Rama: Cimatu challenges Cebu City Council to be more involved in COVID-19 fight
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu challenged the City Council to be more directly involved in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a phone interview with CDN Digital, Rama said that the meeting with the overseer of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in Cebu, with the members of the City Council on July 6, 2020, went well.
“We were challenged to be more involved in the COVID-19 fight, share the responsibilities, a division of labor,” said the vice mayor.
The councilors were given a chance to air their various concerns to the Secretary including their concerns on the rising cases of the city, the lack of coordination between the city government and the barangay, and solutions to the overwhelmed hospital facilities.
Rama said the councilors from the opposing party, Bando Osmeña Pundok-Kauswagan, proposed that the Barangay Isolation Centers be minimized and the Abellana National High School be turned into an isolation center similar to that of the NOAH Complex at the South Road Properties.
Councilor Franklyn Ong, the president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in the city, raised his concerns on behalf of the barangays as well.
“I was very satisfied with our talk with Secretary Cimatu, he presented a bottom-to-top approach in handling the COVID-19 situation, which means the barangays will be very involved,” said Rama.
Aside from that, Vice Mayor Rama also said that Cimatu had challenged the city government to empower the barangays more as they were the real front-lines of the COVID-19 war.
As for the City Council, they were urged by Cimatu to enact ordinances consistent with the National IATF policies and guidelines without confusing the people.
The councilors were also challenged to be involved in the barangays through coordination, which Rama said has been happening since April 2020, as the councilors have been assigned barangays to monitor.
Finally, Rama said that the council would play a big role in what would happen next to Cebu City, whether it would be a general community quarantine or an enhanced community quarantine, as they would help determine the protocols for each.
They already submitted 132 COVID-19 resolutions to the IATF so the agency could review them and encourage Mayor Edgardo Labella to implement them.
The vice mayor said the City Council was grateful for the Secretary’s willingness to listen to them, who represent the city residents.
He assured the public that the IATF was here to help gear up the city for an intensified campaign against the COVID-19./dbs
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