Cimatu notes 'lack of coordination' among Cebu officials amid COVID-19 spike- official

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2020 12:12 PM

A police officer mans a checkpoint along a road in Cebu City, June 24, 2020, after the government tightened its enhanced community quarantine restrictions as COVID-19 infections increase. Alex Badayos, AFP

MANILA - The national government seeks to fix an apparent lack of coordination among local government officials in Cebu province as coronavirus cases in one of its cities spiked over the past few weeks, an official said Saturday. 

In a briefing on state television, Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, who spoke on behalf of Cebu coronavirus management overseer Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, said that while there are no political issues in Cebu, the official had noted "walang buong pagkilos (there was lack of collective action)" among Cebu local officials to address the problem. 

"Well acually wala hong definite na political issues as we assessed na the situation sa Cebu [lumalabas na] walang coordination, walang buong pagkilos from the barangay level to the local government units to the provincial government," Antiporda said, in response to a question on what political issues Cimatu is fixing in Cebu. 

(There are no definite political issues on the situation in Cebu but there is a lack of coordination. No collective action from the barangay level to the local government units to the provincial government.) 

"Hindi po buo ano, so ito po 'yung binuo ng ating kalihim na ngayon ay isantabi muna ang usaping politikal kung hindi magsama-sama muna ang lahat para mailigtas natin ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan sa Cebu," Antiporda added. 

(This is what the secretary (Cimatu) came up with, to set aside political issues and coordinate with each other to save lives.) 

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Cebu City back under enhanced community quarantine, the strictest lockdown, after two weeks of general quarantine.This limits economic activity to utility services, food, water, and other essential sectors. 

Duterte also tapped Cimatu, a former military chief, to oversee the quarantine of the city whose COVID-19 cases recently breached the 4,400-mark.

Cebu is releasing new number-coded quarantine passes to limit the movement of residents as COVID-19 infections continued to rise.