Cagayan de Oro City-based online sellers in Facebook and other social media were encouraged by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to register their business in compliance with existing trade laws and to assure buyers of their legitimacy.

“Aside from registering their business name (with DTI), they should also file their requirements with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). That way masaligan sa buyers ang online sellers (the buyers can trust the sellers) since they are compliant with the law,” DTI Provincial Director Almer Masillones said during Monday morning´s (Aug. 17) press briefing.

Atty. Jose Edgardo Uy, co-chairman of the City Price Coordinating Council, also called on online sellers to self-regulate themselves especially those selling meat products.

“City Hall has their Anti-ASF (African Swine Flu) Task Force which monitors the entry of pork products in the city and so buyers cannot take chances buying their meat from online without making sure they are safe to eat,” Uy said.

Aside from safety, Uy said buying meat from any source other than those accredited by the City Veterinarian Office would also impact heavily on the local meat industry.

“If even one buyer purchases contaminated meat, imagine how it would impact those local sellers (especially during this pandemic),” Uy said.

“As far as registration is concerned, online sellers can pay P230 for registering their business with the DTI. The processes are simple enough for compliance. We also provide online sessions to help these sellers’ market their products since what they are doing is essentially entrepreneurship,” Masillones said.

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Sellers of face shields were told by Cagayan de Oro City Hall and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Monday morning (Aug. 17) to price their products within the P26 to P55 price range so more people can buy them.

“Based on DTI guidelines, the retail prices of face shields should be between P26 to P55, including a small profit for sellers. The face shields need not be medical grade quality, but the materials used should be sturdy, easily cleaned and fit for community use,” DTI Provincial Director Almer Masillones said during Monday noon´s press briefing.

While Masillones said the public is also encouraged to make do-it-yourself (DIY) face shields so long as they adequately cover the face, Atty. Jose Edgardo Uy said City Hall through the City Price Coordinating Council together with the DTI and other stakeholders will monitor sellers of face shields to prevent overpricing of their products.

´We will hold a meeting on Wednesday (Aug. 19) with the stakeholders for this purpose. While we don´t begrudge sellers from earning income, they should not exploit the situation to overprice their face shields and they should make sure their face shields meet minimum health standards,´ said Uy, co-chairman of the City Price Coordinating Council.

The City Health Insurance (CHIO) and other City Hall departments are kept busy the past few days in mass producing face shields for the public. The date and mode of distribution had yet to be disclosed as of this writing. The government mandated the use of face shields for those riding public transport since Aug. 15.


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Cagayan de Oro City Hall is willing to help within its means the city´s neighbor Iligan City in housing their arrivals provided they also do their part in handling their COVID-19 cases, Mayor Oscar Moreno said Tuesday noon (Aug. 18). 

“I told (some Iligan City officials) that Cagayan de Oro City is willing to help provided nga molihok din sila (that Iligan City is also doing their part). It´s like when your neighbor´s house is on fire. You can easily pack your belongings and let them fend for themselves but wouldn´t it be better if you help in putting out their fire (so it won´t reach your house?),” Mayor Moreno said during Tuesday noon´s press briefing.

Mayor Moreno confirmed that he met with some Iligan City officials last Monday who asked for the city´s assistance in housing their arrivals. The meeting came even as Mayor Moreno said Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) chief implementor Carlito Galvez Jr. and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Martin Andanar were invited to attend Wednesday noon´s (Aug. 19) press briefing.

Mayor Moreno said Galvez and Andanar´s visit may have something to do with reports about the recent spike in local COVID-19 cases in Iligan City which rose to more than 60 as of this month. Mayor Moreno previously offered the city´s aid in housing the arrivals of both Iligan City and Misamis Oriental.

There were reports that Iligan City Hall is considering to ask the city government to allow them to house their arrivals at some of the city´s hotels and accommodation establishments.

“Aside from sharing the city´s best practices in handling our returning Kagay-anons and local positive cases, I offered to help them house their arrivals since Iligan City will handle their COVID-19 patients themselves,” Mayor Moreno said.

