COVID-19 task force taps Cabinet officials to strictly monitor Metro Manila, 4 other MECQ areas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 12) — The COVID-19 inter-agency task force has assigned cabinet members to areas under strict community quarantine to monitor their healthcare system and compliance to treatment standards.

The task force, citing Resolution No. 62, series of 2020, said on Wednesday that with the recent developments in the country’s COVID-19 situation, further amendments to its strategic program is needed “to further streamline the government’s response to the pandemic.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles are assigned to monitor Quezon City.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat will monitor Pasig City.

Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Danilo Lim is tasked to oversee the Municipality of Pateros.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Commission on Higher Education chair J. Prospero De Vera III will monitor both Marikina City and Malabon City.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and testing czar Vince Dizon are both assigned to Taguig City.

Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II and Anti-Red Tape Authority director general Jeremiah Belgica are both assigned to the City of Manila.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is for Mandaluyong City; National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. for Makati City; acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua for San Juan City; Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade for Muntinlupa City; COVID-19 task force chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. for Parañaque City; and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar for Las Piñas City.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Agriculture Secretary William Dar are assigned to Pasay City, and Caloocan City, respectively, while Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña are for Navotas City and Valenzuela City, respectively.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is assigned for Bulacan.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi will monitor the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, respectively.

All those areas were placed under MECQ on Aug. 4 due to the soaring cases of COVID-19.

The task force also approved the resumption of the Qualifying Assessment for Foreign Medical Professionals scheduled on Sept. 19, provided that this will only proceed in areas under general community quarantine or modified general community quarantine. Furthermore, health safety protocols must be followed, it said.

It also endorsed the recommendation of the Department of Agriculture to issue a joint memorandum with the Department of Interior and Local Government to guide local government units in establishing their local rice task force to properly implement the rice program.

The nationwide tally of COVID-19 cases is at 143,749, with 2,618 of Wednesday's new cases coming from Metro Manila; 233 from Laguna; 227 from Cavite; 174 from Rizal; and 129 from Bulacan.