Empowerment through People and Data: Best Practices of LGU Magallanes in COVID-19 Response.

Magallanes is a fourth class municipality in the province of Cavite.  Its upland community is located in the southwestern part of the province, farthest town of Cavite, approximately 95 kilometers south of Metro Manila and 38 kilometers southwest of the provincial capitol. 

Magallanes, Cavite  is one of the LGU graduates of Jesse Robredo Institute for Leadership and Good Governance pioneer course’ Building Pandemic-Resilient Communities through Public Health Governance. The municipality is under the commendable leadership of Hon. Jasmin Angelli Maligaya-Bautista. 

Highlighting some of LGU Magallanes Covid-19 programs and initiatives. They shared that their Empowered Team: Interconnected Teams is one of their municipality’s pandemic response best practices. The LGU of Magallanes has empowered its Incident Management Team (IMT) and created its cluster teams: the Swab Testing Team, Contact Tracing Team, Disinfection Team, and the Isolation and Monitoring Team, Checkpoint Team, and Information Team (PIO).  These teams are tasked to perform what they are called for each with full coordination with the Municipal Mayor, the responsible officer, the Incident Commander, and the Public Information Office for effective direction and action.

According to the municipality, through the synchronized actions of the teams, from the time an individual undergoes swab testing, immediate contact tracing is done and abruptly put the certain area on lockdown, if necessary (while doing the contact tracing), and the tested individual together with the list on the contact tracing shall be handled by the quarantine and isolation team to be transferred to the quarantine facility of the barangay of the LGU and in the isolation area for the Covid-19 positive with on-time, while the disinfection team shall disinfect the house and premises of the Covid-19 positive patient. On the other hand, locally stranded individuals (LSI) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) are handled by the checkpoint team composed of the LSI Staff from the Office of the Mayor, PNP, BFP, and Barangays for proper coordination of the LSI and ROF, likewise those entering and exiting the municipality with caution that all shall follow the protocols being implemented by the LGU. Similar importance to this is the accurate, updated, and transparent information dissemination to the community. Through constant and up-to-date briefing, meetings, and consultation with the IMT, the COVID-19 task Force, the LGU practices a very responsive way to contain the Covid-19 cases, and properly handles the people, the facility, the resources, and the community with confidence and assurance on its control over the pandemic situation.

As of December 31, 2020, Magallanes, Cavite has 62 positive cases with 2 deaths, 60 recoveries, and 0 active cases. All positive patients have been properly isolated with individuals accurately listed in the contact tracing with the ratio of 1:30, and well-monitored by their Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) which report directly to the Municipal Health Unit (MHO).

The municipality has also their very own evidenced-based data which is derived from the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) as they believe managing the Covid-19 pandemic requires an evidenced-based data to target eligible beneficiaries in time of disaster. It is observable that lack of data makes it difficult for a municipality to address the existing data gaps at the local level, to determine the causes of poverty, to formulate appropriate policies and programs, and to effectively and efficiently implement the programs of the government.

Ito pong tool na ito ang nagbigay sa amin ng right information tungkol sa pagbibigay ng mga ayuda, mga programs and activities especially this pandemic, the Social Amelioration Program  and hindi po nagkakaroon ng redundancy sa lahat ng mga programs po namin.

HON. JASMIN ANGELLI MALIGAYA-BAUTISTA

At present, the CBMS of the municipality of Magallanes, Cavite has been the best tool and is being used to address different challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic.

Their CBMS is in the third round of implementation and is currently in Module 2.  The CBMS Technical Working Group (TWG) completed the Barangay Validation in all barangays last September 14-24, 2020. As of now the LGU is preparing for Module 3 which is the formulation of Barangay Development Plan.

Manpower, equipment, logistics, and isolation facilities are among the challenges faced by the municipality while implementing their Covid-19 programs. However, they shared that creation of policies and organization of teams, AITF rules, national policies, budget, human resources, urgency and importance and priority, safety and security of the people, different sectors and different needs are the factors they considered in executing their Covid-19 programs. 

As one of the LGU graduates of JRILGG Public Health Governance course, the municipality believes in the importance of good governance in pandemic response. According to Mayor Bautsita, good governance is important in pandemic response because it laid the foundation of effective and efficient decision making, budget prioritization, inclusivity, resiliency and achieving optimum results from limited resources of different local governments.

To know more LGU Magallanes pandemic response, you may refer to this link: bit.ly/MayorJasBautistaFBPage

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