Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Tuesday appealed to the OCTA research team to send their recommendations privately stating that only the President has the mandate to announce what level of community quarantine should be imposed.
This came after the group of experts suggested stricter localized lockdowns on certain areas with a spike of cases seen.
“I wish they would refrain from making recommendations publicly, they could probably forward recommendations privately to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) highlighting the fact that classifications are announced no less than the president himself,” he said in a televised briefing.
Roque said that as much as he appreciates the work given by the team, confusion arises from their publicly disseminated information.
“If the IATF itself does not make the recommendations publicly to the President, maybe the OCTA research team (can do this as well) and this is also an appeal to prevent confusion,” he said.
The Palace official furthered that even though they have an ample number of experts in the team it is still not equivalent to as many as those working with the IATF and the Department of Health (DoH).
In the recent report by the team, they said that Bauan, Batangas; Calbayog, Western Samar; General Trias, Cavite; Lucena, Quezon; and Iloilo City in Iloilo are among the top areas in the region which reported an increase in its daily attack rate for two consecutive weeks.
Based on their average daily attack rate per 1000 population, they reported a range of 12 to 60 new cases per day from 28 September to 11 October.
As defined, the attack rate refers to the number of new cases per day relative to the total population in the area where if its higher means there is also more risk of getting infected.
“We already have an IATF resolution that if municipalities or local communities are involved that can be acted upon by the provincial government in collaboration with the regional IATF so that won’t need to reach the IATF national,” he stressed.