Cabinet members in LGUs inspired by Cimatu’s ‘success’ in Cebu City–Nograles
MANILA, Philippines — Assigning Cabinet members to cities and provinces with high COVID-19 transmission was inspired by Cebu City’s “success” in handling the health crisis after Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu was designated as its pandemic response overseer, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases assigned its members to cities in Metro Manila and provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal to “provide stronger support” in local government units’ (LGUs) efforts against COVID-19.
“Because of the experience we’ve had with Cebu City wherein the President assigned Secretary Roy Cimatu, member of the IATF, to act as kumbaga overseer doon sa Cebu City,” Nograles said in an interview with CNN Philippines when asked what prodded the task force to implement such strategy.
“And because of the experience we’ve had, the success we’ve had in Cebu City, much the same way, we wanna be able to duplicate, replicate that in Metro Manila,” he added.
In mid-June, Cebu City was reverted back to the strictest lockdown measure or enhanced community quarantine due to a sudden increase in its COVID-19 infections.
This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to assign Cimatu as overseer of Cebu City’s pandemic response.
It was in August when Cebu City was downgraded to a more lenient lockdown or general community quarantine.
“While the effort against COVID-19 will be LGU-led, nandito kami para to act as a bridge to help them in coordination with government agencies. From there, we also look at the other MECQ provinces which were Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal,” Nograles said.
Nograles and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III were assigned in Quezon City by the IATF to help harmonize the LGUs’ steps with the national government.
National Task Force on COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Cabinet members assigned will act as “big brothers” and “big sisters” and harmonize the policies being implemented.
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