Palace says assigning IATF members to LGUs in NCR to harmonize approach vs COVID-19
Malacanang justified on Friday the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases' decision to assign its Cabinet members to the local government units in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces, saying this aims to ensure proper enforcement of policies down to the barangay level amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have to ensure that the operational aspect of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 will be properly implemented down to the barangays," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement.
Roque made the statement after Senator Nancy Binay said assigning Cabinet members to assist the LGUs in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal was not well thought as she expressed concern that the officials could not take additional jobs.
"We understand the concerns of certain quarters to have health experts guide local government units in the execution of their plans," he said.
However, Roque stressed that the public health officers and health experts are "one part of the whole-of-government approach."
He reiterated that the assignment of IATF members to LGUs is to ensure "close coordination between the national government and LGUs and to harmonize the policies being crafted by the IATF and the operational framework that is being implemented on the ground."
The IATF issued Resolution No. 62 on August 12, tasking each Cabinet members who are part of the task force "to provide stronger support to local government units with areas identified with high community transmission, inasmuch as to strictly monitor health system performance, critical care capacity, and stringent compliance to surveillance, isolation and treatment protocols."
The areas covered the 17 cities and municipality in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces, which remain under modified enhanced community quarantine, a stricter quarantine classification, due to high cases of COVID-19. Celerina Monte/DMS