COVID-19 cases in Bangsamoro region reach 500; Lanao del Sur reports local transmissions
CORONAVIRUS CASES in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao reached 500 as of Aug. 9, with 116 active, 373 recovered, and 11 deaths. The active cases are located in the following provinces: Lanao del Sur including Marawi City, 37; Basilan including Lamitan City, 37; Maguindanao, 27; Tawi-Tawi, 2; and Sulu 1. There are also 499 suspected and 11 probable patients who are under monitoring, with the highest in Lanao del Sur at 154.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) task forces of Lanao del Sur and Marawi announced over the weekend that 21 of the current cases have been confirmed as the first set of local transmissions and called for a more stringent observance of health protocols. “This is a precautionary pronouncement to ensure that our local governments, public and private healthcare providers and other stakeholders can prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases,” the COVID-19 task forces said.
Contact tracing and isolation protocols are ongoing, they assured. Meanwhile, the Lanao del Surprovincial government announced that its capitol complex, located in Marawi City, will be closed from Aug. 10 to 13 for disinfection. A curfew of 8 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. is also in effect.
No pending telco tower application in Davao Region, says DILG-11
THE DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government-Davao (DILG-11) office said there are no pending applications in the region for the construction of telecommunication towers by leading providers Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. “Starting on Aug. 6… we conducted our inventory… Based on our inventory, in Davao Region, existing operators such as Globe and Smart have no pending applications for new towers,” DILG-11 Regional Director Alex C. Roldan said in on online briefing. “This means that LGUs (local governments units ) have processed and no pending applications,” he added. President Rodrigo R. Duterte, in his 5th State of the Nation Address on July 27, threatened to close down or expropriate the assets of telcos if they fail to improve services by the end of the year. Telecom officials, on the other hand, have cited the longstanding challenge of having to secure numerous permits for telco tower installation and infrastructure rollout, citing in particular delays at the LGU level. Mr. Roldan said only new player DITO Telecommunity Corp., owned by Davao businessman Dennis A. Uy, has pending permit applications, which were recently filed. DITO recently unveiled a new tower in Davao del Norte, one of 170 towers planned for installation nationwide. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld.