The completion of COVID-19 vaccination will be the priority of the province as Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr., emphasized the significance of being vaccinated and protected in the continuity of peace and order efforts in the new normal—during the Joint Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) and Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) Meeting held today, June 25, 2021 via zoom cloud meeting platform.
In his message, Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr. stressed the importance of vaccines as a first step in our effort to get back to a more normal way of life—“Vaccine is the first priority. We can go to a new normal. If we would like to have a normal situation by the end of this year, we have to get vaccines ready” Governor Ebdane said.
“[But] having vaccination [does not give us] 100% [assurance] that we will not get infected”, he added. With this, Governor Ebdane enjoined everyone to remain vigilant at all times and encourage those who were not yet vaccinated to avail the ready vaccines.
A total of 38,116 individuals in the province have received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccines as of June 24, 2021 as reported by Ms. Gretelyn Enriquez of the Provincial Health Office (PHO). Also shown in the report is the fast utilization of COVID-19 vaccines in the province.
Governor Ebdane also informed the councils that the province is planning to reactivate the President Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Hospital (PRMMH) as the general hospital to cater other patients because of the occurrence of other illnesses especially during the rainy season. A separate area or site for COVID patients to treat them will be established also.
Likewise, updates on the peace and order in Zambales focusing on threats of terrorism, insurgency, ending local communist armed conflict, criminality and illegals drugs were presented by 1LT Jefferson V. Tungpalan of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Provincial Director PCOL Romano V. Cardiño of Zambales Police Provincial Office (ZPPO) and Agent Merry Lyn Antonio of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), respectively.
On other peace and order and anti-illegal drug efforts and accomplishments, Provincial Director Armi V. Bactad of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) presented the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) Audit result of the 13 municipalities based on the recently conducted Provincial ADAC Audit Assessment last June 10, 2021 wherein councils of San Antonio and San Marcelino showed an ideal level of functionality, while the remaining 11 LGUs showed a progressive functionality.
PD Bactad also urged the local chief executives (LCEs) to immediately report to the DILG Field Officer assigned in their area, any unscrupulous individuals posing as DILG Officials to prevent being victimized by scams as one concern was recorded recently in the province.
Moreover, Provincial Director Melanie Grace Romero of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) highlighted the performance updates, specifically the completed programs and ways forward under the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) of the 12 Clusters of Executive Order (EO) 70.
Further, strengthening of information dissemination on the V.I.S.I.T.A App and guidelines of the reopening of tourism industry in Zambales was recommended during the meeting in lieu of the recent developments and status on the resumption of accepting tourists in the province.
Prepared by: Paulin Johanne Reyes, Aljon Bautista and Ma. Garelyn Pangilinan