MEETING. Don Salvador Benedicto Mayor Laurence Marxlen de la Cruz (right), with Councilor Rogelio Asin, chairman of the committee on health, presides over the Joint Local Inter-Agency Task Force Covid-19, Local Health Board, and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Meeting and Updating held on Nov. 10, 2020. The municipality no longer has an active case of Covid-19 for a month now. (Photo from Don Salvador Benedicto Facebook page)
BACOLOD CITY – The mountain municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) has deployed health enforcers as part of its initiatives to remain free of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
As of Friday, it has been a month since the DSB, dubbed the “summer capital of Negros Occidental”, has not recorded a single active case after all its 11 patients have recovered.
Mayor Laurence Marxlen de la Cruz said the municipality has been on “defensive mode” since they lifted the border control on October 16 as Negros Occidental remains under modified general community quarantine.
“Our health enforcers observe restaurants, coffee shops, and other tourist establishments to see if they adhere to minimum health safety requirements,” de la Cruz said in an interview.
Those deployed include personnel of the municipal health office and municipal disaster risk reduction and management office, who are supported by members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council).
He said the health enforcers keep watch, especially on weekends when riders and excursionists would usually visit the municipality, which is a little more than an hour’s drive from Bacolod.
“We had the lowest Covid-19 cases in Negros Occidental. Sometimes, we say we are glad because this is a result of our efforts. However, many people also come here,” de la Cruz added.
He said if they continue to impose border control, the local economy would suffer as many residents will lose their means of livelihood.
De la Cruz said local chief executives like him are challenged to find the balance between protecting the health of the people and saving the economy.
In a Facebook post, he thanked the town’s constituents, barangay officials, health and social welfare workers, disaster personnel, police and fire units, and other front-liners for their cooperation.
“Now that we have zero case, please always bear in mind that still, we have to be vigilant, resilient, and compassionate at all times,” de la Cruz said. (PNA)