By Ernie Reyes
MANILA – Senator Joel Villanueva on Friday urged the administration to
abolish the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease
(IATF) for failure to effectively curb the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement, Villanueva said that IATF has not been effective in
responding to the spread of the virus due to flip-flopping policies
and interventions because most members are not experts on public
health surveillance and control aside from some members are involved
in anomalous transactions.
“Hindi na po effective ang IATF. I made that statement and if I may
reiterate, during that time that we are looking for options and
strategies that’s why I said “I hope it is still an option to abolish
IATF and let the LGU’s decide for themselves,” said Villanueva.
“The role of a body like IATF should be to set general policies. LGUs
can take care of the details and implementation,” he added.
Villanueva said that the ineffectiveness of IATF can be seen from
confusing, useless and unnecessary policies for the last months which
aggravated the situation and endangers lives.
“We have seen useless/unnecessary and confusing policies for the past
months. Halimbawa na nito ay ang mandatory face shield na walang
scientific basis at nakaka-dagdag gastos pa sa mamamayan,” Villanueva
“Ang confusing policies sa quarantine na pabago-bago ng labels every
time. Paanong makakasunod ang mga tao kung hindi maintindihan ang mga
parameters na ito,” he added.
Villanueva added that there is no clear strategy on how to combat the
spread of the virus which endangers lives and the whole nation as a
“Ginagawa nating sugal ang buhay ng mga Pilipino. Clear naman ang
dapat na strategies: test, trace, vaccinate. Mula dito maaaring
magkaroon ng granular lockdown,” Villanueva stressed.
He said the IATF relied on only one indicator, the number of positive
cases in hospital, nothing more, nothing less.
“ Napaka-reactive po. Kaya nagbukas na ang mga ibang bansa, tayo
sarado pa rin. Ano po ang nangyari sa contact tracing app? Ginagamit
po ba? ,” asked Villanueva.
“That’s why we have the worst COVID response globally. Yan po ang
malinaw na ebidensya kung Bakit for me kailangan nang I-abolish ang
IATF. Napapa face palm na po kasi tayo sa aksyon nila,” he ended. (ai/mtvn)