By Argyll Geducos
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. assured the public that the government is carrying out all necessary measures to address and mitigate the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Galvez, who President Duterte recently designated chief implementer of the Philippines’ national policy against COVID-19, said the government has to be on its toes as the pandemic is not only a health crisis, but also an economic, social, and security crisis woven into one.
“We have to be at least two or three steps ahead and carry out crucial interventions at the soonest possible time. This will enable our country to better cope with the pandemic which is sweeping across our country and the world,” he said.
According to Galvez, the National Action Plan (NAP) on COVID-19 is not solely focused on the spread of the virus, but also on implementing initiatives that will mitigate the social, economic, and security impacts of the health crisis.
“This is a crisis which cuts across social, economic, and public safety domains,” he said.
However, Galvez said cooperation and integration of lead and supporting agencies and the people are still the key to defeat the disease.
“We have seen how nations around the world are responding to the crisis. We need to learn from their best practices, and apply them in our country’s fight against the disease,” he said.
“I am calling on my Filipinos to stand with our government. The government needs your full cooperation so we overcome this crisis. I have no doubt we shall win this battle.”
National Action Plan
As the NAP’s chief implementer, Galvez is tasked to ensure the strict compliance and adherence of everyone with the guidelines and protocols contained in the government’s action plan against COVID-19.
The NAP on COVID-19 is the Philippine government’s strategic plan which aims to respond to the health crisis by harnessing and integrating the whole gamut of government’s logistical network, resources, and manpower.
According to Galvez, the NAP focuses on four specific lines of effort, which include enhanced community quarantine, enhanced monitoring and response, responsive sustainment, and crisis communication.
“The first strategy is to provide clear, accurate, and timely information to support the operations against the spread of COVID-19. The second strategy is to contain and prevent the further spread of the virus,” he said.
“The third is to sustain the conduct of operations against COVID-19. The fourth is we should mitigate the consequences and social, economic, and security impacts of COVID-19,” he added.
Structure of operations
Under the structure, President Duterte acts as the National Command Authority. Under him is the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19, which is chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin, will operationalize the policies of the IATF.
Galvez, meanwhile, will focus on the operational and tactical implementation of the guidelines from the IATF and the daily activities of all agencies based on their functions on addressing COVID-19.