Galvez: Cabinet members assigned in LGUs to ‘harmonize’ COVID-19 response
MANILA, Philippines — Cabinet members assigned in cities and provinces with high coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission will act as “big brothers” and “big sisters” to help “harmonize” the response of the national government and local governments to the pandemic, officials said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases has deputized members of the Cabinet to cities in Metro Manila and provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal to “provide stronger support” in its efforts against COVID-19.
But presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made it clear that their designation does not mean that the local governments’ lack in addressing the health crisis.
“Lilinawin ko po, wala pong problema ang mga lokal na pamahalaan,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(I will make it clear that local governments have no problems.)
“Nag-assign lang po ng mga miyembro ng gabinete kada siyudad, unang una, dahil doon sila nakatira. Pangalawa, para lang po mabigyan ng kahit anong suporta na kinakailangan ng mga opisyales galing sa pang nasyonal na gobyerno,” he added.
(Cabinet members were only assigned because first, they live there and second, to give the officials support coming from the national government.)
The assignments also aim to “harmonize” policies and implementation on the ground said National Task Force on COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. in the same briefing.
“Iyan po ay para ma-harmonize ang policy doon sa taas at saka po yung operational framework na iniimplement natin sa baba,” Galvez said.
(This is to harmonize the policy and the operational framework being implemented on the ground.)
“They are more knowledgeable sa economic recovery natin. With this, yung kanila pong expertise ay puwedeng maipayahayag sa ating mga mayors… At ito lang po ang gagawin natin na parang tinatawag na big brother at big sister yung ating mga Cabinet members,” he went on.
(They are more knowledgeable in terms of our economic recovery. With this, they can share their expertise with the mayors. They’re like big brothers and big sisters, our Cabinet members.)
While they are assigned in various cities and provinces, Roque noted that this does not mean they can override policies made by the local chiefs.
“Ang tanging Pangulo lang po can exercise promissory powers over the mayors. Kung talagang may problema po, it will require the President’s intervention,” said Roque.
(Only the President can exercise promissory powers over the mayors. If there’s a problem, it will require the President’s intervention.)
“Pero yung mga big brothers at big sisters nga po na sinasabi ni Secretary Galvez, suporta lang po kami sa mga lokal na pamahalaan. Sila (mayors) pa rin po ang mamumuno sa kani-kanilang siyudad at munisipyo,” he added.
(But the big brothers and big sisters are just support to local governments. The mayors are still the ones governing their cities or municipalities.)
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.