Malacañang said that Cabinet members assigned to show support to Metro Manila and the nearby provinces under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) cannot override the decisions of local government units (LGUs) on how they handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases tasked Cabinet members to show support for Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal as the country continues to deal with the threat of the global health crisis.
In his Thursday presser, Roque said it is only President Duterte who has powers over local chief executives.
"Ang tanging Pangulo lang po ang (It is only the President who has) exercising supervisory powers over the mayors. So kung talagang may problema po (if there will be problems), it will require presidential interventions," he said.
Roque said the local chief executives still have the final say on how they will run their cities and how they will address the pandemic.
"Sila pa rin po ang mamumuno sa kani-kanilang mga siyudad at munisipyo (The local chief executives are still the one who will lead in their own cities and municipalities)," he said.
"Yung mga big brothers and big sisters nga po, suporta lang po kami sa mga lokal na pamahalaan (Us big brothers and sisters, we will just support the LGUs)," he added.
The following members of President Duterte's government 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 (MMDA) 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 Gringo 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
The said areas are those currently placed under the MECQ until August 18.
Based on IATF Resolution No. 62, the arrangement was made to "further operationalize the national government-enabled, local government-led, and people-centered response against COVID-19.