KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO – An inter-agency monitoring team to monitor compliance of local government units in the implementation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Omnibus Guidelines or Presidential Directives on modified general community quarantine in the region was endorsed during the joint virtual meeting of Economy Response Cluster (ERC) and the Anticipatory Forward Planning Technical Working Group (AFP TWG) on June 5, 2020.

The omnibus guidelines spell out the protocols on the gradual lifting of restrictions on the movement of people and the delivery of other services, including guides on the transition from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general CQ (GCQ), from GCQ to modified GCQ (MGCQ), and finally to the new normal.  The guidelines likewise provide relaxation of some of the restrictions like opening of borders and opening of other non-essential services by 50% while adhering to the minimum health standards/protocols of wearing face mask, proper hygiene such as washing of hands with soap or use of alcohol, observing physical distancing, and proper sneezing/coughing etiquette.  

The implementation of the guidelines is a prelude to the new normal.  However, adoption at the LGU level is not uniform across provinces and cities in the region.    

Ronan Eugene Garcia and Alfredo Hebrona Jr., RDC XII – Private Sector Representatives,  stress that the unhampered movement of goods and people will provide conducive environment to restart and revive the economy after the lull during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.  Thus, it would be helpful if the LGUs adhere and comply with the provisions set in the Omnibus Guidelines issued by the National IATF in order to avoid confusion, especially on the opening of boundaries and on the movement of people.

Consistent with the role of ERC in providing recommendation to protect economic interest, NEDA XII Director Ramos approved the motion to endorse to the Regional IATF the creation of the said monitoring team.   Details of the monitoring mechanism will be further discussed with the Secretariat.

Also tackled during the meeting were the: a) Balik Probinsiya, Balik Pag-asa (BP2) Program; b) Demographic Vulnerability Tool; c) Key agencies accomplishment reports on response to COVID-19 and status of Economy Restart Plan; and, d) Ways forward for the preparation of Regional Rehabilitation and Resiliency Plan.  (Evie Arabis Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)