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IATF has failed, says Drilon

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday claimed that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) did not properly handle the COVID-19 pandemic as infections in the country reached over 70,000.

"Let's call a spade a spade, [Health] Secretary Duque today lacks credibility to be able to command people to do things and he cannot influence decisions," Drilon said in an interview on ANC.

The IATF is currently being chaired by Duque who drew criticisms over blunders on announcements about the "second wave" of transmission and "flattening the curve."

"On the other hand, I don't see any of the economic team in the IATF deliberations, maybe they are somewhere there in the background but given the effect of the pandemic in our economy, they should be in the forefront together with our health sector", he added.

Drilon was quick to answer yes when categorically asked if he thinks the IATF has failed.

"Yes, I have no second [thought]. We will call a spade a spade. Look at where we are today—70,000 cases, increasing everyday," he said.

As of July 21, the Philippines has recorded 70,764 COVID-19 cases with 23,281 recoveries and 1,837 fatalities.

Drilon reiterated that he expects to hear a masterplan on the COVID-19 response during President Rodrigo Duterte's 5th State of the Nation Address next week.

He said questions regarding budget requirements to stimulate the economy and concrete steps to fund such "must be addressed by the President because the IATF has failed to address them."

Drilon, nonetheless, assured that the opposition is willing to cooperate with the administration to address the pandemic.—AOL, GMA News