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Convocar fired as WV coronavirus overseer

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Department of Health (DOH) Region 6 director Dr. Marlyn Convocar will no longer oversee the Western Visayas response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

That task has been transferred to the director of DOH Central Visayas, Jaime Bernadas.

Convocar would just be managing the regular operations of DOH-6.

The order assigning Bernadas to handle the WV COVID response was issued by DOH undersecretary Adbullah B. Dumama Jr. (https://bit.ly/2wOH0PF)

It was released yesterday afternoon after DOH-6 came under fire for summarily classifying all residents of Guimbal, Iloilo as persons under monitoring (PUMs) following the confirmation of a local Covid-19 transmission in the town.

In tasking Bernadas to handle the Region 6 Covid-19 response, Dumama’s order stated: “(W)hile in the critical times of national health emergency brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is vital to maintain harmonious partnership with local government units/local chief executives and other stakeholders that play vital roles in this emergency situation.”

Dumama also stressed the need to “maintain efficient and effective regional management operations.”

Bernadas “shall attend and address the various external concerns of local chief executives and all other stakeholders of Region 6” on the COVID-19 public health emergency, read a portion of Department Personnel Order No. 23.

The undersecretary called this arrangement “twinning” between the DOH regional offices of Western Visayas and Central Visayas.

Dumama further underscored the need to define roles and responsibilities in this twinning arrangement to ensure efficient response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

All other issues and concerns beyond the scope of his order, according to him, shall be elevated to the DOH Field Implementation and Coordination Team Visayas and Mindanao Cluster.