Ilocos Norte Senator Imee Marcos wants to abolish the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) for its “disastrous handling” of the nation’s response to the pandemic.
Ms. Marcos, daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos, said it is only proper that the fight against the deadly Covid19 disease should be through a “true science-based approach” rather than what is being done presently.
“Ibuwag na ‘yung IATF. Start from scratch na lang po tayo, tutal klarong-klaro na wala silang plano,” she was quoted as telling reporters.
Sen. Marcos said the national anti-Covid campaign should be led by doctors, epidemiologists and public health experts if any real headway is to be made akin to what’s going on in other countries.
“The handling has been inept,” she said.
Department of Health (DOH) officials, who asked not to be identified, countered that the IATF is actually being advised by competent infectious disease doctors.
Senate President Tito Sotto said he agreed with the call of Marcos, citing the “gross incompetence” of health authorities.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said it is time for the IATF to be infused with new blood. He said a new driver with new ideas to combat Covid is needed.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said she isn’t keen to abolish the IATF, instead it should be overhauled.
“Its members should be replaced with health experts who know how to handle a public health emergency,” she said.
Malacanang, however, rejected calls to scrap the IATF, amid the recent surge of Covid infections necessitating the imposition of a “soft lockdown” in the National Capital Region (NCR) as well as Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan provinces.
A spokesman said the spread of the new and more infectious virus strain should be blamed for the spike, and not the perceived incompetence of the IATF.
Photo: CNN Philippines