Sarangani allots additional P14-M to expand COVID-19 facilities

Provincial capitol of Sarangani. Photo from Sarangani FB page

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 11 October) – The provincial government of Sarangani has allocated an additional P14 million to expand the quarantine and isolation facilities for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in its seven municipalities.

Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon said Monday they are currently processing the release of the funds, which will also augment other response initiatives being implemented at the community level.

He said each municipality will receive P2 million from the newly approved appropriation, which will be drawn from the quick response component of the province’s Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund.

“Part of the funds would be utilized to assist the ongoing COVID-19 mass vaccination and the purchase of testing kits and personal protective equipment,” Solon said in a statement.

The governor said the local government has been continuously finding ways to support their municipal and barangay frontliners in containing the spread of the disease in their communities.

As of Sunday night, Sarangani recorded 499 active COVID-19 cases, the second-lowest among the four provinces in Region 12 (Soccsksargen), and including this city.

The confirmed infections in the area since last year already reached 5,713 and 88 related deaths, both the lowest in the region, and 5,123 recovered patients.

Last May, Solon said they also released P1 million each in financial assistance to their municipalities or a total of P7 million to enhance their COVID-19 response.

In 2020, the seven municipalities received grants of some P7.5 million each from the provincial government to assist the relief operations for residents affected by the lockdowns triggered by the pandemic.

He said they also provided funds for the establishment of quarantine and isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients and the strengthening of the contact-tracing systems in the communities.

Since last year, the local government has operationalized five COVID-19 treatment facilities through assistance from the Department of Health (DOH) and other concerned agencies.

These are situated at the Kiamba Municipal Hospital, Malungon Municipal Hospital, Glan Municipal Hospital, Sarangani Provincial Hospital and the Sarangani COVID-19 Center.

Solon said the DOH recently delivered a patient transport vehicle to the provincial hospital in Alabel town.

He said they are to sign a deed of donation with the DOH-12, through regional director Dr. Aristides Tan, to facilitate the use of the vehicle.

Last month, the province received an ambulance from a private group intended for the use of the Sarangani COVID-19 Center in Barangay Ladol, Alabel. (MindaNews)