Iloilo extends aid to towns with confirmed COVID-19 cases

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The Iloilo Provincial Government will supply fish and other marine products to two towns amid strict travel restrictions because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. issued Executive Order No. 100 on April 2, imposing stricter travel regulation on municipalities, city, and barangays in the province with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The restriction is part of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

This, after the Department of Health (DOH), confirmed on April 1 that there had been local transmission of COVID-19 in Guimbal and Lambunao towns.

The governor said that the provincial government will step in to re-establish the supply lines to the two towns after trade was also restricted as part of stricter measures.

He added that the Northern Iloilo Alliance for Development (NIAD) will help with the fish supply.

The NIAD was formed by the mayors of Ajuy, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Batad, Carles, Concepcion, Estancia, Lemery, San Dionisio, San Rafael and Sara on Sunday, April 5, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Ang manug-patigayon sang necesidad kag manugbakal sang necesidad, waay naton ginpagwa para mas ma-contain pa gid naton. In a situation like that, there are two things, relief operations and the re-establishment of the supply lines. Ah ti, ang halimbawa ang taga-Lambunao indi na makakadto gwa sa Estancia kag magbakal. So what we did, ginpangayo naton ang bulig sang Northern Iloilo Alliance for Development, mga mayor naton sa [5th district]. We devised a scheme nga ang isda sa [5th district], makakadto na didto. So may bag-o nga trading scheme para indi mag-untat ang supply sang isda sa Guimbal kag Lambunao,” he said.

The governor also said that the provincial government will do the same for other supplies.

“We’re going to do this with other products, re-establish the supply lines, kapin pa ang mga produkto nga naga-gwa sa Lambunao kag gina-baligya,” he said.

Defensor had issued Executive Order No. 080 on March 20, placing the entire province under ECQ as part of the provincial government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



The governor said the specifics of the P270-million COVID-19 response fund are being prepared by the provincial government before submitting it to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for final approval.

He added that the allocation may depend on the implementation of EO 080.

“Right now, we are doing it, but it has to be itemized before we present it to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. Kung ano unod sang Executive Order, chances are dira na siya makadto kay because indi ka man pwede kapanaog sang [EO] sa mga mayors kag magsiling nga, ‘ti, bahala na kamo dira.’ Ginahimo naton ang tanan. When you issue something like that, you capacitate them also. You should be able to help them substantially,” he said.

The funds were sourced from savings from the calamity funds of the province under the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

The fund allocation was first approved on April 6 during a meeting of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) at Casa Real in Iloilo City.

As of April 7, Iloilo province has 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases with one fatality.