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As the pandemic response continues, the government is focusing on sustaining recovery.

MANILA โ€“ The government seeks to hasten and sustain socioeconomic recovery while continuing to address the risks posed by Covid-19.

The National Task Force Against Covid-19 Task Group on Strategic Communications convened a virtual town hall meeting on Monday called “Road to Recovery” to examine the country’s fifth phase of the National Action Plan (NAP 5).

“It’s really about ensuring sure people have access to risk-informed health practices, accurate and inexpensive testing, treatment, and vaccines, as well as timely and accurate information,” said Rosemarie Edillon, Undersecretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Edillon believes that institutions, particularly local health units, need to improve their capacity to monitor and provide health information.

By implementing risk-informed guidelines, unifying and streamlining travel protocols, and institutionalizing safe work and public spaces, the government will assure the continuity of enterprises and services under NAP 5.

The government would conduct a needs assessment, develop a catch-up plan, and deploy resources to alleviate the scarring caused by Covid-19.

According to Edillon, one of the cornerstones to making the Philippines more robust to the pandemic is digital transformation, which includes strengthening digital infrastructure, improving digital literacy, and digitizing government procedures.

She remarked, “Let’s build resilience against future health concerns.”

In addition, the government is considering creating a “pandemic response playbook.”

It’s also lobbying for a pandemic flexibility bill and a health security policy as short- and long-term responses to the global health issue.

“It will be through legislation,” Edillon added, “so that when it happens next time โ€” hopefully not, knock on wood โ€” we will be able to respond quickly.”

Carlito Galvez Jr., the NTF’s chief secretary, previously stated that the government has begun developing the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for Covid-19 Vaccines (NDVP) in order to strengthen vaccination policies and procedures.

The NDVP 2 covers the planning, implementation, administration, and monitoring of vaccination programs.

“I feel the NDVP 2 is a labor of love,” Galvez added, “since it is a product of all of our experiences in executing the national immunization program.”

Galvez stated that the government intends to send instructions on pandemic response to the next administration in order to ensure that the gains are maintained until the new administration takes office.

“By doing so, we can assure that the advances we’ve made in safeguarding our fellow Filipinos from the fatal virus through our vaccine campaign over the last year can be sustained and will be continued by the next administration,” he added.

Regulatory preparedness, planning and coordination, costing and funding, identification of target populations, vaccine delivery strategies, supply chain management and waste management, human resource management and training, acceptance and uptake, vaccine safety and quality monitoring, management of adverse events following immunization, injecting safety, vaccination monitoring system, and vaccine effectiveness will all be covered in the NDVP 2.

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