Inter-agency task force bares specifics for National Action Plan against COVID-19

A “Virtual Presser” was held by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which laid out additional measures in addressing COVID-19.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on March 25, 2020, led a Virtual Presser and highlighted specific provisions of Resolution No. 15 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). As the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is highly involved, Sec. Eduardo Año, was also present to give clarification on the features of the resolution.

The IATF-EID has instructed the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to identify other government institutions to be part of the task force created to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) has been mandated by the task force to transfer to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) an amount of P 420.58 million to be utilized in COVID-19-related assistance to be offered by the PHIC.

The resolution reiterated that local government units (LGUs) must comply with the approved measures set by the task force such as social distancing measures required in the enhanced community quarantine.

Following President Duterte’s assurance of daily commodities in affected communities, the IATF-EID approved the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to allow farming and fishing activities to continue while ensuring the safety of workers against the threats of COVID-19. Price monitoring and enforcement is likewise strengthened with the reactivation of the Local Price Coordinating Councils.

Businesses in the export processing industries that manufacture medicines, medical supplies, and related products were also mentioned in the resolution to supply around 80% of their daily production for local or domestic use. 

With local casualties slowly increasing, the task force has also set additional provisions for the handling of the remains of deceased individuals. The resolution mandates LGUs to identify and provide specific funeral homes to take care of such incidents. The provision of cash assistance of P25,000.00 was mentioned in the resolution to ease the burden of the families of COVID-19 casualties.

As of March 25, 2020, the Philippines has reported 38 deaths with 636 confirmed cases and 26 recoveries.