Mayor Moreno said accomodations for Iligan City´s arrivals can be provided by the city through proper management´ and handling.

“We must remember that even if most of our COVID-19 positive cases were arrivals, it doesn´t necessarily mean that all of them are positive,” Mayor Moreno said.

What´s important, Mayor Moreno said, is to ensure that Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), the designated COVID-19 referral hospital in northern Mindanao, is not overwhelmed with a surge of COVID-19 cases from all over Region 10. This is done, he said, by confining arrivals in isolation units or housing positive cases in the city´s temporary treatment management facility (TTMF) to prevent them from infecting others until they test negative of coronavirus.


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Cagayan de Oro City Hall’s various departments met with the city’s barangay captains Thursday (Aug. 20) to secure their support for fast tracking the processing of necessary permits for the installation of cell tower sites in the city.

The whole-day meeting held at the City Council session hall was presided by Barangay Gusa captain Marlon Tabac, who is also concurrent vice president of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) and participated in by officials of the Office of Community Affairs, the Office of the Building Official and the city office of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG), among others.

Office of Community Affairs chief Oliver Egypto said a presentation was given by a technical working group explaining the rationale behind the fast-tracking in the approval of requirements for cell site towers. He said this is in compliance with Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last May 2018.

President Duterte also called on the country´s major telecom providers to upgrade their services in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) held last July. In his message, ABC President and Councilor Alam Lim called on fellow barangay captains to support City Hall´s efforts to expedite the processing of requirements of telecom providers from their end.

“Let´s look at how we can offer our service first in heeding President Duterte´s call to improve our telecom services to our people in Cagayan de Oro City which needs 100 cell site towers to expand WiFi coverage to our city residents,” Lim said in Visayan during the meeting.

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The City Health Office (CHO) will conduct a virtual conference with their counterparts in Iligan City as part of Cagayan de Oro City Hall´s assistance to them in handling their local COVID-19 cases.

“Ang problema nyo, problema sad namo. We are in this boat together. Magtinabangay kita. This matter requires some special focus. The latest data from the Department of Health (DOH-10) showed that 22 local COVID-19 cases were recorded which is more than the 12 recorded COVID-19 cases involving locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs). Of the 22, nine are from Lanao del Norte province and 13 are from Iligan City,” Mayor Moreno said during Thursday noon´s (Aug. 13) press briefing.

All 12 COVID-19 cases involving LSIs and ROFs are from Lanao del Norte, Mayor Moreno said. The 22 local COVID-19 cases recorded in northern Mindanao is the most recorded in the past five months considering that most COVID-19 cases registered in Region 10 since late May involved LSIs and ROFs, Mayor Moreno said.

“Based on the past few months, we aren´t so nervous about the LSIs and ROFs so long as they are properly cared for. But local COVID-19 cases are more challenging since you have to do contact tracing and it´s magnified if the patient stayed in a congested area. Between July 12 and August 12, northern Mindanao registered 103 local COVID-19 cases,” Mayor Moreno said.

In volunteering City Hall´s assistance to Iligan City, Mayor Moreno said both Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City are neighbors in northern Mindanao and as such, fall under the same quarantine status as the rest in Region 10.

“Whatever happens to Iligan City will impact largely on us so we help them as much as we can,” Mayor Moreno said.

Mayor Moreno specifically cited the critical care utilization rate (CCUR) for Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), the region´s apex COVID-19 referral hospital, as a crucial factor in determining northern Mindanao´s quarantine classification which is up for review by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) either on Aug. 15 or Aug. 16.

A hospital´s CCUR is measured by the number of isolation units, mechanical ventilators and intensive care units in current use amid the pandemic.

