Duterte orders OCD to manage, allocate donated medical supplies vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   April 1, 2020   •   423

The aid packages donated by the People’s Republic of China undergo disinfection upon arrival at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on March 21, 2020. The donation includes assorted medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and testing kits for coronavirus. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has tasked the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to consolidate and manage all medicines, medical equipment, and other supplies donated to the national government in the fight against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Duterte issued the directive through Administrative Order No. 27 which establishes the framework on the acceptance, distribution, and delivery of medicines, medical equipment, and supplies donated to the national government for operations against COVID-19.

According to the order, which Duterte signed on March 31, the OCD must prepare an inventory of all donations to the national government and the Department of Health (DOH).

It is also tasked to coordinate with the DOH, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and other relevant agencies in the determination of which health facilities, establishments or beneficiary groups are in need of medical supplies.

The order also states that all donations intended to address the COVID-19 situation, whether received or accepted from private companies, foreign governments, non-governmental organizations or any group or individual should be coordinated with and transmitted to the OCD for consolidation.

Direct donations of medical products and supplies to the government will still be allowed but it should be reported by the recipient agencies.

The OCD will keep a record of these direct donations in line with its authority to assess whether these items may be reallocated to other health facilities or establishments that are in greater need of the medical goods.

The Department of National Defense shall provide the necessary logistical support to the OCD for the consolidation and distribution of the donated medicines and medical equipment to identified beneficiary facilities.

Presidential Peace Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity and chief implementer of the national policy against COVID-19 Carlito Galvez Jr., will oversee the consolidation, management, inventory, recording, and distribution of donations, ensure the efficient and expeditious distribution of assistance to the public.

The OCD is directed to submit a weekly report to the Office of the President on the actions taken relative to the implementation of the order. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte fires OCD Deputy Administrator Kristoffer James Purisima

Marje Pelayo   •   May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed Kristoffer James Purisima as deputy administrator assistant secretary of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD).

According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the President decided to remove Purisima from office due to “loss of trust and confidence.”

Roque could not tell, however, under what circumstance prompted the President to fire Purisima.

Wala na po akong ibang impormasyon (I don’t have additional information) other than he was terminated due to loss of trust and confidence,” Roque confirmed.

The OCD is the government’s main unit responsible for disaster preparedness and response in times of calamity.

Prior to his position in OCD, Purisima served as spokesperson of Task Force Bangon Marawi. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte warns of return to strict quarantine restrictions if COVID-19 crisis worsens

Marje Pelayo   •   May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reminds the public to heed government protocols for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis even after community quarantine has been relaxed. 

On May 16, Metro Manila shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from enhanced community quarantine to help revive the Philippines’ crippled economy. 

But President Duterte stressed that such relaxation in restrictions doesn’t mean the country is free of COVID-19 and warned that the government might again tighten restrictions if situations get worse. 

“Remember this, the loosening of the restrictions does not mean [we’re COVID-free],” he said. 

“If the contamination will be as fast as before, and it will continue to infect yung nakalabas na (people who are allowed to go out), then we’ll have to just go back to original program,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied allegations that the government is not ready or has no policy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass testing. 

Roque stressed that the government in fact is now preparing to hit the target of 30,000 a day testing capacity by the end of May. 

“From the very beginning, we have had a systematic targeted testing at sa tingin po natin ang sinusunod natin ay benchmark recognized internationally specifically by the WHO,” the Palace Spokesperson said in defense against against critics who are questioning the government’s advice of letting private companies shoulder COVID-19 testing for their respective workers who are returning to work. 

Roque added that the government is targeting to test around 1.5% to 2% of the more than 100 million Filipinos for COVID-19 infection and clarified on what is referred to as ‘mass testing.’

“Ang tawag po dapat ay expanded targeted testing,” he said. 

READ: Phl conducting ‘expanded’ targeted testing, not mass testing vs COVID-19 – DOH

“Wala pong bansa sa buong mundo na ang lahat ng mga mamamayan nito (ay tine-test) kaya nga po mali ang terminong mass testing,” he concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte on short visit to Davao City — Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte travelled to Davao City on Friday (May 15) to visit his family.

The President opted to stay in Metro Manila in the past two months to focus on his work amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and due to tight restrictions under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). 

Aside from family visit, the President intended to check on the situation in Mindanao relative to the health crisis.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is now in Davao City to visit his family whom he has not seen in months and to assess the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Mindanao,” Roque said. 

The Palace spokesman assured, however, that the President will be present in the scheduled meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Tuesday (May 19). 

“Rest assured that he will be back in Malacañang in time for the next IATF briefing,’ Roque concluded. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.