Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (Radio-TV Malacañang)

The interagency task force in-charge of the government’s drive to stem the Covid-19 outbreak has ordered available state-owned buildings converted into quarantine or isolation facilities.

Task force spokesman Karlo Nograles, the secretary to the Cabinet, announced new directives on Friday as he thanked all health care professionals battling the pandemic.

“Subject to guidelines to be issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Local Government Units (LGUs) in the provincial, city, municipal, and barangay levels, as well as those in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, are directed to identify government facilities that may be temporarily converted into isolation or quarantine facilities,” the March 27 directive of the Interagency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases stated.

“The same directive shall apply to Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations,” it added.

Read: IATF directives, March 27, 2020

Other important directives announced by Nograles were:

  • allowing establishments involved in the production, manufacturing, packaging, processing, and distribution of food to operate at a maximum of 50 percent of their respective workforces;
  • ordering all importers, consignees, truckers, shipping lines and government regulators, such the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), DTI, DA, including its bureaus and attached agencies, to address disruptions to the supply chain, and withdraw immediately all refrigerated containers as well as all dry vans, and for port operators to release these expeditiously; and
  • ordering a technical working group to develop accreditation and authentication guidelines to implement a Rapid Pass System (RPS).

Nograles said the chief implementer of the national policy on Covid-19, presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez, has been designated head of the National Incident Command under a National Task Force (NTF).

The NTF has three task groups: the Task Group on Response Operations led by the Department of Health; the Task Group on Resource Management and Logistics led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development; and the Task Group on Strategic Communications led by the Office of the Cabinet Secretary. (