Gov. Arthur Yap has accepted the tougher challenge to Bohol being a model province under the “new normal” condition forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boholanos have to brace for what Yap hinted to be even more inescapably extraordinary to their lives, economy, movement and behavior.

The governor believed that how the abnormal and unusual evolve into phases of capacity, compliance and tolerance can get proximate clues while the province remains under general community quarantine GCQ) until June 15.

Bohol and the rest of Central Visayas provinces as well as some other select areas in the country are supposed to be downgraded into modified GCQ starting tomorrow, June 1.

But Bohol is yet to remain under GCQ until June 15, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) yesterday.

IATF chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. reported to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday that Bohol is one of the first provinces to be made model to operate under the new normal.”As much has we accept, and we are proud to accept, the challenge, it will depend on our ability to test, trace and treat,” Yap said at the Capitol press conference on Friday.

In addition to the RT-PCR laboratory expected to operate soon at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), Yap planned to put up testing centers at the Bohol Panglao International Airport and the province-run hospitals in Tubigon, Talibon and Jagna.He would want started the mass testing of 30,000 individuals across the province in the coming months to establish a data base.

By trace, the governor meant the ability to contact-trace visitors and locals alike in case of infection.”We have to build up the capacity of our hospitals to treat the sick and our municipal health offices to treat the ILI (influenza-like illness)” cases, Yap said.

Covered live on national television, Galvez also reported to Duterte at Malacañan the IATF evaluation of Bohol as “still COVID-free.”

Galvez and his deputy COVID-19 national plan cheif implementer, Sec. Vince Dizon, visited Bohol and assessed its COVID-19 responses and gains last Saturday.

They turned over a new RT-PCR to the governor for the GCGMH.Bohol has no COVID-19 local transmission to date which, to the national action plan authority, could mean the execution of strict local management.

The governor reiterated, though, “Hoping for a zero positive COVID case is impossible, but managing an infection is very much feasible.”With Bohol’s inclusion among the new normal model provinces, Yap expected the gradual resurrection of the local tourism economy.

This was also cited by the IATF lead executor to the president.

But this must be without prejudice to the faithful application and observance of what the IATF Omnibis Guidelines call minimum public health safety standards, Yap said.

He articulated the business and industry operations, including those of tourism and related establishments, which are allowed to certain capacity extents under the MGCQ. However, the IATF suddenly released yesterday a resolution that retained Bohol’s GCQ status like those of other provinces in Central Visayas in contrast to the president’s announcement on Thursday.

NECESSARY STIMULUS

In Congress, 1st Dist. Rep. Edgar Chatto has strongly supported the passage of the the socio-economic stimulus package, which he has consistently discussed with fellow proponents during tele/videoconferences.

The national stimulus legislation will essentially and necessarily complement with Yap’s own “We Heal as One Bohol” Program.

The program converges the national and provincial initiatives in partnership with the civil society organizations and private sectors like cooperatives, banks, wholesalers, traders, micro-small-medium enterprises, etcetera. (Ven rebo Arigo)