IATF told: Closely coordinate with LGUs for 'smooth' imposition of protocols in Cebu

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THE Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Cebu City Chapter issued a resolution urging the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to coordinate closely with all local government units (LGUs) for "smooth" and "harmonious" delivery of services and imposition of health protocols in Cebu and other areas.

The group also asked all international flights bound for Cebu to be immediately returned to the service of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to ensure convenience to all overseas Filipinos (ROFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In its Resolution No. 5 series of 2021, IBP-Cebu City Chapter emphasized the need to reconcile Executive Order No. 17 s. of 2021 and Provincial Ordinance no. 2021-04 of the Cebu Province, on one hand, and the IATF Resolution Nos. 114 and 116, on the other, to help lessen the burden of the affected returning ROFs and OFWs.

"Whereas, the recent development of diverting flights for ROFs and OFWs from the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Cebu to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila, has resulted to more financial burdens to these sectors and may lead to personal problems that affect the mental, psychological, or physical state of the persons affected from these sectors," reads a portion of the resolution.

The IBP Cebu City chapter said the socio-economic impacts of response measures, particularly on small businesses and vulnerable groups, must be taken into consideration as well.

The group said there is a need for consultation and coordination with the LGUs in the formulation and implementation of measured in controlling, containing, preventing, and managing the spread of the Covid-19, as LGUs are the ones closer to the ground.

Along with this need for consultation and coordination, it said, the IATF and other national agencies should take into consideration existing laws, ordinances, and orders implemented by the LGUs in the issuance of its resolutions.

The group said Sec. 5 of the Local Government Code provides that the National Government in consultation with the LGU concerned, may temporarily assume different supervision and control over health operations in times of widespread public health emergencies, but such will not exceed a cumulative period of six months, though it can be extended only with the concurrence of the LGU concerned. (WBS)

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