By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY: The Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) has named Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim as coronavirus (COVID-19) principal buster in his own autonomous turf.
In a virtual presser on Tuesday, IATF-EID Spokesperson Karlo Nograles announced the designation of Ebrahim and the head of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) as chairpersons of the regional IATF in their respective regions.
Sec. Nograles said the regional offices of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) will chair the inter-agency task groups in all other regions of the country.
After President Rodrigo Duterte declared the national State Public Health Emergency under Presidential Declaration No. 922 on March 8, Chief Minister Ebrahim created the IATF for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), naming Executive Secretary Abdulraof Macacua and Health Minister Saffrullah Dipatuan as co-chairpersons.
Ebrahim also named BARMM Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Asnin Pendatun as regional task force spokesman and mandated him along with Minister Dipatuan to conduct press regular briefing on the regional operational updates.
On March 14, the BARMM-IATF released its guidelines for the protection of its constituents from COVID-19.
Ebrahim eventually ordered the setting up of an emergency regional operation center inside the BARMM compound here to monitor COVID-19 cases in the region and carry out corresponding remedies.
He tasked Dipatuan’s agency and the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) to lead and harmonize, respectively, the delivery of health and medical services and relief goods in the provincial levels.
Ebrahim mobilized the BARMM’s Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READI) team under Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo to extend auxiliary services in over-all emergency relief operations, with the occasional backing of the Office of the Chief Minister in the relief food dispersals on priority areas.
BARMM covers the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur as well as the cities of Cotabato and Marawi as well the 63 component barangays in North Cotabato in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Basilan (including Lamitan City) and Sulu. (Ali G. Macabalang/RSP)