Mayor creates inter-agency TF on COVID-19

To ensure a coordinated effort of the local government, other governmental and non-governmental agencies and the people, an inter-agency task force to prevent the entry and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city has been created.

Mayor Beng Climaco Monday, March 9, issued Executive Order 548-2020 creating the task force and outlining the composition and functions and responsibilities of the group.

Climaco said the preparation for public health hazards must involve a coordinated effort of all agencies concerned, thus, the need to “organize a task force that will guide, strengthen the implementation of all programs, projects, and services in the city, ensure tighter inter-agency cooperation against the rapidly evolving outbreak of coronavirus and take necessary and appropriate actions to ensure that Zamboangauenos remain safe and secure.

The mayor sits as the Task Force chairperson with the core team composed of Health Regional Director oDr. Emilia Monicimpo, City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite, Zamboanga City Medical Center Chief Dr. Nida Tan, Mindanao Central Sanitarium Chief Dr. Hanna Turco, Bureau of Quarantine Station Chief Dr. Omar Aranan, Philippine Medical Association-ZC chapter representative Dr. Amilbahar Karim, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, City Police Director Col. Thomas Joseph Martir, City Schools Division OIC Superintendent Dr. Roy Tuballa, Trade and Industry Regional Director Ceferino Rubio, Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. President Pedro Rufo Soliven and Civil Defense Regional Director Manuel Luis Ochotorena.

Specifically the Task Force is charged with coordinating all efforts to appropriately prepare for and respond to the public health hazard posed by the virus. It is coordinate with and call upon other  local and or national governmental agencies and the private sector for consultation and advice on the matter.

The task force is also to outline specific courses of action to contain and handle the COVID-19 cases pursuant to DILG-MC 2020-023 re: amended guide to action against the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease; work with hospitals and other health care facilities in the city to manage preparations for the possible treatment of patients demonstrating coronavirus symptoms or risks and employ the DOH proposed system of identify, screen, and assist Filipinos and foreign nationals in the city suspected or confirmed to be infected with the disease and call upon any local/ national governmental offices or agencies and the private sector in this city to supply it with any information, personnel, or other assistance necessary to discharge its duties under the EO.

The same task force is to submit a regular monitoring status report to the office of the City Mayor and to perform such other functions and activities as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the order, or as the mayor may direct.

The City Government has been exerting extra efforts to prevent the entry of the dreaded disease, as the country’s COVID 19 alert system has been raised to Code Red, sub level 1 and President Duterte has declared a public health emergency in light of confirmation of additional COVID-19 cases in the country.  (Sheila Covarrubias)