With three ex-generals at the helm of President Rodrigo Duterte’s response to the pandemic, it’s no surprise that the National Task Force COVID-19 is in full war mode against an unseen but deadly enemy which knows no borders.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., former Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the chief implementer of the National Task Force COVID-19, said that just like any war, the battle against coronavirus would be won or lost on logistics or timely and efficient mobilization of resources.
“Basically, in war, it is really a battle of logistics. Kung makikita natin sa World War I and World War II, may mga natalo na mga great powers because they were not able to sustain their fight. They were not able to mobilize forces, they were not able to sustain the logistics,” said Galvez in an interview with Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
“Ganito rin po ang COVID, napaka-heavy po ang logistics kasi nakita natin ito, iyong ginagamit ng ating frontliners, iyong PPE (personal protective equipment), kailangan kabisado mo na lahat ng gagamitin nila araw-araw mayroon kang tinatawag na strategic stockpiling at saka iyong lahat ng mga pangangailangan ng mga units ay nakikita mo,” he added.
Aside from the masks and hazmat suits of doctors and nurses, Galvez said his team – led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Interior Secretary Eduardo, btoh ex-generals – was also focused on the deployment and support of troops implementing the enhance community quarantine, including curfew and checkpoints; generating funds for the social amelioration program of indigent Filipinos forced to stay at home; sustaining food production and ensuring food security; and protecting essential utilities. Galvez said his forces were decentralized with big regional groups given autonomy to produce their own resources. He said planes and ships have regular trips to supply the troops with the necessary supplies from HQ.
Galvez said that being an archipelago has pros and cons in terms of geographic logistical challenge. “Mayroon din advantage kasi mas madali po nating ma-contain ang virus kaya nga nakikita natin. very thankful tayo na because we are separated, madali nating ma contain,” said Galvez
“Kasi kung land lock tayo katulad ng NCR (National Capital Region), land-locked, madali pong kumalat sa Region IV (Calabarzon) at saka po doon sa Region III (Central Luzon). Pero iyong sa Mindanao at saka iyong ibang mga islands, nakikita natin sa kanila, wala pang contamination because they are already—iyong tinatawag nating geographical lockdown,” he added.