Lorenzana, chief enforcer of anti-COVID-19 national plan, calls for full AFP, PNP support
MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has called for the full support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for the government’s National Action Plan (NAP) to deal with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Lorenzana, who was designated chair of the NAP, said in a statement on Thursday (March 26) that “vital to the success of this effort is the high level of interagency coordination that the defense and security sector should implement.”
This coordination will be facilitated “in tandem with the national government agencies, local government units, nongovernment organizations and civil society organizations so that a holistic approach to this challenge can be pursued.”
The vice chair of the NAP is Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
President Rodrigo Duterte first announced on Tuesday (March 24) the national plan to fight COVID-19, which continued to spread in countries with strict lockdown measures and kill thousands in countries with the most advanced health systems in the world.
“The Department of National Defense and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, are now ramping up the implementation of the National Action Plan or NAP, as we speak, to reinforce the efforts of the Department of Health in containing COVID-19,” he said in a televised address.
Prior to the announcement of the plan, the defense establishment played only a supporting role to the government’s response to the pandemic during the early implementation of Duterte’s enhanced community quarantine order.
“The NAP encompasses the whole-of-government response against the threat of COVID-19, with the AFP and PNP taking the lead in strictly implementing the enhanced community quarantine, ensuring unimpeded supply of food and non-food supplies in the communities, as well as maintaining a systematic and orderly implementation of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said Defense spokesperson Dir. Arsenio Andolong.
The new action plan was released a few days after the entire island of Luzon was placed on a 30-day enhanced community quarantine.
Details of the plan were not fully disclosed yet, however.
Edited by TSB
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