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MAASIN CITY, Mar. 18 (PIA) -- The city local government unit here is taking a five P’s stand in its relentless fight to keep out a global pandemic virus from coming in, instituting intensified measures that needed sacrifices, understanding, and cooperation of the constituents the LGU officials governed.

In a live phone patch radio interview over DYDM Balita on Wednesday, Mayor Nacional Mercado announced the “5Ps” as consisting of prevention, preparedness, public health, political leadership, and people’s understanding and cooperation.

On prevention, Mercado said he had called all the stakeholders in a particular sector to a meeting first to discuss an executive order about to be issued that greatly affects the sector concerned once implemented.

He was referring to series of meetings he had lately with administrators of public and private schools regarding the suspension of classes and cancellation of school events from March 17 to March 31.

Another interaction was with drivers and operators of public transport services in the city, informing them of taking in limited number of passengers as specified in Executive Order Number 24.

As to preparedness, he said he was grateful to the city council for approving his request for additional funds that can be used to purchase more medical supplies and equipment badly needed by frontline personnel in the field now conducting regular checkpoints and monitoring daily.

Tight coordination with the provincial government and the Department of Health (DOH) on matters relating to public health -- the third P -- will always be undertaken, as the provincial LGU has also issued an executive order calling for a voluntary community quarantine with specific instructions that cover the whole Southern Leyte province.

The fourth P, political leadership, is more on the management of response and handling of the crisis that must be weighed in a challenging balance.

“There is no perfect plan. There will always be collateral damage. We will have to address this next,” Mercado emphasized.

He pointed out that motorcab drivers will only be limited to three instead of seven passengers maximum, pot-pot and habal-habals only one, and multicabs plying the city will have half their usual capacity.

With this situation the income of drivers will consequently reduce, the Mayor emphatized, but this has to be done to prevent transmission of the virus and in compliance to the social distancing protocol set by the DOH.

Mercado appealed for people’s understanding and cooperation -- the fifth P -- in these trying times, saying these precautionary measures were in line with the statement of the president and the guidelines of the health department for the safety of everyone.

“We can only do as much. Without the cooperation and understanding of our people we will have a hard time in facing the battle we are in now,” Mayor Mercado declared. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)