Consumer group pushes for digital solutions to ‘empower’ COVID-19 response of LGUs
MANILA, Philippines — Consumer advocate CitizenWatch Philippines on Thursday urged business groups to help local government units (LGUs) find digital solutions that would strengthen their respective ongoing COVID-19 responses and vaccination deployments amid the prevailing high rate of infections.
CitizenWatch convenor Atty. Tim Abejo said “LGUs need to be empowered” through the use of digital technologies to help them with their battle against the deadly COVID-19.
“Ongoing COVID-19 responses and vaccination deployment in LGUs need to be empowered with the capability to harness digital technologies and fast connectivity to avoid leakages and delays,” he noted.
Sustained communication, proper data collection, and monitoring of vaccination data, according to Abejo, will be important not only for implementation but also as a valuable reference for any unforeseen virus permutations.
He cited Mandaluyong City’s free WiFi initiative, which was done in cooperation with a leading telecommunications company, to support daily information and communication for its vaccination operations and ongoing COVID-19 response.
“We strongly encourage more private sector interventions that would help hasten population herd immunity that we need to achieve as soon as possible to reverse the trajectory of this deep economic crisis,” Abejo said.
The group’s leader said the digital services facility around Mandaluyong City helped the local government facilitate better and smoother coordination for their vaccination drive. Free WiFi hotspots were installed at the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), Mandaluyong Public Markets 1 & 2, and Puregold Price Club-Shaw.
The local government has recognized that “digital solutions proved to be critical to overcome the challenges of the pandemic going into the new normal.” It also hoped that technologies that the telecommunications firm set up around the city will improve its emergency preparedness and manage the safety of its residents.
“Digital readiness is a complex challenge for government and private sector leaders as we are just beginning to appreciate the vast benefits of digital technologies as an indispensable tool for continuity and sustainability towards what we hope will be a better-balanced world that has learned from the lessons of this global pandemic,” Abejo said.
“The fight against COVID-19 is far from over, and nothing short of an all of society synergy and a total victory against the virus will get us back on track to development mode,” he added.
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