By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Health (DOH) welcomed on Thursday, April 16, the proposal to create a “War Council against COVID-19” that would assist the government’s fight against the coronavirus disease.
“The DOH welcomes the initiative. If we could just be provided with a concept paper on the matter so that we can prepare. Should you call for us to attend a meeting to look into this, at least we will have very important inputs in so far as this initiative is concerned,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III told Quezon Rep. Angelina “Helen” Tan, chairperson of the House Committee on Health, during the virtual technical working group (TWG) meeting of the House Health Cluster of the Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC)
Tan, a medical doctor, informed Duque that the Health Cluster recommended the creation of a war council “to really help the DOH on their response” to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the proposal, Tan said the council shall consist of former health secretaries, public health specialists, and heads of pulmonology and infectious disease societies in the country.
“What is your take on that? If you are open to the creation of war council, then probably the committee can host a meeting, a diloague, to sit down with you and discuss what are the problems and recommendations of our stakeholders,” Tan said.
During the virtual briefing, House Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr. rallied behind the creation of such council.
Earlier in his preliminary remarks, House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez, co-chairperson of the DCC, assured the public that the Lower Chamber will craft a “better plan” to address the remaining challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now is a time of unity and cooperation. Rest assured that the House of Representatives is working toward crafting a solution to help ensure the promotion of public health and safety, the delivery of basic goods and services, the upliftment of the economy, and the restoration of livelihood of many of our countrymen,” he said.
“We will continue working with the national government. We are helping to gather the best minds in the land, hoping to move them together as a single unit in search of solutions to our present woes. Together, we shall mobilize all resources in our arsenal so that we could win the war against this pandemic the soonest time possible,” he added.