Peace adviser Galvez named as chief implementer of government’s COVID-19 response

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez, Jr. was named by President Rodrigo Duterte as the chief implementer of the government's national response against the coronavirus disease.

The country is currently under a state of public health emergency and calamity amid the COVID-19 outbreak that has infected more than 700 people. As of Thursday, the death toll has risen to 45.

Galvez, a former chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces, is expected to "ensure the strict compliance and adherence of everyone to the guidelines and protocols issued by the IATF (Interagency Task Force)."

"He was further tasked to protect and promote the safety and welfare of the public at all times, and ensure the efficient and expeditious distribution of government assistance to the public," read the memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dated March 24.

Duterte placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine to restrict the movement of people and avoid further spread of the virus. The quarantine will end on April 13.

The President also approved a bill granting him additional powers to address the COVID-19 crisis in the country, including reshuffling funds in this year’s budget to provide assistance to the poor.