete plan to address the pandemic.

Read more: In a week, Cebu City records around 1K more COVID-19 cases

In a special session on June 3, 2020, Rama delivered a privilege speech encouraging the council members to support the IATF team led by Cimatu, who will be handling the case in Cebu.

“In our recent events, our experiences in the distribution of SAP, financial assistance, rice, and food assistance showed us lots of lapses, we can learn a lot from them (IATF),” said the vice mayor.

Councilor Nestor Archival, the minority floor leader of the Cebu City Council, said that one of the biggest issues was the lack of clear protocols when handling cases down in the barangays.

Read more: Daughter breaks silence over Pardo Barangay Captain Litang and partner’s death

He cited the death of Pardo Barangay Captain Manolita “Litang” Abarquez due to respiratory illness. The village chief’s family was hit by COVID-19 with multiple deaths including her partner.

“The other concern is the deaths. Our data for the deaths only reflects the results from the Vicente Sotto (Memorial Medical Center), but deaths in other hospitals are not recorded,” said Archival.

Archival wants the true data of the COVID-19 deaths of the city to be revealed.

Councilor Alvin Dizon said that the city would need more support from the national government with regards to testing kits and medical personnel to address the rising cases.

“The COVID-19 is a public health issue, and should be treated as such, not just a public law enforcement issue,” he said.

Read more: IATF eyes intensified testing in Cebu City

Councilor Eugenio Gabuya said more private hospitals should be accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) so the deaths would be properly documented.

Gabuya said he would also want the barangays to submit a situational report regularly since they would know the real situations in their jurisdiction.

Rama promised the council members that they would be allowed to talk to Secretary Cimatu tomorrow to address these concerns.

He said that the council would play a significant role in changing the fate of the city amid the pandemic./dbs

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