National Policy against Covid-19 chief implementer and Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo)
MANILA – The government is now starting to craft the third phase of the national action plan (NAP 3) in response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the national policy against Covid-19, said Wednesday.
Galvez, also the presidential peace adviser, said the main objective of NAP 3 is to balance economic reboot and to contain new virus cases.
“Sinisimulan na po natin ang ating pagpaplano sa ating phase 3 (We are starting to plan the third phase) this October and December,” he said in a virtual press briefing.
“Tinitingnan po natin kung paano po natin talagang papalakas at mapapaigting ang localization ng ating national action plan (We are considering to boost and intensify the localization of the national action plan),” he added.
Meanwhile, Galvez reported that a total of 3.2 million Filipinos have been tested since the start of the virus outbreak.
“Magandang balita din po, dahil sa agresibong testing na ginagawa natin ngayon, umabot na po sa 3.2 million na Pilipino ang ating na-test mula nang magsimula ang epidemya (It’s also good news, because of the aggressive testing that we are now doing, we have tested 3.2 million Filipinos since the start of the pandemic),” he said, noting that the figure represents 3 percent of the country’s population.
So far, the country’s average testing capacity is at 36,000 tests daily, Galvez said.
“Kung saan ang ating (Wherein our) highest recorded daily test output ay umabot na po sa (have totaled to) 46,526 tests noong (on) September 11, 2020,” he added.
The country now has 130 accredited laboratories nationwide as of Sept. 21, Galvez said.
Galvez cited Bohol province’s readiness to open local tourism by next month.
“Maybe this coming October, early October or middle October, puwede na muna siyang magbukas ng tinatawag na local tourism (it can now open its local tourism),” he said, noting that the National Task Force on Covid-19 also supports the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) target to reopen more tourism activities amid the pandemic.
“Kami po ay sumusuporta po sa ating (We are supporting) Secretary Madam Berna Puyat—dahil kasi talaga pong nakita natin itong Covid-19 halos dumapa po talaga ang tourism business po natin (Due to Covid-19, our tourism businesses have been heavily affected),” Galvez said.
The DOT earlier committed to the gradual resumption of tourism enterprises in the country.
“Kaya po nang magkaroon tayo ng recommendation na staycation ay talaga pong sinuportahan natin si (That’s why we are recommending staycation and we are really supporting) Ma’am Berna,” Galvez added.
The task force has earlier checked the preparation of establishments for the reopening of the tourism sector in Baguio City, which has begun accepting tourists from Region 1 (Ilocos Region) on Sept. 22.
Galvez said about 6,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and seafarers arrive in the country on a daily basis.
Galvez thanked the Philippine Red Cross for accommodating more Covid-19 tests including OFWs and seafarers.
When sought for comment on Vice President Leni Robredo’s remarks that it is possible to “suppress Covid-19 even without a vaccine,” Galvez urged her to check the situation on the ground before making comments about the administration’s response against the pandemic.
“Ang ating problema po is very dynamic, hindi po natin mapredict ang behaviour ng pandemic (Our problem is very dynamic and the behavior of the pandemic cannot be predicted),” he said.
He said there are several variables on the issue that should be considered, including the people’s discipline and observance to health standards, which are challenges raised on the ground.
“Sinasabi ko lang po kay (What I am telling to) Madam Vice President—ang ano po namin—bago po kayo mag-comment, tingnan niyo po ang nagyayari sa baba (before making comments, look at what is happening on the ground),” Galvez said.
“Ang lahat po ng ating mga LGUs ay nagpapakahirap at saka ang ating mga health worker nagpapakahirap para masugpo po ang (All our LGUs and the healthcare workers are working hard to beat) Covid-19,” he added.
Galvez, meanwhile, said the government is intensifying efforts in preparation for the shift of the country’s quarantine status into modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
“We will prepare our capacities and also we will prepare our quarantine facilities and preparing our minimum health standards to be fully implemented to fullest both in workplaces and common areas where people always go,” he said.
“Our focus is first to sustain the gains that we had during the past six months. Second is to fully contain the new cases and also bring down the death to single-digit and lastly is how to fully recover our economy,” Galvez added. (PNA)