Punto! Central Luzon’s way of giving recognition to individuals, organizations, or companies that rendered exemplary service to the public, or who excelled in their endeavors in 2021.
“BEING HANDS-ON and at the forefront from the start of the pandemic, at its height, and until today, played an important role while meeting and collaborating with the heads of government and international groups helped in fast tracking to overcome the steep learning curve.”
So spoke Dr. Jay Rivera of Mabalacat City’s Covid-19 Response Integrated System (CRIS) that effectively delivered best practices of the city’s vaccination rollout which earned recognition from being the highest single dose vaccination rate to highest overall vaccine utilization rate in Central Luzon. Rivera is operations chief of CRIS
An initiative of Mayor Crisostomo Garbo, CRIS addressed the need for a separate unit that will continuously respond to the threat of the pandemic and establish a sustainable program. The operation, Rivera said, includes training of personnel, digital repository of documents and data, and establishment of concrete facilities.
A practicing neurosurgeon for 14 years, Rivera is among the few Filipinos to be certified by the National Institute of Singapore in conducting and establishing evacuation center set ups. Something that he put to good use in spearheading the collaboration between Pampanga, Angeles City, and Clark Development Corp. to establish the first provincial isolation facility in the Clark Freeport and at the New Clark City’s Athlete’s Village and National Government Administrative Center.
Rivera also created and headed the provincial Covid-19 testing unit for RT-PCR and antigen testing during the height of the pandemic.
The former OIC of the provincial health office started constructing several teams with inclusivity to raise awareness and achieve goals which he continued for the CRIS program.
Mabalacat City became the first in Region 3 to use a mall’s facility as its official vaccination site, with Rivera collaborating with SM City Clark to use its cinemas for vaccination.
To help address the dilemma of vaccine hesitancy among Mabalaquenos, Rivera looked at situations that can be modified to make vaccination sites safe and convenient.
He initially set up a system encouraging different sectors to be part of its standardized flow of operation using standard equipment in all sites. He also led the construction of cell-type systems running independently with intersecting sectors where he pushed for multiple small and moderate-sized vaccination sites that are accessible to Mabalaquenos.
To ensure a holistic coverage of the city’s vaccination program, Rivera encouraged various private companies for their employees to have a collective vaccination program. He also collaborated with the city planning office and suggested an adjusted vaccination schedule for small and medium enterprises to give way to “no work, no pay” employees.
Rivera also used existing digital hubs for online learning at strategic locations in all the city’s barangay centers to ensure adequate and reliable connectivity. He also collaborated with the Mabalacat City College MIS department to have a paperless system.
With the pandemic apparently waning, Rivera said CRIS will be the repository of all data concerning the pandemic in a digital platform as it will continuously use its data analytics. Through CRIS, Rivera added, they will establish an experienced and trained personnel and create concrete structural offices and facilities in Mabalacat City. – Joann Manabat