National Policy against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and Presidential Peace Adviser, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo)
MANILA – The government will intensify the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) through proactive case surveillance as well as the Oplan Kalinga’s isolation strategy under the third phase of the National Action Plan (NAP Phase 3).
During a Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday, National Policy against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said the implementation of NAP Phase 3 will focus on preventing the spike of Covid-19 cases while increasing recovery rate and lowering the mortality rate posed by the disease.
“Dito po sa NAP Phase 3, importante po na maipagpatuloy po natin ang tagumpay na ating nakamit nitong nakaraang anim na buwan (Here in NAP Phase 3, it is important that we continue the success that we achieved in the last six months),” Galvez, also the presidential peace adviser, said.
The government will also impose stricter health standards within workplaces and business establishments, Galvez said.
“Patuloy din po nating palalakasin ang ating health care system sa tulong ng iba’t ibang intervention sa ilalim po ng ating (We will also strengthen the healthcare system with the help of several interventions under the) PDITR [Prevention-Detection-Isolation-Treatment-Reintegration] strategy,” Galvez said.
Galvez said the government would also boost its efforts in balancing pandemic response and economic recovery.
“We will keep them both equally,” he said.
Under NAP Phase 3, Galvez said the government will strategically balance economic reboot while bolstering efforts to curb Covid-19 infections.
“Nais po ng pamahalaan na wala na po tayong isasakripisyo na health safety o ‘yung tinatawag nating i-compromise ang ating (The government wants to no longer sacrifice the health safety nor to compromise the) economic recovery. Sa ating pagtupad sa (In implementing the) Phase 3, there will be no more trade-offs in the implementation of the scheme,” Galvez said.
The implementation of the NAP Phase 1 involved tightened health and safety measures against risks of infection, wherein lockdowns were imposed which grounded economic activities to a halt, Galvez said.
“We encountered a lot of challenges as we gradually opened our national economy. This is why we launched intervention campaigns such as the BIDA Solusyon at saka iyong (and) BIDA sa Disiplina campaigns [as well as] the other preventive strategy which encourages greater public participation and ensuring health and safety,” he added.
Galvez said there are more than 180,000 contact tracers who were hired during the implementation of NAP 1 and NAP 2, which increased the country’s contact tracing ratio from 1:3 to 1:5.
The government was able to increase testing capacity during the NAP Phase 1, he said.
NAP Phase 2, meanwhile, involved gradual rebooting of the economy while implementing stricter minimum health standards to protect public health, he added.
“Kaya nga po sa NAP 2 nagkaroon tayo ng maraming adjustments at sinubukan nating balansehin ang pagbukas ng ekonomiya at kalusugan ng publiko (That’s why in NAP [Phase] 2, we made a lot of adjustments as we tried to balance the opening of the economy and public health),” he said.
The NAP Phase 2, he said, was anchored on the government’s prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate (PDITR) strategy and aimed to create a balance between protecting the health of the people while reviving the economy.
Galvez said there would be no trade-offs in the enforcement of the NAP Phase 3 and it involves “people-centered, locally-led and nationally-led” responses in which there is a presence of “striking a balance between the economy and health.”
As there were changes in the local crisis situation, Galvez said there is a need for the government to be flexible and adaptable in its programs and policies to combat the Covid-19.
“So, ganoon po ang gagawin po natin na ang ating plano ay magiging more flexible, more adaptable at magiging people-centered (We will make our plan more flexible, more adaptable and people-centered),” he said.
The NAP Phase 3 targets to revive the gross domestic product (GDP) which dropped during the implementation of the NAP Phase 1, he said.
“Ang NAP phase 3 ang gagabay sa ating pagtawid sa new normal. Ito po ang parang magiging transition po natin, transition point (The NAP Phase 3 will guide us across the new normal. This seems to be our transition point),” Galvez said.
“It is more of risk management on how we will manage health risk at saka iyong (and those) business risk,” he added. (PNA)