“NMMC has 12 intensive care units, 12 mechanical ventilators and 25 isolation rooms/units. If God forbid the hospital exceeds its use of ICUs, ventilators and isolation units due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, this may result in a downgrade of northern Mindanao´s quarantine status and result in a lockdown that will make the lives of the people of Cagayan de Oro harder than it is now. And we are trying to avoid that by helping Iligan City whatever way we can,” Mayor Moreno said.


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Online consultation and use of covered courts are among the minimum health safety protocols being implemented in the city´s barangay health centers to avoid COVID-19 infection.

“Even with our limited personnel we are thankful to our community development volunteers (CDVs), doctors, nurses and midwives for responding to the challenge of caring for our pregnant residents despite the pandemic,” said Dr. Mercedes Barba, City Health Office (CHO) nurse supervisor during Friday morning´s (Aug. 14) press briefing.

Owing to City Hall´s efforts to decongest Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) by accommodating most non-COVID-19 cases, Dr. Barba said they saw a rise of 400 birth deliveries a month since early April this year.

“Barangay Bulua´s health center tops the city´s birth deliveries followed by the City Health Office and Barangay Camaman-an,” Dr. Barba said.

Aside from using the barangay´s covered courts to accommodate more patients, Dr. Ina Grace Chiu, coordinator of CHO´s expanded immunization program, said they are encouraging city residents to make appointments with their barangay health centers similar to the online appointment setup dubbed Telemedicine by the CHO on their Facebook page.

“Due to the pandemic we have to minimize close contact with our patients hence the teleconsultation. We don´t even use stethoscopes on our patients and instead we rely on our trained clinical eye and conversations with our patients to determine what medicines we can use on them,” Dr. Chiu said.


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In order to decongest Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), Cagayan de Oro City Hall is looking for ways to expand PhilHealth´s No Balance Billing (NBB) program to more private hospitals in the city, Mayor Oscar Moreno said Thursday noon (Aug. 13).

“NMMC and JR Borja General Hospital (JRBGH) are government hospitals so NBB is expected to be implemented there since they are for public service. But I think that private hospitals should also be service-oriented. Here in Cagayan de Oro, we at City Hall already partnered with two private hospitals (for this purpose),” Mayor Moreno said during Thursday noon´s press briefing.

The NBB is covered under Republic Act 10606 or the National Health Insurance Act of 2013 and since 2011, PhilHealth adopted a case based payment scheme that offers a predictable and equitable payment based on an indigent patient´s condition. The NHIA also specifies that no other fee or expense shall be charged to the indigent patient subject to the guidelines issued by PhilHealth, which offers packaged rates for most illnesses afflicting indigent patients.

“We know that the city´s private hospitals whether secondary or tertiary have the personnel, the facilities and resources to serve the city´s indigent patients. Through the Department of Health (DOH-10) City Hall partnered with Capitol University Medical Center (CUMC) and Xavier University-Maria Reyna Hospital (XUMRH) to care for the city´s indigent patients under the NBB policy,” Mayor Moreno said.

Amid the controversies hounding it, Mayor Moreno said PhilHealth will always play a critical role in funding access for quality medical services to the country´s poor in keeping with Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year.

Under the law, Mayor Moreno said private hospitals are mandated to allocate 10 percent of their wards for indigent patients but City Hall´s arrangement with CUMC and XUMRH allowed for these hospitals to increase their accommodation to 20 percent.

“Just like in public hospitals, these patients have zero balance billing. Currently, XUMRH serviced 11 indigent patients while CUMC accommodated five indigent patients. We at City Hall want to expand our partnership with more private hospitals to serve more indigent patients in the city,” Mayor Moreno said.


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Rather than closing Cagayan de Oro City´s borders, Mayor Oscar Moreno said City Hall should prioritize its role as “service provider” to both city residents and their neighbors in need of assistance in their COVID-19 cases.

“Let´s not be paranoid, let´s avoid panic by being pre-emptive rather than reactive. Instead of closing the city´s borders and investigate every Iligan City resident heading to the city, we should head straight to Iligan City and help them (with their COVID-19 cases). I won´t authorize (any closure of borders) and I would be very unhappy (with that),” Mayor Moreno said during Friday noon´s (Aug. 14) press briefing.

