The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will not be abolished, the Office of the President maintained yesterday.
“It will not be abolished,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who also concurrently serves as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in an online press conference.
Roque said the government would not concede to renewed calls for the IATF-EID’s abolition amid the Covid-19 pandemic, saying these are “politically-motivated” considering that the 2022 national and local elections are drawing near.
“The noise of politics is getting louder anew. Some are calling for the abolition of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19 despite the rise in active Covid-19 cases in the country,” he said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senators Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos and Risa Hontiveros are among those who are calling for IATF-EID’s’ abolition due to its supposed incompetence in handling the Covid-19 crisis.
Roque said it is “unfair” to attribute the spike in Covid-19 cases to the supposed “incompetence” of the IATF-EID.
“It is unfair to claim that there is a rise [in Covid-19 infections] because of incompetence,” Roque said, adding that there is a rising cases because of the discovery of new Covid-19 variants in the country.
Roque hoped that IATF-EID’s efforts to contain Covid-19 would not go to waste just because of apparent politicking by some government officials he refused to name.
He also reiterated that the IATF-EID is making decisions based on “science” and “data.”
“We are just telling the truth. There is the data. We are science-driven. We are data-driven,” Roque said. “Let us not underestimate the sacrifice of doctors, experts, and government workers who are part of the IATF. Let us be fair and objective.”
Contrary to claims, members of the IATF-EID represent the “best minds and talents” of the government, Roque said.
“The IATF actually represents the best minds and talents of government. We have successfully managed the Covid-19 pandemic. And we will continue to manage it despite the recent challenges,” he said.
Roque also stressed that abolishing the IATF is like “abolishing the whole government.”*PNA