San Fernando City, La Union - To protect officials, personnel from COVID- 19 pandemic and likewise, provide a safe public service, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region- I (DENR- I) headed by Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy M. Barcelo officially requested the assistance of Department of Health, Region- I (DOH- I) to conduct COVID- 19 testing among its frontline personnel.

The DOH Region- I headed by Regional Director Dr. Valeriano Jesus V. Lopez promptly responded to the request for Nasopharyngeal Swab Testing to 188 officials and employees of DENR- I. Just like any other government offices, DENR- I is presently implementing minimum office protocols to protect personnel from contracting the virus and to have a COVID- 19 free workplace. Likewise, the agency is also implementing a Skeletal Workplace and Work from Home Arrangement as per Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 10 series 2020 providing for the Revised Interim Guidelines for Affirmative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government during the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID- 19 Pandemic.

 Frontline personnel of   DENR- I especially those who render services at the Public Assistance Desk, security personnel, drivers and field personnel underwent rapid anti- body test or SWAB testing at DENR- I Office, Government Center, Sevilla, San Fernando City, La Union on September 4 and 18, 2020 by DOH- I medical personnel with the assistance of the Provincial Health Office of La Union headed by Dr. Eduardo Posadas. The DOH also provided the agency with medications to help strengthen the immune system and treat underlying health conditions as well as personal protective supplies such as face shields and alcohols to safeguard the employees from contracting the virus. In addition, the DOH- I also provided vaccines and a Flu Vaccination was administered by the office to all DENR employees last September 21- 25, 2020.

Consistent with the goal of DENR- I prevention plan in ensuring a COVID- 19 free environment, series of cleaning and disinfection protocol has been conducted in the DENR- I regional office building.  With the assistance of the LGU- San Fernando City, La Union- Engineering and Architectural Services (EAS) headed by Engr. Eduardo Villagracia, a comprehensive misting procedures are being continuously being undertaken in defense of the about 500 DENR- I employees including the Environmental Management Bureau EMB and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) against the virus.

DENR- I is indeed grateful to the DOH- I, PHO and LGU- San Fernando City for extending their helping hands for a sustained virus- free environment.