Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano (Photo courtesy by pep.ph)

MANILA – The Taguig City government is focusing on the decisive and proactive localized lockdowns to balance the response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and keeping the economy open, Mayor Lino Cayetano said on Friday.

“Localized lockdowns are the key towards the MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) and the new normal. Where there is a high figure of infections, whether it is a building or just a floor, street or cluster of houses, we will implement a localized lockdown so that other areas will not be affected,” Cayetano said in a Laging Handa briefing.

He said such a measure was the consensus of all Metro Manila mayors, noting that putting a village or a city under lockdown is something that they cannot afford anymore.

Cayetano added that localized lockdowns help in keeping the economy open that result in continuity of jobs for the people.

“We are doing this in line with the direction of the national government. We were talking to DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) Secretary Mon Lopez, one of his reminders is to prevent closure of businesses and loss of jobs while we continue to battle the pandemic,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cayetano reported that the city has done nearly 19,000 Covid-19 tests, which are equivalent to 2.5 percent of the city’s population.

“Our goal, in line with the targets of the national government, is to test 10 percent (of the population) by the end of the year,” he added.

To meet this, the city follows the Systematic Mass Approach Responsible Testing (SMART) program which features hospital testing, house-to-house testing, community-based testing through health centers, and drive-thru testing.

Taguig’s testing capacity is now at 2,000 a day, with 128 swabbing personnel deployed.

Meanwhile, he said the city came up with its own emergency subsidy program where it distributed PHP4,000 each to around 200,000 families

It is to complement the national government’s social amelioration program.

At the start of the community quarantine measures in mid-March, Cayetano said they have also distributed a million stay-at-home packs containing essential supplies for residents.

For its pro-active and aggressive actions aimed at containing the Covid-19 pandemic, Taguig was hailed and called “a role model” by ranking officials for its health initiatives.

Since March, Taguig City has 1,663 confirmed cases, 1,030 were now being monitored, while 610 patients have recovered.

Cayetano bared that 90 percent of the active cases in the city were asymptomatic, prompting them to have more quarantine facilities to prevent the further spread of the disease in the households.

Cayetano explained that the success of Taguig in testing could be attributed to the cooperation and coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and the national government.

He said the city’s 31 health centers can do Covid-19 testing. (PNA)