IATF members tasked to support LGUs in fight against COVID-19

President Duterte's government has assigned members of the COVID-19 pandemic task force to support specific local government units (LGUs) assigned to them as the country continues to deal with the threat of the global health crisis.

Based on Resolution No. 62 of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases released Wednesday night, the arrangement was made to "further operationalize the national government-enabled, local government-led, and people-centered response against COVID-19."

The following IATF members are assigned to provide "stronger support" to LGUs with areas identified with high community transmission, including the strict monitoring of health system performance, critical care capacity, and stringent compliance to surveillance, isolation, and, treatment protocols:

For the National Capital Region (NCR):
* Quezon City: Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles
* Pasig City: Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat
* Pateros: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim
* Marikina City and Malabon City: Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera III
* Taguig City: Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon
* Manila: Information and Communications Technology Secretary Greg Honasan and Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) director-general Jeremiah Belgica
* Mandaluyong City: Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez
* Makati City: National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.
* San Juan City: Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua
* Muntinlupa City: Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade
* Parañaque City: NTF chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr.
* Las Piñas City: Public Works Secretary Mark Villar
* Pasay City: Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque
* Caloocan City: Agriculture Secretary William Dar
* Navotas City: Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado
* Valenzuela City: Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña
The IATF likewise named the following members in provinces near NCR:
* Bulacan: Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra
* Cavite: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
* Laguna: Communications Secretary Martin Andanar
* Rizal: Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi
These areas are those currently placed under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until August 18.

Malacañang said that the country cannot afford to extend the MECQ in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces unless Congress will allocate funds to aid those living in these areas.

Other matters

The IATF also ratified the resumption of the Part II of the testing activities for the Qualifying Assessment (QA) for Foreign Medical Professionals tentatively scheduled on September 19 by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) following health protocols approved by the Department of Health (DOH).

Based on IATF Resolution No. 62, the approved examinations to be held on September 19 to 21 for the Physician Licensure Examination and QA shall proceed only in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and or modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Meanwhile, the IATF has likewise endorsed the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture to jointly issue a memorandum circular with the Department of the Interior and Local Government to give guidance and advisory to the LGUs to establish and organize the LGU-led local rice task force for the proper implementation and monitoring of the rice program.