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Setting Up a Community Response Strategy for Local Government Units: Practical Advice for Reorienting Existing Systems to Deal with COVID-19

This policy brief outlines some practical considerations for local government units (LGU), specifically provinces, cities, and municipalities, currently drafting or revisiting their Covid-19 Community Response Strategy and the accompanying local measures. It integrates some of the lessons from innovative practices, observations, and inputs from our volunteer group of professionals. It also provides practical advice on how LGUs may reorient existing systems, such as the Incident Command System (ICS) and the Crisis Management Committees (CMC), to better deal with Covid-19 and its challenges. In summary, this brief primarily recommends that LGUs must assign a dedicated working group to plan, devise strategies, and monitor the implementation of a Community Response Strategy for Covid-19. This can be performed by the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) or the Crisis Management Committee (CMC). It is more efficient to reorient this body towards Covid-19 management rather than create a new body. A qualified Health Officer should have a principal role as this is primarily a Public Health issue. This is possible within the Incident Command System, a flexible management structure that both LGUs and the security sector have been trained in. In addition, LGUs must also develop and enact a Community Response Strategy Plan for dealing with Covid-19. This can take the form of a Contingency Plan for Pandemics that should be developed under the strategic guidance of either the LDRRMC or the CMC, whichever is functional. This should cover the Critical and Immediate-term needs, the Transitory and Medium-term needs, and the anticipated Long-term needs if the ECQ is extended and must be regularly monitored and updated.


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