By Argie C. Aguja
Features Writer, The Philippine STAR

In National Capital Region, local government units (LGUs) are at the front and center during the enhanced community quarantine. Each LGU is resorting to creative and innovative ways to ease the burdens of the lockdown in their respective constituencies.

To stem the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), President Rodrigo R. Duterte extended the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until April 30. To discourage people from moving about, police and army checkpoints were put in place, and barangay officials were tapped to enforce night curfews and social distancing in their respective areas.

In National Capital Region (NCR), local government units (LGUs) are at the front and center during the ECQ. Each local government is resorting to creative and innovative ways to ease the burdens of the lockdown in their respective constituencies.

CALOOCAN CITY hired an initial batch of seven jeepneys under the “Jeepalengke sa Caloocan” scheme where each jeep is loaded with basic goods and commodities and sold at the barangay level.

VALENZUELA CITY distributed “care bags” containing food, prescription medicines, special milk formula, basic supplies, and diapers to children with disabilities in the city.

NAVOTAS CITY announced that employees will receive P6,000 each as compensation and their quarterly bonus payment will be released in advance.

MALABON CITY has 21 barangays that each received P520,000 to buy and provide the basic necessities of constituents, while P6 million was released to identified carinderias that will provide 300 meals a day, for 15 days.

MANILA used modular tents to convert a gymnasium into a temporary homeless shelter where homeless persons are given free meals and baths. Manila deployed 189 e-trikes operated by salaried drivers to help transport frontline health workers to and from hospitals.

All 201 barangays of PASAY CITY have been instructed to designate a Barangay Hotline for COVID-19 where constituents can communicate while in community quarantine.

MAKATI CITY initiated the door-to-door delivery of free maintenance medicines and P1,000 for senior citizens. PWDs and solo parents were also given cash aid while almost 6,800 registered tricycle, jeepney and pedicab drivers each received an initial P2,000 aid.

The LAS PIÑAS CITY government tapped women’s organization Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI) to sew more than 3,000 face masks that will be given to city health workers and frontliners.

MUNTINLUPA CITY established the Muntinlupa Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), a 24/7 live chat service system that will provide psychological first aid for residents experiencing stress and anxiety during the quarantine period.

QUEZON CITY partnered with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to put up multiple sites for the mass testing of PUIs, the first in the country. To make this possible, the local government will deploy swabbing booths at the Quezon City General Hospital, Novaliches District Hospital, and Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital.

MARIKINA CITY launched TeleHealth Marikina, an online medical consultation app allowing residents to consult doctors while staying at home. The city government also partnered with Manila HealthTek, Inc. in preparing its own molecular laboratory complete with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine and molecular pathologist.

MANDALUYONG CITY ordered truckloads of fresh vegetables from its sister cities in Nueva Ecija and distributed it as an alternative to processed food and canned goods included in the relief packs.

PASIG CITY began the “mobile palengke” concept where truckloads of goods tour different barangays to sell basic necessities at prevailing market prices. The city also purchased three disinfectant drones in addition to 500 disinfecting kits already given to 30 barangays.

SAN JUAN converted its Science High School into a Kalinga Center, an overflow quarantine facility that will give primary care for PUIs.

PATEROS, the only municipality in NCR, gave its residents a full box — a week’s worth of basic
necessities — that comes with a list of items.

TAGUIG CITY’s TeleMedicine program provides free medical consultation via text or online with door-to-door delivery of medicines for residents — powered by 31 health centers and three Super Health Centers that will be operational 24 hours a day.

Under Executive Order (EO) 2020-027, PARAÑAQUE CITY prohibits any form of discrimination (including denying admission to establishments, physical, verbal and online harassment) against frontliners and COVID-19 patients, PUIs and PUMs.