MANILA (UPDATE) - Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. has been appointed as the "chief implementer" of the government's response against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a memorandum dated March 24 but released only Thursday, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Galvez was designated as the "chief implementer of the Philippines' declared national policy against COVID-19, effective immediately."
Galvez, as chief implementer, is directed to ensure the public's strict compliance to the guidelines and protocols issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
He is also tasked to protect and promote the safety and welfare of the public, as well as ensure the efficient distribution of government assistance to the public.
Prior to his appointment as peace adviser, Galvez served as chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines until his retirement in December 2018.
He also served for 12 years in Mindanao, during which he said he visited rebel lairs where soldiers were often killed, earning these areas the tag "point of no return."
Galvez was also chairman of the government's Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities before taking over the military's helm.
Luzon was placed on an “enhanced community quarantine” last week to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has a total of 707 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 45 have died and 28 have recovered.