Duterte asked to appoint Dominguez as overall COVID-19 crisis manager
MANILA, Philippines — Albay Rep. Joey Salceda on Wednesday asked the President to designate Finance Secretary and Economic Development Cluster Head Carlos Dominguez as an overall COVID-19 crisis manager.
Salceda said Dominguez should be named to such a position to “bring clarity to the response and make our efforts holistic and coordinated.”
“It will probably work better if testing, tracing, and treatment, as well as economic interventions and procurement, were not siloed in different agencies or different persons-in-charge. At the same time, we need someone who can readily decide on matters of government guarantees, borrowing, and spending,” Salceda said in a statement.
“This is the most challenging socio-economic crisis we have dealt with in decades. I can think of no other person who already has the mandate, the gravitas, and the experience than Secretary Sonny Dominguez,” he added.
According to Salceda, Dominguez, as head of the Economic Development Cluster of Cabinet, already has supervision over various aspects of pandemic response such as vaccine procurement, testing, isolation, and monetary matters.
“Secretary Dominguez even oversees the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry as cluster head. This is critical as we face a food price hike and supply chain issues,” Salceda said.
Further, Salceda said Dominguez also has the private sector experience and network necessary to mobilize the Philippine industry.
Salceda said that while National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. was designated to implement emergency rules specific to the pandemic, “the crisis management role we need is broader than that.”
“Basically, what we need right now is something like a Chief Minister. And it has been standard for our presidents (and even other world leaders) to heavily rely on Finance Secretaries for that role, formally as in the case of Cesar Virata, or informally,” he added.
Dominguez has yet to comment on Salceda’s proposal.
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