SAN JOSE, ANTIQUE, May 23 (PIA6) -- The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic spelled unity and political peace among the municipal mayors in the province of Antique despite their varied political affiliations.
Governor Rhodora Cadiao emphasized this during the Mugstoria Ta! interview hosted by Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas (OPAV) Assistant Secretary Jonji Y. Gonzales.
"For the first time, ang pinakamagandang naidudulot na gawa ng COVID-19, lahat kami nag-unite. Mga mayors pag pinatawag namin sila para sa meeting sa Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), kompleto silang dumarating at pati ang aming Congresswoman Loren Legarda," Cadiao said.
The top official lauded the efforts of the local chief executives in their collective efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
According to the governor, municipalities in Antique have established their respective isolation facilities and border checkpoints to cater to the influx of people.
Meanwhile, the provincial government has championed several initiatives to help these towns during the declaration of community quarantines.
Cadiao shared that local government units and the provincial government have decided to buy the vegetables and root crops from local farmers to support their source of income.
These fresh produce were packed as relief goods and were distributed to the barangays.
The national government also earmarked P55 million to the province of Antique which was utilized to purchase test kits and personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontliners, establish bio-contained laboratory, and provide financial assistance.
In terms of provincial travel restrictions, Cadiao expressed her desire to talk with the governors in the provinces of Panay and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas to consider the opening of the provincial and city borders.
"Sana po makaupo kami at mapag-usapan ito na we'll make "One Panay" para dito nalang kami gagalaw galaw lahat. Anyway, parehas lang naman kami na bumababa na ang kaso ng COVID," the governor said.
Cadiao eventually hoped that Filipinos will win the battle against the dreaded disease with strengthened unity.
"We rise above the ashes of misfortune and be renewed with life-changing lessons that COVID-19 has brought," Cadiao added.
Other leaders from the Western and Eastern Visayas who were also invited during the May 21 Mugstoria Ta! episode to share their best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic are Capiz Governor Esteban Evan B. Contreras, Samar 2nd District Representative Sharee Ann Tan and Ormoc City mayor Richard Gomez. (LTP/LML-PIA6 Antique)