NTF conducts CODE Team visit in Pampanga

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) conducted a Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team Visit in Pampanga.

Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 Response and Testing Czar Secretary Vince Dizon (left) and National Task Force Against COVID-19 Vice Chairperson and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año (right) lead the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic Team Visit in City of San Fernando, Pampanga. (Paul John Lopez/PIA 3)

This is to ensure a national government-enabled, local government-led, and people-centered response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NTF Vice Chairperson and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año lauded Central Luzon for working with the national government to respond to the pandemic.

“Because of your unwavering commitments to serve your constituents and protect their health, we are now transitioning to the so-called new normal where we will further open the doors to restart and pump prime our economy while managing the risk of living with COVID-19,” he said.

He recognized the efforts of the local chief executives, local officials, frontliners and the common people for helping in the fight against the pandemic.

In addition, Año appealed to local government officials in Pampanga for their continued commitment and dedication to another phase of the fight for public health by taking extra precautionary measures and learning to manage the risk involved in the new normal.

“I am certain that with the abled leadership of Governor [Dennis] Pineda, coupled by the support and cooperation of our mayors and other local officials, we will be able to make Pampanga zero case. As one of the main drivers of our national economy, I trust that the entire Central Luzon will also beef up its pandemic efforts and vaccination rate in the new normal,” he said.

The official called on the entire Region 3 leadership to not be complacent with the declining COVID-19 cases, and to remain strict in enforcing the minimum public health standards to prevent any sudden rise in people contracting the disease.

Also, Año underscored that though the region has a high vaccine coverage, the figure could still be improved by ramping up the information drive to the public to address the vaccine hesitancy among the unvaccinated.

“I encourage the local government officials to look for out of the box initiatives to encourage unvaccinated constituents to get inoculated like providing them with free food, transportation, and other incentives,” he suggested.

Based on the data from the Department of Health, about 7,670,285 individuals or 75.46 percent of the 80 percent target population are already fully-vaccinated against COVID-19; while 1,547,573 or 15 percent received their booster shots, as of March 7.

Meanwhile, Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 Response and Testing Czar Secretary Vince Dizon emphasized that Region 3 has already reached big milestones in battling the health crisis through the unity of the national and local government, and the private sector.

“The most important thing is that we should not let ourselves go back to what happened in the past. The de-escalation should be continuous, and we will only be able to do this if we will help one another, and if we all have discipline amongst ourselves,” he said.

In the region, the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Tarlac, and the highly-urbanized cities of Angeles and Olongapo are under Alert Level 1; while the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Zambales are under Alert Level 2 until March 15 in the Alert Level Systems for COVID-19 Response. 

Dubbed as “Bida Tungo sa New Normal”, the roadshow aims to support local government units in strengthening their pandemic response as the country gears toward the new normal.

During the event, the CODE team visited the vaccination site in barangay San Agustin, City of San Fernando as part of the national government’s thrust to ensure the conduct of efficient, rapid, and continuous COVID-19 vaccine inoculation activities in the different parts of the country.