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City now has 387 barangay health emergency teams

July 23, 2020 – Baguio City now has a total of 387 Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) to carry out Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) control measures in the grassroots.

Mayor Benjie Magalong said the number is now more than the requirement under the minimum health system capacity standards for COVID-19 preparedness and response strategies set by the Dept. of Health under its Administrative Order No. 2020-0016 for local government units, which is one BHERT for every 1,000 residents.

He thanked the Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Baguio Field Office under City Director Evelyn Trinidad for spearheading the creation of the teams.

Trinidad, in her report to the mayor, said that to comply with the DPH requirement, the city needed a total of 370 BHERTs but a total of 387 teams were actually organized or 17 more than the expected number.

The report showed that 15 barangays formed additional teams to address the needs of their population.

Irisan barangay had the most number with 34 teams followed by Asin Road with 14, Camp 7 with 13 and Loakan Proper with 11.

The mayor last July 1 ordered the formation of more BHERTs to comply with the DOH requirement and for the city to “effectively maintain and carry out standard preparedness mechanisms against COVID-19.

Before the order, the city only has one BHERT in each of the 129 barangays.

The BHERT is tasked to keep a list of persons in the barangay who had been to COVID-19-afflicted areas and submit the list to the City Inter-Agency Task Force chaired by Mayor Magalong.

The BHERTs also enforces home confinement for persons arriving from the other areas, in coordination with the Department of Health; extend assistance and support to persons undergoing home confinement; refer and transport COVID patients; BHERTs members shall conduct regular barangay-wide cleanup campaign as well as provide information campaign to educate their constituents on proper hygiene and sanitation practices, in accordance to the guideline provided by the DOH.

The team is composed of a chairperson, a barangay tanod, a Barangay health Worker, a Barangay Nutrition Action Officer and a Barangay Nutrition Scholar where at least one member must be a registered nurse or midwife.

The mayor said the BHERTs may be augmented by physicians, nurses, midwives, sanitary inspectors, population officers, Bureau of Fire Protection staff, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office staff or volunteers.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo