northern mindanao

Ozamiz implements 'strict' community quarantine

March 20, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- The local government unit of Ozamiz has implemented starting 12:00 noon on Wednesday, March 18, a strict community quarantine despite having zero case of COVID-19 in the city. Mayor Sancho Oaminal said all vessels and air transportations has been suspended and land travels, although permitted, has been restricted. The operations of barge or roll-on roll-off (RORO) from Mukas in Kolambogan town in Lanao del Norte were being suspended. RORO is the most convenient way to enter Ozamiz or to go to Misamis Occidental, Dipolog City and parts of Zamboanga del Norte. With the suspension of sea travel, motorists and or passengers who are going to the said places have to go through Zamboanga del Sur areas and travel for about 3 hours, instead of 15 minutes, before reaching Ozamiz. Oaminal clarified that residents of Ozamiz, especially those who are coming home, after their works were suspended, can enter  Ozamiz provided they will follow the guidelines at the checkpoints where their body temperature is taken through infrared thermometer gun. If their body manifest 38 degrees celsius or more, their basic data such as name, address, age and travel history will be recorded and they will be put in an isolation area until their body temperature returns to normal. "If they are going to places beyond Ozamiz, they will be escorted by marshalls until they get out from the city. They are not allowed to stop even for a little period of time. Our purpose is to contain the spread of the vírus if ever one or some of them have it," Oaminal said. Oaminal explained that despite the strict community quarantine, there has no order of closing business establishments provided they have available sanitizers for their costumers or clients and the establishments will encourage them to observe social distancing. "We are closely monitoring them to comply that guidelines or else we will close them. But you know, many establishments voluntarily closed because they know they cannot observe social distancing especially the salons, massage clinics," Oaminal said. In Ozamiz, one person under investigation (PUI) are admitted in the hospital after the other one has been cleared and discharged on Wednesday. The remaining PUI, a male, has severe condition and is awaiting for his COVID-19 test result. There are seven PUIs in a home quarantine for having mild symptoms. As of March 18, LGU Ozamiz is monitoring 159 persons who came from a travel in Metro Manila. Most of them are students and their coaches who participated in the recently concluded National Schools Press Conference in Luzon according to Oaminal.

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Catholic masses suspended in Mis. Oriental, Camiguin

March 18, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: All catholic masses in Misamis Oriental are suspended until April 15, Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, head of the predominantly Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Misamis Oriental announced Wednesday. Msgr. Perseus P. Cabunoc, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Misamis Oriental, made the announcement in an interview with the local radio station here.  He said that the suspension or cancellation of the masses is effective immediately until April 15, 2020. Ledesma’s order is in compliance with the directive of the government and the health department to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus, Cabunoc said. According to Cabunoc, except for the small doors of the big churches, the main entrance is closed. “We are opening two small entrances to allow those who want to privately pray inside the Church,” Cabunoc said. He said private masses in small chapels within the major Churches (Cathedrals) are allowed for priests and acolytes only. Cabunoc said that private masses of a small group of people numbering only about 30 to 40 parishioners are also allowed, but would strictly follow the “social distancing” scheme. He said that the cancellation of the masses also included the masses of the island province of Camiguin and Malitbog, a municipal town of the province of Bukidnon. The Archdiocese of Misamis Oriental covers 62 parishes and a Roman Catholic population of over 1 million or 75 per cent of the total population of the areas covered. 

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Iligan Diocese suspends masses due to COVID-19

March 16, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- The Diocese of Iligan on Sunday (March 15) all liturgical celebrations in all parishes of the diocese. Iligan Diocese, with ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Iligan City and the whole Lanao del Norte province, has 26 parish churches and 726 chapels. "After much prayer and deliberation with some members of the Priests' Council, the Clergy in the city and City Health Officers, I have decided with a heavy heart, to suspend indefinitely all liturgical celebrations starting tomorrow, March 15, 2020 for the whole diocese," Bishop Jose Rapadas said in a statement. "It is the moral obligation of the church to enjoin with government in preventing the spread of the virus," Rapadas said. The Bishop advised the public to continue praying and strengthen faith to God. However, Father Edward Labadisos, the diocese chancellor, said the cathedral will remain open for the faithfuls to come and pray. "The church is encouraging the people to just stay home and instead participate masses on television. The difference is, they cannot receive the holy communion but we have spiritual communion and respective parish priests will explain that to their people," Labadisos said. The first COVID-19 fatality in Northern Mindanao, referred to by the DOH as patient PH40, was first admitted at Adventist Medical Center in Iligan City on March 3 for having fever, cough and difficulty of breathing, symptoms that a person is infected with the virus. On March 7, the hospital health workers observed, that PH40, who is from Lanao del Sur, did not respond to antibiotics. He was transferred to NMMC on March 8 and was COVID-tested. On March 11, the test resulted positive. The DOH confirmed on Saturday he died evening of March 13. Major Allan Abalde, chief of Iligan City Police Station 5, said regular Sunday masses of the St. Michael's Cathedral normally draw up to 500 church goers in the morning and not less that a thousand in the afternoon to the last mass schedule at 8:00 in the evening.

