Gov’t agencies at status quo for now but IATF’s fate hangs in the balance

Gov’t agencies at status quo for now but IATF’s fate hangs in the balance

By Tracy Cabrera

Newly designated Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Rose Beatrix ‘Trixie’ Cruz-Angeles. (Photo credits: Rappler)

MANILA — While President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. has formally assumed the presidency without key Cabinet members being nominated, among them the secretaries of health and energy, Malacañan has announced that “as of now . . . everything is status quo.”

This was disclosed by newly appointed communications secretary Rose Beatrix ‘Trixie’ Cruz-Angeles following queries concerning the designation of those chosen by the chief executive to head several important agencies in his administration that are necessary for the delivery of public service.

Regarding the status of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) that has been tasked to implement policies and responsive efforts to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Cruz-Angeles replied that it would be the next secretary of the Department of Health (DoH) who will recommend to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. what will be the fate of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

“As of now, what we’re doing is everything is status quo. So, we will also have to wait for the next secretary of Health to make a policy recommendation on that,” the communications chief told the media when asked about the status of the country’s national pandemic task force.

“We just continue with the current operational setup and then we will see what the recommendation of the new Health secretary will be,” she added.

Cruz-Angeles clarified that the chief executive is still in the “final evaluation stage” in completing members of his Cabinet and she likewise disclosed that “(the president) did not give a deadline because he wants a thorough evaluation of the candidates for the positions.”

She, however, noted that “they have to evaluate (the nominations) very well and the president is quite aware (about the situation) and in fact, one of the priorities is managing the effects of this pandemic. So, you must also understand that this is so important, they must look very closely and carefully at the candidates.”

“Well, the nominees have to be evaluated carefully. We are not saying that we are having a hard time choosing or anything like that but because these are important—precisely because these are very important positions. They really need to pass through the needle’s hole.”

“We will rely on the President’s wisdom to choose the best people for the job,” she concluded. (ai/mtvn)

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