PH has command-and-control war room for COVID-19 operations — Galvez

Published January 22, 2021, 4:39 PM

by Mario Casayuran

The Philippine government has a command and control war room at the military general headquarters to rein in the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic long before new US President Joe Biden placed the US on a war footing yesterday.

This was elicited by Senator Maria Josefa Imelda R. Marcos from vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. in today’s third public hearing by the Senate Committee of the Whole (COW) on the government’s plan to inoculate citizens with vaccines that still have to arrive.

 Marcos said the US has put the COVID-19 on front and center in its war-footing plans by recruiting citizens like its National Guards to learn how to inoculate.

 ‘’Are we in a war footing?’’ Marcos asked as she said she not heard the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)  being tasked to do the job, including calls to nurses and medical technologists to undertake the vaccination program.

 Replying, Galvez said ‘’we have a command and control war room at GHQ (general headquarters) manned by all agencies…. including the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police) and other personnel to maximize agency mobilization… to mobilize all assets to train them so that we can have maximum inoculation nationwide.’’

 Yes, the Philippines has been on war footing since last year, he added.

Galvez said that lessons learned from abroad caused military leaders to put up the war room which includes a vaccine cluster.