he provincial government of Sarangani has allocated some PHP3 million to augment its interventions against the African swine fever (ASF) and the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 19).
The funds were approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) during its regular session on Tuesday based on a request from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).
Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon certified as urgent the approval of the funding, which would be used for the prevention and control of the threats of both diseases.
Solon said Wednesday they allotted some PHP2 million for the interventions against the ASF and PHP1 million for Covid 19.
The funding, which was drawn from the province's unexpended PHP24.6 million Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management trust fund, was approved by the PDRRMC in an emergency meeting last Friday.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, head of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said they requested the allocation after the nationwide alert on the possible spread of Covid 19, which had been declared by the World Health Organization as a public health emergency.
Alejandro said the funds would be utilized to procure personal protective equipment (PPE), among them standard protective face masks, and disinfectants to prevent the possible outbreak of the disease in the province.
The procurement of the needed equipment and chemicals are already being processed (by the local government), he said in a statement on Thursday.
Alejandro, however, said they have standby reusable PPEs and misting machines that could be used in emergencies involving highly infectious disease.
Last week, the PHO placed under isolation and quarantine for Covid 19 at least four tourists from Fujian, China who visited a beach resort in Glan town.
Alejandro said the foreigners, who were classified as persons under monitoring, remained asymptomatic and would complete on Thursday their 14 day mandatory quarantine at the Regional Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Barangay Kawas, Alabel town.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bernard Cababat, acting head of the Provincial Veterinary Office, said the funding for the ASF would be used to augment the operations of the quarantine checkpoints and disease surveillance in the province's border areas.
Cababat said they have activated at least 14 inspection and quarantine posts since the province implemented a temporary lockdown last February 3 in response to the ASF outbreak in neighboring Davao Occidental province.
Source: Philippines News Agency