Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. announced today, September 10, 2021, that the pilot guidelines on the proposed policy shift for Metro Manila has now been provisionally approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“In-aprubahan po provisionally ng inyong IATF ang Guidelines on the Pilot Implementation of the Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response in the National Capital Region (NCR). Ito po ay aprubado bilang isang pilot o pagsubok lamang,” said Secretary Roque, who is also the IATF spokesperson.
The Palace official underscored that there are specific points that are still being finalized with regard to the guidelines on the pilot implementation to ensure that the country’s total health is considered.
“Ang ninanais natin nga ay itaguyod yung kalusugan sa kanyang totality, hindi lang yung pag-iwas sa COVID kung hindi yung pagbawas din sa kagutuman,” Roque said.
Sec. Roque emphasized that the policy shift will focus on the implementation of granular lockdowns and will only impose total lockdown as a last resort. “Tama na po ang lockdown. Magtatagal po talaga ang COVID. Hindi lamang po sa Pilipinas kundi sa buong daigdig. Hindi po ibig sabihin na habang andyan si COVID, hahayaan na natin magutom ang ating mga kababayan.”
Meanwhile, other details of the policy shift were discussed in the same press briefing by Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III who announced that the pilot implementation of the Alert Level System in the NCR will be on September16 to 30, 2021.
Usec. Densing underscored that unlike the previous implementation of community quarantine classifications that allow mobility of many people, the granular lockdowns under the new policy shift will only allow mobility for three kinds of Authorized Person Outside of their Residence (APOR).
In an area which is under granular lockdown, mobility will only be allowed for the following APORs: healthcare workers and other allied health professionals with no accommodation provided by the healthcare facility, inbound and outbound overseas Filipino workers, and those who would be classified under exceptional circumstances such as medical emergencies, explained Usec Densing.
The DILG official added that the granular lockdowns will be imposed strictly for 14 days in specific areas with clustering of cases. Densing added that for other areas not under granular lockdown, restrictions will no longer be based per area but per sector or industry, consistent with the Alert Levels for activities that are closed, crowded, or promote close contact.
On other IATF updates, Sec. Roque said that the IATF rescinded the previous IATF resolution on the application of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) Debit-Credit Payment Method (DPCM) in high and critical risk areas.
“Kung inyong matatandaan, ang basehan po ng DCPM ay ang Two Week Growth Rate, ang Average Daily Attack Rate, at Health Care Utilization Rate. Ang nationwide applicability ng DPCM ay hinayaan na po sa sound business judgment ng PhilHealth Board,” Roque said.
The IATF spokesperson also announced the IATF’s approval on the creation of a Task Force on Oxygen Supply under the National Task Force Against COVID-19, with the Department of Trade and Industry as lead agency and the Department of Health (DOH) as co-lead. The task force is tasked to identify, design, and implement relevant policies in relation to the country’s oxygen supply.
Lastly, Roque said that the IATF approved the request of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to allow the clinical rotation of post-graduate interns regardless of community quarantine status, following guidelines as may be prescribed by CHED and DOH. ###