PNP, AFP, OPAPP, OCD join BARMM task force vs Covid-19

COTABATO CITY: Bangsamoro Government’s efforts to fight Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) double as it welcomes new members of the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) during its meeting on Wednesday.

The new members of Bangsamoro IATF are: Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-BARMM), Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)-Cotabato City, and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD)-BARMM.

With this expansion, there are now four Task Groups under the BIATF, namely: Task Group on Response Operations, Task Group on Resource Management and Logistics, Task Group on Strategic Communication, and Task Group on Food Security.

The National IATF has recently classified BARMM as one of the low-risk areas of Covid-19 transmission thereby placing the region under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) starting May 16, 2020.

During the press briefing of the National IATF on the same day, DILG Sec. Eduardo Año clarified that they will provide guidelines on how to enforce MGCQ.

With this development, a core team composed of the Ministry of Health (MOH), Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), and PRO-BARMM, was created to be in-charge of crafting the new guidelines that shall be consistent with that of the National IATF.

PRO-BARMM, as a new member of the BIATF, signified its commitment to assist the regional task force in combatting Covid-19. Its Regional Director Manuel M. Abu  said, “PNP will always be ready to assist BARMM, especially in providing security for all front liners, who are performing their duties.”

During the meeting, BARMM ministries also gave updates on their Covid-19 response.

MILG Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, reported that all task forces of the 123 local government units (LGUs) in BARMM have been activated; 2,590 Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERT) are functional; and a total of 90 quarantine facilities are now available across the region.

Sinarimbo also noted that based on the monitoring conducted by the MILG, the BARMM LGUs complied with their respective tasks upon receiving the augmentation fund from the Office of the Chief Minister amounting to P115-million.

He reiterated that funds can only be used for purchasing medical supplies and equipment, relief goods, and assistance for front liners and daily wage earners.

Minister of Social Services and Development Raissa Jajurie reported that over 50% of the 505, 954 targeted beneficiaries in the region have already received their Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Jajurie said they will continue the distribution of emergency cash subsidy under the SAP for the first tranche.

Masiding Noor Yahya

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