Palawan governor Jose Chavez Alvarez declared on Thursday that Palawan has been winning its war against COVID-19.

“Yes, nananalo tayo sa ginagawa natin against COVID-19,” he said during an online media briefing organized by the Capitol.

He attributed the province’s success to its health facilities, even as he downplayed the pandemic’s effect on Palawan.

“Ang COVID-19 kasi ay hindi naman ganoon kalala ang mortality. Marami pa ang namamatay sa tuberculosis. Kaya lang masyado lang na-hype sa media at ng national government ang pagpasok nito,” he said.

Palawan currently has only three recorded COVID-19 positive cases, the lowest in the MIMAROPA region along with Romblon.

Alvarez said he plans to put up five additional hospitals in key towns by next year, in a bid to further boost the province’s health care services.

In addition to the existing 10 hospitals throughout the province, he said there will be a total of 15 medical facilities by 2021.

“Tatapusin ko ngayong December ang El Nido at San Vicente then by next year ay Balabac and Quezon. Mayroon pang isang bago na gagawin sa Taytay dahil its population is growing fast,” he said.

Currently, there are 10 operational hospitals in the province in Coron, Culion, Taytay, Roxas, Aborlan, Narra, Rizal, and Brooke’s Point.

Alvarez said the provincial government has been carrying out a medical scholarship program to increase the number of doctors in future government facilities.

“Marami tayong ospital at nakahanda tayo dahil ang dami nating doctor na pinaaral. Compare doon sa ibang lugar na iisa o dalawa lang ang ospital,” he said.

Alvarez also added that they have established isolation areas at the back of the hospitals to accommodate possible COVID-19 patients.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.