NTF chief implementer, COVID czars arriving in Bacolod today

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., and his team, which includes three of the four COVID czars designated by Malacañang, are arriving in Bacolod City afternoon today, 9 September 2020 for a “coordinated operations to defeat” CoVID-19, a press release from City Hall said.

Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. | Photo from Philippine Information Agency.
Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. | Photo from Philippine Information Agency.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea informed him over the weekend that some of the top officials of the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NIATF) and the NTF are arriving today.

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Joining Galvez are three of the four anti-COVID czars designated by President Rodrigo Duterte namely the Chief Testing Czar Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon,; Chief Tracing Czar Baguio City Mayor Benjamin “Benjie” Magalong ; and Chief Treatment Czar Health Undersecretary Leopoldo “Bong” Vega.

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Dizon earlier promised Leonardia to bring with him the needed automated extractor kits which the mayor requested for the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH). The mayor wrote Dizon Sunday requesting for these “critical supplies” as the outbreak spread rapidly in our city and province.”

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Other members of the team are DPWH Usec. Emil Sadain, Asec. Wilben Mayor, Director Gloria Balboa, Dr. Ted Herbosa, Dr. Romeo Ong, Director Ariel Valencia, Director Darwin Wee, LTC Francel Taborlupa, LTC Clifford Basco, SSgt. Stephanie Afuyog, Catherine Cidro, Zed Fausto, Director Jana Gallardo, Florence Jay Manere, PLTC Maximo Sumeg-ang, Arlene Magalong, Roland Dayag, Francis Camarao, Jomar Tampoc, Shan-ry Roberts, and Samantha Hamada.

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Galvez and his team will meet with Bacolod City officials to discuss the city’s situation as well as the possible strategy intervention on CoViD-19.

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The NTF-NIATF team is expected to present the National Action Plan, including its operations protocol and strategy.

They will also present the good practices in Cebu City and Navotas City. There will be assessment, reactions, and comments from the visiting team.

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Other activities include Seminar on Contact Tracing to be conducted by Magalong, oath-taking of Barangay Disiplina Brigades, and Ceremonial Commitment Signing.

The visiting officials would then have a joint meeting with Provincial Capitol officials, Bacolod City officials, and some business leaders based in Bacolod and from component towns and cities of the province.

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The visit of the NTF and NIATF officials to Bacolod is to augment the City Government’s response against COVID-19 after Leonardia wrote President Rodrigo Duterte a letter appealing for urgent help to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

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Malacañang had then sent Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu who also came to the City, IATF-Visayas chief implementer Major General (retired) Mel Feliciano, and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino.

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The national officials had advised the City to implement a strategy similar to what was successfully applied in Cebu City to combat COVID-19 by initially organizing an Emergency Operations Center which shall undertake all the planning, operations, and coordination to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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This Center has already been organized and is now operating at the MassKara Hall of the Bacolod City Government Center.*/CITY PIO

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