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  Duterte, DILG convene local execs to strengthen government efforts against the corona virus, African Swine Fever, other pressing issues

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) convenes today (February 10, 2020) all 1,715 local chief executives (LCEs) to strengthen government efforts against the 2019 Novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019 nCoV ARD), African Swine Fever, and other national concerns on public health and peace and order.

Joining the President are heads of national government agencies such as DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., among others.

DILG Secretary Año says that the calling of said meeting was personally instructed by the President himself "to call the attention of the LCEs on various local governance concerns". He says that issues on public health and peace and order will be the meat of discussion.

"The President will give direction on some pressing national issues such as the need for a strong local government response on the corona virus and the recurring ASF in the country. We will hear all the answers directly from the President and the heads of national government agencies," Año says.

Other than the coronavirus, the said meeting will also focus on the African Swine Fever (ASF), and the implementation of Executive Order 70 on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflicts (ELCAC).

According to Año, the President's directive for an LCE convention serves to synergize all efforts of the government in responding to the most urgent predicaments on public health and peace and order to ensure that every LGU is in the loop with the latest steps undertaken by the national government.

He explains that a detailed discussion on the guidance of the DILG on the proper response and protocol in dealing with the coronavirus as provided in the recently released DILG Memorandum Circulars 2020-018 and 023, as well as the latest update on the coronavirus are integrated in the one-day convention of local leaders.

"This is a good venue for the LCEs to raise their concerns sapagkat ang mga opisyal ng mga kagarawaran ay nandoon together with President Duterte. This is a much needed coming together of all LCEs lalo na ngayon," he says.

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