Urgent Call for #ECQBacolod

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Dear President Duterte, we write in behalf of all the concerned physicians and citizens of Bacolod City.  We thank you for all the efforts that you have given in this fight against COVID-19. However, the battle is clearly far from over.  May we request for a moment to share with you the situation here in our beloved city.

There has been a rapid spike in the COVID-19 positive cases here in our community, with local transmission reaching its highest in the past few days. We are now the highest in Western Visayas, and there are hundreds of pending results coming in. Some hospitals have declared full COVID-19 capacity. Numerous healthcare workers and frontliners have been admitted or home-quarantined.

We would like to appeal to the National IATF for an ECQ for at least 2 weeks to help us contain the virus, to help the healthcare system recuperate, and to give us time to institute and implement appropriate interventions, especially with the way LSIs and OFWs are being handled.  We are not equipped for a full-blast covid war, Mr. President.  We only have a few hospitals, with limited capacity and equipment.  We are just a few steps from being the next epicenter, and we fervently hope that you can help us prevent that from happening.  We believe this is the best way by which we can halt or at least slow down the spread of local transmission, at the same time fix the loopholes that we have in our system, that have led to the situation we are experiencing now. We are presently reaching out with our LGU, and we humbly appeal for your approval regarding this.  

We strongly recommend the limitation of movement of people of Bacolod by declaring ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE for at least 2 weeks.  This is to contain our cases and prevent its spread to a level of community transmission that is more difficult to handle.

With that, we share here some of the things that we have brought up with our LGU to consider as we continue to fight this COVID-19 battle:

1.     Extensive contact tracing. Strengthening of the role of BHERT in overseeing and monitoring patients that should be home quarantined.

2.     Unified protocols for all healthcare facilities

3.     Returning LSIs and OFWs. Improve implementation of protocoles, especially the coordination between cities to allow time for the receiving city to make arrangements for incoming LSIs. We would like to request for an increase in the number of quarantine facilities, as well as stepdown facilities for recovering COVID patients. 

4.   RT-PCR testing of individuals working on seaports and airports especially those with symptoms.  They should submit themselves to mandatory quarantine until results are available.

5.     Task force deployment.  The task force should be deputized and deployed to different areas and establishments to ensure proper wearing of masks, implementation of physical distancing ques, and the minimum medical requirements for new normal.  Police visibility is necessary.

6.     Data pooling of all COVID+ patients in the city and province for possible convalescent plasma intervention

7.     Strong and consistent implementation of rules and standards for the new normal set by the LGU, including curfews, resumption of liquor ban, no social gatherings; with corresponding fines for citizens and business owners whose establishments are found to have violated COVID-prevention policies.    

8.  Digital COVID-19 surveillance system, with the use of QR codes upon entry to any establishment to determine persons who are supposedly on quarantine.

Dear Mr. President, we appeal to your good heart to listen to this URGENT REQUEST for an ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE of Bacolod City.  We know our city, the culture of our community, and also the limitations of our healthcare system.  We are both tired and afraid, yet we will continue to work and serve our people the best way that we can during this turmoil.  But we need you to please back us up on this.  Rest assured, we are one with you in this battle, even from a distance.

Thank you for your time and consideration. May God be with us all. 

Keep safe po, Mr. President.



Dr. Ma. Ivy V. Malata

Philippine Medical Association -- Canlaon Medical Society




Dr. Roberto Puerta

Philippine Medical Association -- Negros Occidental Medical Society