• By The Financial District


A total of 19 local government units (LGUs) have replicated Bacolod City’s “best practices” in containing the local transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As of Friday, 15 towns and cities in Negros Occidental, along with Capiz and Aklan in Western Visayas, and the cities of Pagadian and Davao in Mindanao have adopted Bacolod’s best practices, according to a PNA report

Through the creation of the Emergency Operations Center Task Force (EOC-TF) under the supervision of retired Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, chief implementer of the inter-agency task force for COVID-19 in the Visayas, the city government has been able to put in place systems and procedures to address the pandemic.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he is glad that Bacolod can share its best practices with other LGUs to help them improve their respective COVID-19 responses.

“We have benefited by learning from Cebu and other cities that have experienced outbreaks while developing better ways as we tackle other emerging problems that come with the pandemic,” Leonardia said.

City Administrator Em Ang, executive director of EOC-TF, said the city government’s approach was benchmarked and replicated by the 19 LGUs.

“The methods and procedures that we have developed are contained in a manual. We are happy to share our best practices with them because we know it is going to help them also improve their responses,” Ang said.

The Bacolod City EOC Manual contains all the systems, processes, and best practices used by Feliciano’s team as they set up the data-driven, evidence-based Pagadian City EOC.

In Davao City, the team will use the manual to establish a more effective COVID-19 approach.

Based on the manual, the Bacolod City EOC operates under a data-driven approach to identify trends over time that can form effective practices, help it become aware of issues, and lead to possible innovations or solutions.

Its centralized command center ensures that the decision-making powers are concentrated in a few leaders at the top of the organizational structure, but there is a decentralized execution of various clusters that allows data-driven actions or evidenced-based strategies.

The EOC conducts a “daily huddle” for the entire team to be informed and aligned on the work that needs to be done.

“(The) meeting unifies team members by keeping everyone informed and involved. It gives team members a sense of purpose by discussing progress toward goals and celebrating accomplishments,” the EOC-TF said.

Moreover, the integrated and collective efforts of the Health Coordinating Council led to the creation of the One Hospital Command Center, which employs a system that facilitates a comprehensive and coordinated response to ensure effective and efficient health facility referral.

Through the system, the waiting time of patients is ultimately reduced by referring them to the appropriate health facility that could best provide the level of care they require.

The EOC also adopts the “shared data” concept, wherein the data originating from the Data Management Cluster are shared with the different clusters for their appropriate action.

Data sharing encourages more connection and collaboration among the EOC clusters, resulting in a more coordinated and collaborative approach in the fight against COVID-19, it added.