The road to economic recovery will be the Cebu Provincial Government’s foremost concern as Cebu moves forward this 2021.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia is confident that the towns and cities of the Province are already equipped and capable of managing Covid-19.
She emphasized that the Province will continue what it has already started in leading the road to economic recovery as this is far more important than dwelling on the number cases affected with Covid-19.
She reiterated her earlier stand that Covid-19 will remain present in the society while there is no known cure to it yet.
While she acknowledges the existence of Covid-19, the governor has always pushed for the prevention of not just the coronavirus disease but all other diseases as well.
She has always encouraged Cebuanos to strengthen their immune system to give the body the fighting chance while they go on with their lives and livelihoods.
“Kami diri sa probinsya, we accept the fact that life is not perfect, this is not paradise. There are diseases and there are diseases. It is not a matter of eradicating diseases because we cannot do that but it's a matter of managing diseases. In this case, it’s a matter of managing Covid-19. Syaro naman usa ka tuig na ta nag deal ani matarantar gihapon ta karon," the governor said.
"Give your body the chance to fight Covid and all other diseases and that is what we should focus on. Dili na lang Covid na lang gyud," she said.
Garcia urged Cebuanos to be more cautious and analytical in knowing about the disease as the average death rate of Covid-19 in the national level is only 1.7 percent.
In Cebu, recovery rate is high at 94.3 percent.
"Nag-ingon diay ko nga ma-zero Covid ta? Apan kung mao na lang mag-inihap na pud ta unya mahadlok na pud ta, pila na kaha run ang nagkalisud? Ang situation sa poverty, ngano di na i-report?" the governor expressed.
"Sultian ta mo, kay kahibaw mo, duna na’y Covid fatigue ang mga tawo, gikapoy na. Kay ngano? Gigutom na sila," she added.
"Pero padayon ta ini sige’g kahadlok, lockdown-lockdown ra ba dayon, basin unya daghan mamatay sa gutom kaysa sa Covid mismo," she reasoned.
Garcia said the Province will continue its work in economic recovery which included the reopening of the tourism industry and implementation of Sugbo Negosyo and Sugbusog programs meant to help local entrepreneurs recover from the economic brunt brought by the pandemic.
Garcia committed to protect Cebu’s economy because she is protecting the Cebuanos who “cannot speak up apan maoy nanga-apektuhan kay wa nay mga trabaho, wa nay mga panginabuhi.”
“That is what we are going to do. We will not be distracted by too much concentration on Covid-19 numbers because the data are all there," she said.
This year's priority programs are geared towards providing more jobs and livelihood to people in the countryside such as the ongoing road repairs and construction.
"Thank you very much. We're in good shape as far as Cebu Province is concerned. We have very clear-cut policies. Our mayors are more than equipped and experienced to manage Covid-19. We must now focus more on reviving the Cebu economy," the governor emphasized.
She encouraged Cebuanos to continue to practice good hygiene, stay healthy, have a good eight-hour sleep, drink vitamins, and other practices to boost one's immune system.
"People are employing common sense and using remedies nga readily available sa balay, apil ang inyo gikalagutan nga tuob," the governor said while asking everyone to continue to follow health protocols.
The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) have also installed systems in all 12 district and four provincial hospitals.
Bed occupancy rate
All towns and cities under the Province’s jurisdiction have isolation centers in place. Of the 400 hospital beds allotted for Covid-19, less than 20 percent is occupied.
According to IPHO Chief Dr. Cristina Giango, 78 percent of the bed capacity in the 16 provincial and district hospitals in the Province intended for Covid-19 cases are still available
As of January 27, only 87 out of the total 313 available beds are occupied.
Giango emphasized that medical management strategies put in place speak for the readiness and competence of the Province-run hospitals. This is more important than focusing on case counts.
“Wala man ta mag-ingon nga ma-zero Covid cases gyud ta kay we have to accept it nga Covid is here to stay just like the other illnesses. Pero andam na kaayo ta, kahibaw na ang atong mga ospital, atong mga isolation center unsa’y angayang buhaton,” she said.
Data show that Capitol-run hospitals are not overwhelmed by the number of Covid-19 cases in the Province. Of the hospitals’ 893 total bed capacity, 450 are vacant as of January 25.
The provincial hospital in Balamban has a total of 21 vacant beds, 33 in Bogo City, 11 in Carcar City, and 42 in Danao City.
District hospitals have 248 beds available wherein 19 are in Badian, 33 in Bantayan, 22 in Barili, nine in Pinamungajan, eight in Daanbantayan, 26 in Sogod, 27 in Argao, 29 in Malabuyoc, 18 in Camotes, 34 in Minglanilla, five in Oslob, and 18 in Tuburan.
There are also 95 available beds in the Province’s temporary treatment monitoring facility.
"Let us nurture a healthy Cebuano population moving towards economic recovery because we are in the worst shape when we talk about the economy as compared to Covid-19," the governor added. (Vanessa L. Almeda, Eleanor Valeros)