Areas teeming with COVID-19 cases get Cabinet members as health protocol overseers
MANILA, Philippines—Members of the Cabinet have each been assigned to Metro Manila cities and four provinces with high coronavirus infections to “provide stronger support” to government efforts to ensure compliance with health protocols.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) directed the Cabinet members to “monitor health system performance, critical care capacity, and stringent compliance to surveillance, isolation, and treatment protocols.”
The areas covered by the IATF resolution released on Wednesday (Aug. 12) were those that are currently on modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
According to the IATF resolution, these are the Cabinet members and their places of assignment:
- Health Secretary Fransisco Duque and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Quezon City
- Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan and Anti-Red Tape Chief Jeremiah Belgica, Manila
- Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Commission on Higher Education Chair Prospero de Vera, Marikina and Malabon
- Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat, Pasig
- Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Danilo Lim, Pateros
- Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano and Bases Conversion and Development Authority Chief Vivencio Dizon, Taguig
- Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Mandaluyong
- National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Makati
- Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Muntinlupa
- Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, who also heads the National Action Plan for COVID-19 response, Paranaque
- Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Las Pinas
- Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua, San Juan
- Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Pasay
- Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Caloocan
- Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, Navotas
- Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, Valenzuela
- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Bulacan province
- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Cavite province
- Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Laguna province
- Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Rizal province
The IATF also approved the resumption of the second part of tests for foreign medical professionals on Sept. 19.
But these should proceed only in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, the IATF said.
It also endorsed the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture to issue a joint memo with the Department of Interior and Local Government that would guide local government units in setting up rice supply task forces.
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