Business sector lends support to fight against COVID-19 in Ilocos Norte by agents · Published September 9, 2021 · Updated September 9, 2021 The business sector has strengthened the pandemic response of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte through donating various medical equipment, following the request of Senator Imee R. Marcos and Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc.The Department of Health (DOH) recently placed Ilocos Norte under Alert Level 4 or High-Risk Epidemic Classification 4, currently the highest alert classification system for COVID-19 in the country.Under this classification, the COVID-19 bed utilization rate is greater than 70% and local government units of areas under this classification are urged to implement localized lockdowns and increase hospital beds and oxygen tanks.However, the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) and Gov. Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital, along with other district hospitals, have surpassed critical risk in terms of bed occupancy rate for more than a month now due to the “seemingly uncontrollable and unrelenting surge of COVID-19 cases,” as expressed by Gov. Marcos Manotoc.On August 7 and 8, 2021, MMMH&MC, the primary institution for the management of COVID-19 in Ilocos Norte, received 185 double beds, 300 mattresses, 100 folding beds, 20 oxygen tanks, and 10 oxygen tank regulators from Ms. Rose Baldeo, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Global Terminals and Development, Inc.Business Tycoon Ramon S. Ang of the San Miguel Group likewise donated three (3) units of high-flow Nasal Cannula Oxygen Machines. Meanwhile, the Temasek Foundation International, a Singapore-based organization, has coordinated with the Provincial Government on the shipment of 8 ventilators, 2,000 non-sterile gloves, 55,000 masks, 1,000 bunny suits, and 500 isolation medical eye covers. In addition, the J.V. Ongpin Foundation has pledged to donate oxygen tanks to local hospitals.On the other hand, Ms. Bing Prima-Patino, a multinational company executive and a good friend of Sen. Marcos, donated hundreds of sacks of rice. Furthermore, national and local corporations, namely, Lazada Philippines, Nestle Philippines, Energy Development Corporation, Robinsons Ilocos, Toyota San Nicolas, Astronic Group of Companies, Venvi Group of Companies, Chua Consolidated, and Don Philip Marketing donated thousands of food packs and grocery items to aid families affected by localized lockdowns.Ilocos Norte anticipates more donations from the national government and the private sector in the coming days. At present, 21 out of 23 component cities and municipalities here are under localized lockdown. The province has 4234 active COVID-19 as of writing.