BAGUIO CITY – The city government is asking stranded city residents to stay where they are while the local officials tweak the protocols of the “returning Baguio residents (RBR) program.
In a statement posted on Wednesday on the city government’s website, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said: “Protocols for RBR need to be fine-tuned so that our city’s health and safety facilities do not get overwhelmed.”
Magalong also asked for an understanding of his constituents about the matter.
“As of now, we are not ready for the influx of RBRs because we do not have enough triage, quarantine, and health facilities. We do not want the second wave of cases to happen in our city so we have to be careful about this,” he said.
The city government has prepared the Teacher’s Camp with 128 beds for quarantine of the returning overseas Filipino workers, the Lindi Hotel with 38 beds, a multi-story facility at Badiwan in Tuba, Benguet and the classrooms of the Baguio City High School.
Magalong also reiterated that the city could not launch a full blast Covid-19 testing for lack of test kits at the moment.
“At present, the city’s triage and facilities cannot accommodate the almost 50,000 residents wanting to return,” he said.
Magalong said the guidelines should ensure a manageable re-entry process for RBR so that all those coming into the city can undergo triage, and possible quarantine or hospitalization, without overwhelming the health facilities.
The system will utilize online registration, LGU to LGU coordination, and a strict observance of health and safety standards.
Health Declaration Forms, accessible online at http://hdf.baguio.gov.ph/welcome, will also be required.
The proposed RBR guidelines were presented to the city’s management committee on May 5, 2020.
Magalong is looking at the third week of May as the possible effectivity of the guidelines. Liza Agoot /PNA – northboundasia.com