MANILA – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) on Thursday said it is now looking into the request of Bacoor City, Cavite Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla for additional quarantine facilities in the city.
"We continue to contribute to the nation’s effort to combat (coronavirus disease 2019) Covid-19 by supporting all quarantine facilities across the country," National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) deputy spokesperson Mark Cashean Timbal said in a statement.
He added that the OCD is carrying its "Oplan Kalinga" responsibilities to effectively respond to the needs of Filipinos affected by Covid-19.
"Alongside this effort, Usec (Undersecretary) Ricardo B. Jalad, our Administrator, ensures that there is strict adherence to the established procurement processes including the payments of any goods and services availed. (OCD Administrator) Usec. (Ricardo) Jalad and the OCD, as an agency, do not hinder the opening and effective operations of any of those facilities," Timbal said.
This came after Mercado-Revilla claimed that Jalad "refused" to approve the release of funds for the LGU's request for additional quarantine facilities in the wake of allegations of misuse of funds hurled at some government agencies based on audit reports from the Commission on Audit (COA).
"Unfortunately dahil po sa nangyayari pong mga pag-iimbestiga, pagsusumite ng COA ng mga report, tila natatakot ngayon ang OCD na maglaan ng pondo o may pondo nga pero natatakot aprubahan. So ikinalulungkot ko pong ibalita as of last night, kausap ko pa si (National Task Force against Covid-19) chief implementer, Sec. (Carlito) Galvez humihingi siya ng paumanhin kasi meron pong OCD administrator na si Mr. Jalad na siyang nagpipigil o siyang hindi nag-aapruba (Because of the ongoing probe and release of COA reports that have been going on, it seems the OCD is scared of allotting funds or if there are available funds, they are afraid to approve its release. So I'm sad to tell you that as of last night, I spoke with Sec. Carlito Galvez and he apologized to me because there is this OCD administrator, Mr. Jalad, who is not approving the release of funds)," Mercado-Revilla said in a radio interview.
She said the construction of two more quarantine facilities will address the need to boost isolation of Covid-19 patients in the city which has so far logged over 2,500 active cases as of September 1.
Timbal, meanwhile, said the OCD fully cooperates with the COA in the exercise of its functions.
"We are also pleased to inform the public that since OCD strictly follows prescribed procedures, recent COA findings have cleared our transactions as qualified and compliant," he said.
He assured Mercado-Revilla that Jalad and OCD are fully aware and committed to their mandate and responsibilities to the nation.
“She may rest assured that OCD will continue to assist all communities in this pandemic, including the Bacoor LGU," Timbal said.
He added the OCD is now communicating with Mercado-Revilla's office through its regional office in Calabarzon to properly address her concerns. (PNA)