IATF to share PBB model with Western Visayas LGUs
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Project Balik Buhay (PBB), which started implementation in the tricities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, will now be shared with the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo City to especially help in the economic recovery of these localities that are also badly hit by the pandemic.
Retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano, the deputy chief implementer of the Interagency Task Force (IATF) in the Visayas, said he will sharing the PBB with Local Government Units in Western Visayas to aid them in their COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
“I will bring this (PBB) to Bacolod and Iloilo as a model to those business establishments there, kaya ‘yong businesses dun’ mangongyopya na lang kasi meron nang good practices ang Cebu City (so all that they have to do is copy the program because Cebu City already has good practices),” Feliciano said.
The PBB was an initiative of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), local government units here, national government agencies, and the various business groups.
On Tuesday, Feliciano and members of Cebu City’s contact tracing team left for Bacolod City to help train counterparts there.
During his visit, Feliciano said he will also be sharing the PBB’s best practices to Western Visayas LGUs that are also struggling to contain the infection.
PPB has sets of guidelines that will help businesses to gradually reopen and ensure a safer workplace.
These guidelines were initially crafted for the tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, but the project later on expanded to the already include Talisay City and the municipalities of Consolacion and Minglanilla that had the most number of cases of the infection in Cebu province.
“This is one of the significant contributions of this group, not only in Cebu City but throughout the country, magagamit ito,” Feliciano said.
“I have shared this (PBB program) to (the) national (IATF) and they have appreciated it,” he added.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, the overseer of the IATF in Cebu, said that Cebu’s successful COVID-19 response will serve as the “playbook” for other localities that are faced with the same challenge.
“What we did here, what the people did here is a model for the country, especially in Metro Manila now. And I was surprised that I am now tasked to go to Bacolod and in Bacolod, I’ll bring again the model of Cebu. As what we have done here in Cebu, we will (also) do in Bacolod and Iloilo,” said Cimatu.
But even if the Cebu province including its highly urbanized cities was already placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), both Cimatu and Feliciano are asking Cebuanos to continue to observe minimum health standards, such as wearing of mask and face shield, washing of hands, and regular disinfection. / dcb
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