The Project Balik Buhay (PBB), Cebu’s economic recovery roadmap, has generated positive response when presented to local government officials and various sectors in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) said on Thursday.
The PBB aims to provide a balance between having businesses reopen and addressing the risks of Covid-19 amid its continuing threat in the city and the province.
PBB experts, composed of Cebuano businessman Edmun Liu, infectious diseases expert Dr. Brian Lim and Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas chief pathologist Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, flew to Bacolod City last Sept. 9 to discuss the PBB.
The three experts shared the concept and methods of PBB and how it will help the economy to “reopen gradually and safely as well as avoid exceeding the healthcare capacity.”
Liu presented the concept of PBB and how it helped the business sector in Cebu.
Health protocols in the workplace are the main topic of Dr. Lim while Dr. Loreche shared the importance of health protocols in both the public and private sectors.
The PBB presentations of the three experts garnered a good response from the sectors who attended the said conference.
After listening to the experts, Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez also felt optimistic that the PBB could help businessmen reopen the economy safely.
In May, the OPAV, in collaboration with the tri-cities of Cebu, the DOH-7 and the private sector, launched PBB, starting with the conduct of a prevalence survey in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
The survey’s goal was to test 10 percent of the total population of all barangays in the three cities to determine the presence and rate of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the community.
Following the guidelines of the PBB, Cebu’s business sector was able to open businesses through a calibrated, scientific, and evidence-based transition from enhanced community quarantine to general community quarantine.
The meeting with the PBB experts was conducted upon the request of the provincial government of Negros Occidental.
The conference was attended by Secretary Carlito Galvez, chief implementor of the National Policy against Covid-19, Presidential Assistant Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, and former congressman and currently the provincial consultant on economic affairs, Alfredo Abelardo Benitez.
OPAV, together with DOH-7, has been supporting and helping Negros Occidental and Bacolod City to capacitate their molecular laboratories – the Corazon Locsin Mon-telibano Memorial Hospital Laboratory and the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital Laboratory.
Both OPAV and DOH-7 agreed that improving the contact tracing activities in each local government will be a big help in fighting Covid-19.
Just this month, the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, in coordination with OPAV, sent two teams to Bacolod City to conduct training for contact tracing.
Cebu is now under the modified general community quarantine. (PNA)