DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has committed to help improve the response efforts of the local government of Muntinlupa against COVID-19 during the conduct of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemics (CODE) Team visit in the city on September 4, 2020.
The visiting CODE Team was composed of Tugade, BCDA President and CEO and National Task Force Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, and officials from the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The visit was held to conduct a dialogue between the national government with the local government of Muntinlupa, under the leadership of Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, on how to improve and implement key measures and strategies to address the COVID-19 situation at the community level.
In August, Cabinet Secretaries were assigned to act as “big brothers” to local officials, who shall aggressively pursue the government’s National Action Plan against COVID-19 in high-risk areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Tugade was assigned in Muntinlupa.
In his assessment and remarks at the event, Tugade lauded Muntinlupa’s response efforts, including its systematic processes, facilities, and efficient people and leaders, as essential factors in combating the dreaded disease. This, as the Muntinlupa LGU has effective local initiatives for testing, contact tracing and treatment, such as the establishment of molecular laboratory, crematorium facilities, and isolation facilities.
To intensify the said initiatives, the transportation chief has committed to help boost the isolation measures being enforced by the city. This will be carried out by tapping the resources of hotels, pension houses, and resort houses to accommodate patients who need isolation.
Tugade also shared that an additional isolation facility will be built within the city through the help of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar.
Through the CODE Team, other necessary COVID-19 efforts are being amplified, such as the fast-tracking of Muntinlupa’s molecular laboratory accreditation, providing the additional PCR machine in the molecular laboratory in Ospital ng Muntinlupa, and following-up of additional five ambulances from the Health Department.
On August 20, 2020, Muntinlupa City also received a fully-equipped ambulance, which was a donation from Foton Motors PH Inc. that was facilitated by Tugade.
Moreover, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory recently approved several jeepney and UV Express routes in Muntinlupa.
“Marami pa po ang dapat gawin. Ngunit itong mga ginagawa natin ngayon ang magbibigay-tibay sa puso at liderato ng administrasyong Duterte na tutulong at tutulong sa isang siyudad na kagaya ng Muntinlupa,” said Tugade.
“Dito natin nakita ‘yung pagsisikap ng National Government, lalo na po sa pamamagitan ni Secretary Tugade na [tulungang] tumayo ang Muntinlupa. Maraming-maraming salamat po,” said Fresnedi.