PH gov’t task force rolls out national action plan vs COVID-19 pandemic

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Wednesday presented the government’s National Action Plan (NAP) which is aimed at arresting the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who serves as the task force’s spokesperson, revealed the action plan against COVID-19 pandemic at a news conference in Malacañang.

Under the plan which is contained in the March 24 resolution, the IATF will serve as the policy-making body of the operations while the national task force (NTF-COVID-19) shall serve as the operational command to be headed by the Secretary of the Department of National Defense.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council shall determine and identify the agencies that will belong to the proposed NTF-COVID-19.

The task group on response operations will be led by the Department of Health with support from other national government agencies to address enforcement and security, food security, disaster risk management, and labor issues.

The IATF also said that a task group on resource management and logistics shall ensure that critical needs of all concerned agencies will be met, while another task group will be in-charge pf communications.

The day-to-day concerns in relation to the pandemic will be managed by National Incident Command.

The IATF also directed the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to transfer more than P420 million fund to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) to be used for the latter’s COVID-19 packages.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development will lead the Technical Working Group for Social Amelioration to identify beneficiaries of the government’s social amelioration program.

The IATF also said endorsed the proposal of the Department of Labor and Employment to immediately release the P1.5 billion worth of financial aid for Filipino migrant workers.

The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), meanwhile, is designated as the main coordinating body for all domestic donations relative to the management of COVID-19, while international financial donations will be subject to the evaluation of a technical working group composed of the Department of Foreign Affairs, OCD, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management.

The action plan was released a week after the Philippines was placed under a state of calamity, and a 30day enhanced community quarantine was implemented in the whole of Luzon to combat the spread of the virus.

The Philippines has so far recorded 636 confirmed cases with 38 deaths and 26 recoveries.

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