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Duterte to send Cimatu to Cebu to monitor COVID-19 situation

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 22,2020 - 11:49 PM
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu will be President Rodrigo Duterte's pointman in Cebu to oversee and evaluate Cebu's response to COVID-19. | CDN file photo

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu will be President Rodrigo Duterte’s pointman in Cebu to oversee and evaluate Cebu’s response to COVID-19. | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will be sending Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to oversee and evaluate Cebu’s response towards the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

President Duterte made this announcement in a meeting with Cabinet officials that was broadcasted live through state-run media outlets on Monday evening, June 22.

“Mga kaigsoonan nako sa Cebu ug both sa mga syudad ug mga probinsya, akong ipadala si General Cimatu who is the secretary of DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)… I must have a picture of how grave the situation is or the situations are,” said Duterte.

(My fellow Cebuanos from both the city and the province, I am sending General Cimatu, who is the secretary of DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources] … I must have a picture of how grave the situation is or the situations are.)

The President also said he would be issuing an executive order (EO) to formalize Cimatu’s new role, and he added that the chief of DENR could exercise powers of the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force.

“I am just sad Cebu has to undergo that kind of painful situation, but nonetheless, kaya natin yan and I’m sure Cimatu… he cannot solve the problem on his own. He has just to make recommendations on what we should be doing and that’s very important,” he said.

President Duterte on Monday said the people and local officials in Cebu have apparently entered into a ‘blame-game’ as they try to solve the rising cases of COVID-19 here.

“If you solve the problem locally among the officials there,  there is bound to be a derailment in the programs of government because they would start to blame each other and nobody would try to introduce novel ideas or even to implement one that is measured and proven its efficacy kasi nagsisihan na,” said President Duterte.

“So kayong mga taga Cebu, it’s not that I don’t trust your capability but rather I said it’s the penchant to go into a sort of yung sisihan tapos nobody would answer for anything,” he added.

Cimatu was also present during the meeting on Monday who, in response, accepted the task appointed to him.

“Thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to go to Cebu. I will do my best, Mr President,” said Cimatu.

Except for Cebu City, the entire island of Cebu has been placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The province’s capital, Cebu City, was reverted back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest form of community quarantine, last June 16 due to spike in new COVID-19 cases, and the surge in the need for hospital care. /dbs

READ MORE: It’s back to ECQ for Cebu City

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