COTABATO CITY: National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) cited the quick response of the Bangsamoro Government to combat Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the region during a meeting with BARMM’s IATF on Thursday, June 4, 2020 held at the 6th Infantry Division Camp in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
Chief implementer of the National Action Plan against Covid-19 Carlito Galvez Jr., said the newly-formed independent region quickly responded to the country’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that the cases in the region have been low.
“The Bangsamoro Government has been doing great (with its battle against Covid-19) with minimum tallied cases. We are glad that even if we’re miles away, BARMM has been self-reliant,” Galvez said.
“Even if BARMM has been operating for merely almost a year, the response has been commendable,” Galvez, also the Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) added.
National IATF Chairperson and Health Secretary Francisco Duque, who was also present during the meeting, acknowledged the Bangsamoro Government’s “collective effort” in controlling the Covid-19 cases. He also commended its efforts in setting up treatment and monitoring facilities.
Earlier this month, Bangsamoro Government inaugurated the 100-bed isolation facility in Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in the municipality of Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao, which was built in just 40 days. The same facility will also rise in Datu Blah Hospital in North Upi, Maguindanao.
During the meeting, Ministry of Interior and Local Government Minister (MILG-BARMM) Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo reported that BARMM has 158 isolation facilities to accommodate the Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) and the Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF).
“We are prepared to accommodate those who are arriving,” Sinarimbo affirmed.
Accordingly, BARMM has a total of 4,360-bed capacity across all the five provinces, 87 contact tracing teams, 19 mechanical ventilators (previously four), and one (shared with Region 12) RT-PCR testing facility at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC).
Furthermore, Maguindanao Provincial Hospital and the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, which are Level Two facilities, has bed capacity of 299 and 400, respectively; while CRMC, a Level Three facility, has a 400-bed capacity.
Also, Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim recently approved the assistance to be given to Amai Pakpak Medical Center intended for its laboratory upgrade.
BARMM Executive Secretary Abdulraof Macacua also noted during the meeting that “the Bangsamoro Region feels privileged to interface with our counterparts from the national government, and we affirm our commitment to pursue our programs in fighting this pandemic.”
“[This] gives us renewed hope and courage to persevere to emerge triumphant amidst this crisis,” he added.
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ebrahim was also present via zoom conference at the said interaction.
“The Bangsamoro is not an exception to the impact of this novel disease. To state the obvious, the prospect timeline of our peace process and the transition period have been affected due to measures we have implemented to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus,” Ebrahim said during his speech.
“Fortunately, just like what we’re having now, we are optimistic to use the technology we have at our disposal to continue building the new bureaucracy,” he affirmed.
National IATF officers Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, along with AFP Westmincom Chief of Command Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, were in attendance at the meeting with the Bangsamoro IATF to discuss the current situation of Covid-19 in the region.
Also present from the Bangsamoro IATF members were Ministry of Health Minister (MOH) Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, Ministry of Social Services and Development Minister (MSSD) Atty. Raissa Jajurie, Cabinet Secretary and IATF Spokesperson Mohd Asnin Pendatun, and Bureau of Public Information (BPI) Executive Director Ameen Andrew Alonto.
(Bureau of Public Information/ SRNY/ RSP)