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Former PIA exec undergoes home quarantine after attending LMP

March 16, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- The former director general of the Philippine Information Agency is now imposing home quarantine in his hometown in Baroy town, in Lanao del Norte in the evening of Saturday, March 14, as compliance to the directives of the Department of Health. Harold Clavite said he arrived Iligan City from Manila on March 11 after attending the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) upon the invitation of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte Municipal Mayor Rommel Arnado. He stayed two nights in Iligan and another night in Kauswagan before proceeding to Baroy. "When I arrived in Iligan on March 11, the DOH did not require yet the home quarantine for those who are coming from Manila. The requirement of home quarantine for those who are coming from Manila started when the 'lockdown' was imposed on March 15 when Manila was identified is high risk," Clavite explained. Clavite arrived from New York on February 25 with layover in South Korea for two hours. The Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) of Poblacion visited Clavite on Sunday morning to get his record of travel history and check his body temperature. BHERT team will visit him everyday for 14 days. So far, Clavite said, he is feeling well. "I stayed in my room since arrival and no contact with anyone from the house. I have a senior citizen diabetic Dad and a cancer patient Aunt next door and they are very vulnerable. So I make sure I don’t interact with them for the next 14 days," Clavite said in a text message. "I eat my meals inside my room and only go out to use the bathroom when everyone is out. I have dedicated plates, cups and utensils and they are washed separately," he added. "My food is brought at the door and I picked them up. I wear masks all the time and my sister uses gloves and masks when bringing my food."

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Iligan solon, Lanao Norte mayor on home quarantine

March 16, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- Iligan City Lone District Congressman Frederick Siao is on a 14-day home quarantine in Iligan after arriving from Manila on Friday, March 13. Siao said he was in Manila in the last one week for his obligations as representative. "To comply the DOH requirement, I submit my self to a 14-day home quarantine. The DOH advisory says all persons who travelled from places with confirmed COVID-19 case is automatically considered 'persons under monitoring' (PUMs)," Siao said. PUMs are persons who showed no flu-like symptons but has travel history from places with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The DOH advised them to a home quarantine for 14 days. At 4pm on Sunday, the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) visited Siao to record his travel history and get his body temperature. "I voluntarily called the barangay chairman so that they can come to my house and get my record," Siao said. Meanwhile, Kauswagan municipal mayor Rommel Arnado is also in a 14-day home quarantine since Saturday, March 14. Kauswagan is around 20 kilometers away from Iligan City. In a statement released to the media on Sunday, Arnado said he was in Manila in the last two weeks to attend various meetings that has something to do with his governance of his town including the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP). "I am doing this, not only to comply with the DOH requirements but also for public safety," Arnado said. On Sunday afternoon BHERT of Poblacion visited Arnado for the recording.

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Community quarantine implemented in Iligan City

March 16, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- The local government of Iligan started the implementation of 'community quarantine' starting 12:01am on March 16, "to keep Iligan City safe from the emerging illness that may result to a health disaster among the constituents that will have a domino effect to the economy and livelihood of the people." The first COVID-19 fatality in Mindanao was admitted first at the Adventist Medical Center here but was later died at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City. The patient is from Lanao del Sur. Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia personally declared the 'community quarantine' in a press briefing, afternoon on Sunday, despite being on a home quarantine after his travel from Manila last week. "The community quarantine shall remain in force until lifted by the local chief executive," the Executive Order Number 29, series of 2020 states. Guidelines With the implementation of community quarantine, all passengers on-board public and private vehicles entering Iligan City must present a valid government-issued identification card such as voter's ID, employees ID, school ID. They have to register their name, address, contact number and their body temperature will be taken at the checkpoint located at the entry of Iligan City. Personnel and drivers of delivery vehicles must register including the plate number of their vehicle. The checkpoints are located in barangays Buruun, Maria Cristina, Dalipuga, Abuno and Mandulog. Travellers in public or private vehicles passing Iligan City will undergo the same procedure but will be accompanied/monitored by marshals of the Philippine National Police or the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (SCAA) until their vehicles are out of the boundary through the PNP/military checkpoints. All establishments shall continue their usual business and may exercise flexible schedules all in accordance with the provisions of the executive order except themed-parks, swimming pools, cockpits, bowling lanes, gyms, team sports, movie houses, karaoke and beer houses, amusement places, internet cafes, bingo and e-games and the likes are not allowed to operate. All patients from other cities or municipalities are required to seek medical intervention at their respective hospital facility. In addition to this order, biometric system of the employees in the city hall is temporarily suspended. No lockdown, no Martial Law The implementing units of the community quarantine order are the PNP, the AFP, the SCAA and the Iligan Task Force on COVID-19 and uniformed personnel will man the checkpoints to be tightened and the curfew hours will continue. But despite that, the city mayor said there will be no lockdown and there will be no Martial Law in Iligan. "Lockdown is very far from community quarantine. (In lockdown), no one can get out or no one can come in. If that is the case, we may be free from the virus but we die of hunger," Regencia explained.

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