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Soldiers use PA system, assist frontliners in COVID-19 battle

Armed with microphones, amplifiers, and loudspeakers, the Army’s 403rd Infantry “Peacemaker” Brigade rove around communities along with health workers, police, BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection) firefighters, barangay officials and other volunteers to defend the land against the invisible enemies.

“We started this concept early last week in Northeast Bukidnon. We believe it is very basic that people should be informed of what’s happening in the neighborhood. Our loudspeakers share updates from local government units (LGUs) and health offices, such as the latest ordinances passed related to COVID19 and tips to ensure that every community member is protected from the said virus,” Colonel Ferdinand Barandon, Army’s 403rd Brigade Commander said.

His unit covers Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, and Cagayan de Oro City.

Bukidnon governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr declared the province under General Community Quarantine last March 17 through Executive Order No. 13 (EO 13).

This EO 13 restricts people’s “in-and-out-of the province” trips. It limits crowd-drawing activities, while establishments—except those that provide basic necessities—were ordered closed. Municipal and city LGUs also issued stricter orders and directives to protect their constituents against COVID-19 threat.

“Our loudspeakers regularly do rounds in different barangays’ joint quarantine points. We are planning to involve all of our units in this operation to help our frontliners’ voices reach every home. Our plea is simple, which tells everybody to ‘Help save everyone by staying at home’. We are witnesses to the sacrifices of our frontliners and local officials. We will continue to join them and assist them in whatever capacity we can. Our newest weapon might just be a loudspeaker, but when everyone listens and follows what we are relaying, discipline and unity will help us survive this pandemic,” Barandon said.

To date, Bukidnon’s neighboring cities (Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Iligan City) and the provinces of Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Lanao del Norte already recorded COVID-19 cases.

Bukidnon, being at the center of Mindanao, continues to impose border restrictions and home quarantine as it remains COVID-free, the governor said. (403rd Bde, PA/PIA10)

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