ILOCOS SUR — Employees of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) pooled their financial resources and efforts to extend help to frontliners in Ilocos Sur amid the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
PENR Officer Rosemarie Jornacion said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources may not be as busy as compared to other national government agencies in addressing the impacts of COVID-19, but they also have their own way of expressing their gratitude to the frontliners during this challenging time.
“These gestures were made primarily for all the men and women on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19. We thank them for their courage and their selflessness for keeping us out of harm, enabling us to continue working and being with our love ones,” she told the Philippine Information Agency.
PENRO-Ilocos Sur covers two Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) – CENRO Northern Ilocos Sur located in Bantay town for the first district and CENRO Southern Ilocos Sur in the municipality of Tagudin for the second district.
Jornacion said their employees donated cash totaling to Php 79,810 for the food packs, hygiene kits and facemasks given to the medical and barangay frontliners in the area of responsibility of the two CENROs.
She added that some employees provided financial assistance to the different fund campaigns of churches, organizations like kutseros in Vigan City, hospitals and schools where food packs, hygiene kits and face shields were bought and distributed to them amounting to Php 20,000.
“Some employees also chose to help their neighbors by distributing food packs composed of rice, meat, Vigan delicacies like longanisa and bagnet amounting to Php 62,500,” she said.
Further, employees voluntarily shared part of their salaries and were able to raise cash assistance worth Php 76,000 which were given to three hospitals in the province namely, the Ilocos Sur District Hospital-Magsingal, Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital-Gabriela Silang in Vigan City and Ilocos Sur District Hospital-Tagudin; and to the garbage collectors in the municipalities of Bantay and Tagudin, including the security guards and utility workers.
Jornacion shared that aside from the financial assistance they have extended, other PENRO employees donated blood to the hospitals and to the Philippine Red Cross-Ilocos Sur Chapter to help augment their supply of blood.
Likewise, their forest rangers and forest technicians volunteered themselves to help in the manning of check points.
Meanwhile, she said that PENRO, through the Protected Area Management Board, agreed that the eco-lodge facilities at the Bessang Pass Natural Monument/Landmark will be used as an isolation facility for COVID-19 suspects in the municipality of Cervantes.