Through the Quezon City government’s “Race to Zero” campaign, cash incentives await barangays with the highest number of identified probable and suspect coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and lowest number of confirmed cases.
Outstanding barangays in the small (population below 10,000), medium (10,000 to 50,000) and large (above 50,000) categories will receive P50,000, P100,000 and P200,000, respectively.
Data collection started last Sept. 7 and will end on Sept. 14. The awarding will be held on Sept. 21, in time for Barangay Day.
According to Mayor Joy Belmonte, the campaign will further motivate barangays to intensify their search for probable, suspect and confirmed virus cases and to sustain the drop in the number of daily cases in the city.
“We’ve already seen the flattening of the curve based on the latest findings by a noted research group. We hope to sustain it further through this initiative,” said Belmonte.
Belmonte was referring to the UP OCTA Research, which indicated that the number of average daily cases in Quezon City dropped for three straight weeks, from 540 on Aug. 10-16 to 205 from Aug. 1 to Sept. 6.
The Reproduction Number (Ro), which indicates the movement of the virus, also dropped for five straight weeks, from 1.47 (July 27 to Aug. 2) to 0.92 on Aug. 31 to Sept. 6.
“Magsisilbing hamon ang kampanyang ito sa ating mga barangay na paigtingin pa ang kanilang pagkilos para mapigil ang pagkalat ng virus sa kanilang mga lugar,” Belmonte added.
According to Dr. Rolly Cruz, head of the City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), the program will inspire barangays to be more proactive in searching for probable, suspect and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“Unahan natin ang virus through active case finding. Lagi natin ipatupad ang contain-isolate-quarantine-treat kahit suspected case pa lang,” said Dr. Cruz.
Aside from identifying suspect, probable and confirmed virus cases, Barangay Community Relations Department head Ricky Corpuz said this initiative will also drive barangays to enforce strict minimum health protocols, such as wearing of face masks and face shields and social distancing.
“If we protect our community and our workplace, then we’ll be able to keep our economy going,” Corpuz said.