The city wants government agencies to prepare their respective contingency plans in anticipation of the emerging threat of the more infectious Delta variant of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is now causing the surges in cases in various parts of the country.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong convened the city’s inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases to present to the concerned government agencies such as the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) the COVID-19 status, the potential threat of the Delta variant and the contingency plan which should also be replicated in the regional offices.
He emphasized that the local government can only delay the emergence of the Delta variant in the city through the implementation of stricter border controls to limit the movement of people coming from areas that are under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ and general community quarantine with heightened restrictions.
The local chief executive said that the local government will allow the conduct of the licensure examination for mechanical engineers scheduled on August 15-16 and the licensure examination for social workers on August 24-26 which will be administered by the PRC but the succeeding licensure examinations will still be subject to the prevailing community quarantine status of the city in the coming months.
PRC, CSC and COMELEC officials who were present during the aforesaid meeting committed to align their respective contingency plans with the one that was prepared by the city so that all actions will be harmonized leading towards the containment of the rapid spread of the more infectious variant.
The mayor reminded that once Baguio will be declared under GCQ heightened restrictionism or ECQ, the conduct of the scheduled licensure examinations will be automatically suspended.
For the CSC, the scheduled examinations are for those aspiring to become foreign service officers, fire and jail and penology officers which are set in September and October, respectively.
In the case of the COMELEC, City election Officer lawyer John Paul Martin disclosed that if the city will be placed under GCQ, MECQ or ECQ next month, the ongoing registration of voters will be automatically suspended but the filing of the certificates of candidacy of those aspiring for various elected positions on October 1-8, 2020 will push through with enhanced limitations.
He added that with the expected influx of potential registrants in the last 2 weeks of the registration of voters, the venue of the registration has been moved to the Baguio convention center from September 20-30, 2021 while the same venue will be used for the subsequent filing of certificates of candidacy by the aspiring candidates for the upcoming May 9, 20222 synchronized national and local elections.
Prospective candidates who will be filing their certificates of candidacy under a political party can be accompanied by a maximum of 2 companions while independent candidates are allowed one companion during the filing period. By Dexter A. See