PROVINCIAL Board (PB) Member John Ismael Borgonia (Cebu, 3rd District) has agreed with Sen. Joel Villanueva’s call to abolish the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases because of its shambolic response to the pandemic in the country.
Borgonia has proposed a resolution supporting the senator’s call. Last Sept. 28, Villanueva suggested during the Senate hearing for the Department of Trade and Industry budget to let the local government units handle the pandemic, saying the LGUs “know better.” Villanueva made the suggestion following Sen. Sonny Angara’s suggestion for less stringent regulations in restaurants for vaccinated customers and Sen. Imee Marcos’ push to scrapping curfews.
Borgonia said on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, the IATF had imposed policies that inconvenienced the public such as the wearing of face shields and the placement of barriers on motorcycles.
The local lawmaker said he thought the IATF members were “the best,” and “the brightest.”
Borgonia said local officials are “in touch with reality” because they are on the ground.
He said the Local Government Code states that the National Government can only manage an LGU during a health crisis for only six months. An LGU that lacks resources and technical expertise needs the National Government’s support, but the Cebu Provincial Government can manage the pandemic with the leadership of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, said Borgonia.
Section 105 of the Local Government Code states that “in cases of epidemics, pestilence, and other widespread public health dangers, the Secretary of Health, may, upon the direction of the President and in consultation with the local government unit concerned, temporarily assume direct supervision and control over health operations in any local government unit for the duration of the emergency, but in no case exceeding a cumulative period of six months.”
On July 10, 2020, the National Task Force Covid-19 approved the implementation of motorcycle barriers. Five months later, the IATF issued Resolution No. 88 ordering the public to wear face shields in addition to wearing face masks. (ANV / KAL)