Press Release
July 4, 2021

Tolentino pushes inclusion of LGUs, private sector in IATF

MANIA - In order to have a much synchronize approach in dealing with various polices connected with the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Francis 'Tol' Tolentino is pushing for the inclusion Union of Local Authorities in the Philippines (ULAP) and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

In an interview with radio DZRH on Sunday, Tolentino, chair of the Senate committee on local government stressed that the different provincial governments across the archipelago, as well as other local government units and those in the private sector should have a voice within the national government's highest policy making body that deals with the global health crisis.

Tolentino cited the case of the Cebu Provincial government, wherein it has a different quarantine protocols for arriving passengers at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA)—a swab upon arrival policy—to somehow ease their burden and expenses since many of them were OFWs that were displaced in their respective jobs abroad due to the pandemic.

The said policy in Cebu led to IATF's action to divert all MCIA-bound international flights to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

"Mahirap naman po nag i-impose lang po sa itaas, yung pasusunurin malalaman na lang po yung mga dapat gawin sa balita, sa radyo, sa telebisyon. Dapat kasali po sila table, sa lamesa, sa pag-uusap para po maiwasan na po natin ang ganitong hidwaan, considering that LGUs are the first and last institutional frontliners in this war," said Tolentino

According to Tolentino, the LGUs and the private sector's inputs should be recognized by the national government since they know the actual situation on the ground

Synchronizing the recommendations of the national government, LGUs and the private sector according to Tolentino will prevent conflicting policies over health protocols and other matters as far as dealing with the pandemic is concerned and to pave way for a swift economic recovery.

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