President Rodrigo Duterte agreed with the National Action Plan being drafted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Duterte gave his nod on the National Action Plan for Covid-19 when the IATF-EID presented it to him, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Wednesday said in a Palace press briefing.
“Sumang-ayon naman siya at pumayag naman siya sa National Action Plan natin (He’s okay with it and he approved our National Action Plan,” Nograles said.
Nograles said the IATF-EID has approved “in principle” the National Action Plan which aims to boost the government’s efforts to contain Covid-19.
Under the National Action Plan, the IATF-EID will serve as the policy-making body of the operations, while the National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 will act as the operational command.
Nograles said this was meant to lessen the IATF-EID’s burden, as well as to streamline and decentralize the operations in curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Nograles also noted that the National Incident Command would take charge of the day-to-day concerns and operations in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
He added that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was also tasked to identify government agencies that would be part of the new units of the proposed organizational structure of NTF Covid-19, which will be headed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
The NTF Covid-19 would be composed of task groups on response operations, resource management and logistics, and strategic communications, Nograles said.
“Agencies identified by the NDRRMC shall immediately designate an official with the rank of Undersecretary or Assistant Secretary to their assigned clusters. The aforementioned clusters shall report directly to the IATF to ensure proper coordination,” he said.
“Because meron na (nitong task groups), mas madali na. Lahat ng pangangailangan ay matutugunan na (It would be easier for us following the creation of the task groups. We can now address the Covid-19 pandemic),” Nograles added.
Nograles said the National Action Plan for Covid-19 also mandates the adoption of measures that will provide “clear, accurate and timely” information to support the operations against Covid-19.
He added that measures for containment and mitigation of the Covid-19 spread was also adopted to reduce the number of new cases and facilitate the detection and isolation of carriers of the infectious disease.
“These measures will include creating a system or platform for regular reporting and updating on Covid-19 related news in the country, giving regular press releases and other measures to provide information to the public,” Nograles said.
The National Action Plan also provides that the conduct of operations against Covid-19 outbreak when it comes to human resource, logistics, and finance should also be sustained.
It also seeks the mitigation of consequences and impact of Covid-19 pandemic to the “social, economic, and personal security of the Filipino people,” Nograles stressed.
Duterte earlier declared a nationwide public health emergency and state of calamity amid the threat posed by Covid-19.
He also imposed an enhanced community quarantine in the island of Luzon that limits the movement of the people in an effort to stop the further transmission of the novel coronavirus.
The Department of Health reported that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases climbed to 636. (PNA)