Mayor Moreno´s emphatic statements came amid confirmation from Dr. Bernard Julius Rocha, liaison officer of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) that they have four COVID-19 positive patients from Iligan City confined at their emerging and re-emerging infectious disease (EREID) section. This includes a 70-year-old female patient who was transferred to them from a private hospital in Iligan City.

Iligan City which registered 62 local COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 13, is reportedly heading to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status starting next Monday.

In refusing to close the city´s borders, Mayor Moreno said Cagayan de Oro City is the “hospital hub” of Northern Mindanao and is host to the NMMC which the Department of Health (DOH-10) designated as a COVID-19 referral hospital in Region 10.

City Health Officer Dr. Lorraine Nery said they have instituted triaging areas since the start of the pandemic to every quarantine control checkpoint including those near the boundary of Opol town. Mayor Moreno also confirmed that he ordered Dr. Nery to coordinate with the Provincial Health Office to help them in their COVID-19 cases.

“But as I told my team kalimti ang boundaries nato (let´s forget our boundaries in this pandemic), let us not be parochial because that will not solve all our problems. I repeat all of us in Northern Mindanao are in the same boat together. No matter how strict our border controls are, if the problem erupts (within our region) it will be dangerous for all of us,” Mayor Moreno said.

While thanking the City Health Office for dialoguing with their counterparts in Iligan City, Mayor Moreno said Cagayan de Oro City´s quarantine status will be directly affected if NMMC is overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases from other parts of northern Mindanao.

´The government wears two hats — that of regulator and that of service provider. And in this pandemic we at City Hall should be a service provider by helping make our people´s lives and our neighbors´ lives easier,” Mayor Moreno said.


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As of August 13 (Thursday), the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Northern Mindanao was at 847.

Out of the total positive cases, 692 came from Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) or Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs).
Positive cases in Cagayan de Oro City alone reached 194 (actual count), wherein 158 came from LSIs/ROFs.
Figures from CDO also indicated 63 people on quarantine, 123 recoveries, and 8 deaths.

The eighth COVID-related death in the city was a 73-year-old woman from Upper Carmen; she died past noon on Tuesday, August 11.

City Health Office Epidemiologist Dr. Joselito Retuya said the woman was also the fourth recorded death in Barangay Carmen.

Records from the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER Philippines) have indicated that the case doubling time for CDO is at 14.41% with 15.38% Critical Care Utilization Rate (CCUR) for the period of July 10-18, 2020.

FASSSTER Philippines is an evidence-based forecast of possible cases and scenarios on the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has placed the entire Region 10 under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) status until August 15, 2020.

The MGCQ status is the transition phase between GCQ and New Normal when the following temporary measures are relaxed and become less necessary: (1) limiting movement and transportation, (2) the regulation of operating industries, and (3) the presence of uniformed personnel to enforce community quarantine protocols.

#NagkahiusaBatokCOVID19 #CDOCOVID19Response #iCanDOit #HealAsOne #COVIDI19PH


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Hosted by Ryan Doll, Kumbira 2020 offers a taste of the new normal. Kumbira 2020 is part of the core events of the annual Higalaay Festival — only this time, it is held virtually. 

Eileen San Juan, former president of the Cagayan de Oro Hotel and Restaurant Association (COHARA), says that staging Kumbira in a different way will show the resilience of local hospitality and restaurant businesses. 

To add, current COHARA president Eduardo Pelaez and COHARA VP for Restaurants Joanna Yu assure the public of the adherence of the association members to strict COVID-19 safety procedures and protocol. 

This episode featured the signature dishes of Seda Centrio, Babu Kwan, and Gardens of Malasag Eco-tourism Village. 

This episode is the first in the three-part series of Kumbira 2020. Watch out for the rest on Thursdays this month (Aug 20 & 27). 

Check the video here:

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