Lanao del Sur allocates P100 million for vaccine procurement

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 20 Jan) – The province of Lanao del Sur has allocated P100 million for the acquisition of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.

A new 100-bed isolation facility in the municipality of Marantao, Lanao del Sur. Photo from the BARMM Government Facebook Page

Jennie Alonto Tamano, provincial information officer, said the said amount was approved by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan in coordination with the Local Inter-Agency Task Force.

Sheila Divnani-Ganda, local IATF focal person on Sub-Task Force on the Management of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs), said Gov. Mamintal Adiong already has a vaccine in mind that has a 95-percent efficacy to target 50 to 70 percent of the province’s population as announced during ceremonies as Lanao del Sur joined the second founding anniversary of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)on Tuesday.

“Aside from this allocation, we expect support from the national IATF and BARMM,” she said.

Ganda said Adiong has tasked the local IATF to draft an official letter to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chair of the National Inter Agency Task Force who was also appointed vaccine czar, on the official intent of the provincial government to acquire the COVID-19 vaccines.

She said the local IATF has just temporarily suspended the “No movement on Sunday” policy to improve economic activities in the province and Marawi City.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Information Agency reported that the BARMM government inaugurated a COVID-19 isolation center in Lanao del Sur to enhance the province’s capability to fight the virus and ease pressure on the Ligtas COVID-19 isolation facilities in Marawi.

The new isolation facility in Marantao. Photo from the BARMM Government Facebook page

The new isolation center, located in the municipality of Marantao, was completed through BARMM’s Ministry of Public Works (MPW).

Architect Eduard Uy Guerra, the Public Works minister, led the turnover of the facility to Dr. Alinader Minalang, Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief, and Marantao Mayor Akira Alonto on Tuesday.

“This is a 100-bed capacity. It’s now complete, ready for use, including the funding for operation and hiring of emergency personnel as well as its maintenance,” said Guerra.

He underscored the uniqueness of BARMM’s isolation centers compared to other COVID-19 facilities. “We designed it in such a way that those who will be confined here are isolated but won’t get homesick because of the nice atmosphere,” Guerra said.

He said the facility has a permanent structure so that it can be used for other medical purposes once the pandemic is over.

Minalang expressed gratitude to the BARMM government for supporting the COVID-19 response efforts of Lanao del Sur.

He said the isolation facility will help them control the spread of COVID-19, noting that Lanao del Sur has a relatively high number of cases compared to other provinces in the BARMM.

“We are more than grateful for getting an additional facility for our constituents in Lanao del Sur. This is very timely as we are still in the period of adjusting our interventions because as of today we have 1,200 confirmed cases and 32 active cases all over the province,” Minalang said.

He added that the facility in Marantao will augment the existing 100-bed facility in Brgy. Sagonsongan in Marawi and the recently inaugurated 40-bed facility also in the same village. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)