MANILA, Aug 13 (Mabuhay) — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has approved the resumption of the qualifying assessment for foreign medical professionals on September 19.

The IATF-EID’s approval was contained in Resolution 62 approved on Wednesday.

“The resumption of the Part II of the testing activities for the Qualifying Assessment for Foreign Medical Professionals tentatively scheduled on 19 September 2020 by the Professional Regulation Commission is ratified,” the resolution read.

The IATF-EID’s latest decision came after it agreed on July 23 to allow the resumption of the Physician Licensure Examination also set in September this year.

The new resolution, however, states that the approved examinations for the Physician Licensure Examination and Qualifying Assessment for Medical Professionals on September 19 to 21 will proceed only in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ).

“Strict health protocols as may be approved by the Department of Health shall be observed. Agencies are directed to render full assistance for the safe and successful conduct of the examinations,” the IATF-EID Resolution 62 said.

Creation of local rice task force

Meantime, the IATF-EID also approved the creation of a local rice task force that will be led by local government units (LGUs).

The establishment of the local rice task force will be included in a memorandum circular that will be jointly issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The memorandum circular will allow DA and DILG to “give guidance and advisory to the local government units to establish and organize the LGU-led local rice task force for the proper implementation of and monitoring of the rice program”.

Stronger support to LGUs

Resolution 62 also mandates IATF members to provide “stronger” support to LGUS that have recorded high community transmission within their respective localities.

The latest order was meant to “further operationalize the national government-enabled, local government-led, and people-centered response” against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

IATF members, according to the resolution, are also directed to strictly monitor the LGU’s health system performance, critical care capacity, and stringent compliance to surveillance, isolation, and treatment protocols.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles are tasked to give support to Quezon City government, while Secretaries Leonor Briones (Education) and Bernadette Romulo Puyat (Tourism) are instructed to check the situation in Pasig City.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Danilo Lim will assist the municipality of Pateros, while Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Commissioner on Higher Education chairperson Prospero de Vera III will assess the Covid-19 response of Marikina City and Malabon City.

Taguig City government will be monitored by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and country’s testing czar Vivencio Dizon, while the city of Manila will be assessed by Information and Communications Technology Gregorio Honasan II and Anti-Red Tape Authority director general Jeremiah Belgica.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez will assist Mandaluyong City government, while National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. will provide help to the government of Makati City.

Muntinlupa City government will get support from Socioeconomic Planning acting secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, while Parañaque City government will be assisted by National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar is directed to help Las Piñas City government, while Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. is tasked to assist Pasay City.

Caloocan City will receive support from Agriculture Secretary William Dar, while Navotas City will be assisted by Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado.

The resolution also directs Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña to assess the situation in Valenzuela City.

For the provinces with high community transmission, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is directed to monitor the developments in Bulacan, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in Cavite, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in Laguna, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi in Rizal. (MNS)

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