Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II, alongside the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA)’s Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica, are set to assist Manila City’s COVID-19 response efforts.

The designation is in accordance with the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 62 that was issued last 12 August 2020, which resolved to adopt a “national government-enabled, local government-led, and people-centered response” approach against COVID-19.

IATF Resolution No.62 designated IATF members (Cabinet secretaries) to “provide stronger support” to LGUs identified by the Department of Health (DOH) as areas with high community transmission, including select Metro Manila LGUs, and the provinces of Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal.

Pursuant to the IATF Resolution, DICT and ARTA is providing assistance to the City of Manila regarding its health system performance and critical care capacity monitoring, as well as in ensuring compliance with its surveillance, isolation, and treatment protocols. This includes coordination, communication, local and national data harmonization, as well as the rendition of technical support as needed by the LGU.

DICT, ARTA, and the City of Manila recently initiated talks last week to determine the needs and focal points for assistance and engagement for Manila City.

“The DICT looks forward to working closely with ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso as part of the cooperative efforts between the national and local government to curb the COVID-19 pandemic in the city in support of the IATF-EID’s guidelines and objectives behind this partnership,” DICT Secretary Honasan said. “We commit to offer whatever assistance is necessary to strengthen Manila City’s resilience against the pandemic,” he added.