COVID-19 Crisis: PCOO Secretary Andanar expresses optimism in youth’s role in assisting the government’s fight against COVID-19

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of interviewing a top official of the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan in relation to a Philippine News Agency article about Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar’s statement that includes the Sangguniang Kabataan’s role in the national government’s COVID-19 Crisis campaign. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

COVID-19 Crisis: PCOO Secretary Andanar expresses optimism in youth’s role in assisting the government’s fight against COVID-19

While delivering his opening remarks during the third COVID-19 virtual town hall meeting held yesterday, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar prodded youth leaders – specifically the Sangguniang Kabataan or youth councils – on helping the national government in its campaign on combatting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“I am confident that our country in the future will be in good hands with the current SKs (Sangguniang Kabataan or youth councils) and youth leaders we have today. May you continue to shine your bright light to the immediate generation behind you and just do everything to beat this virus together, to heal and to rise as one,” Secretary Andanar said in the PNA.gov.ph article.

Among those who attended the virtual town hall meeting were members of youth councils and youth organizations. It was organized to keep the stakeholders updated as the nation struggles with COVID-19. To date, many thousands got infected and lots of communities nationwide were quarantined to reduce the risk of further infection. Along the way, a lot of people lost their jobs and their income, and families are relying on whatever relief goods their respective barangays and/or LGUs could provide to them.

In reaction to Andanar’s statement above, Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) chairwoman Mariel Angela Tumang expressed gladness since she and her fellow SK Kagawads had been doing their parts to protect their constituents from COVID-19 as well as the economic downturn involved.

“I’m glad with Secretary Andanar’s statement. As a youth or as a youth leader, I think we have played a big role on this pandemic. We did our best to provide something, even small things for our Contituents. We’ve started on giving hygiene kits, giving Hot meals like champorado and arozcaldo on every houses in mission areas and giving them Relief Goods,” Tumang stated.

I tried to get Barangay Baclaran SK chairwoman Rachel Garcia’s reaction to Andanar’s statement but she has not replied as of this writing.

Sangguniang Kabataan already working

To put things in perspective, the SKs around the nation have been working on local campaigns related to COVID-19 in their respective communities for the past few months as the barangays and local government units (LGUs) worked in accordance to the rules and standards issued by the national government and its units. Check out my exclusive local community articles about the COVID-19 campaigns done by the Barangay BF Homes SK and the Barangay Baclaran SK. Check out the pictures below.

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Barangay Baclaran SK chairwoman Rachel Garcia (black t-shirt) and companions handing out free items to local constituents for their safety from COVID-19. (photo approved for publishing by Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia)
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Barangay BF Homes SK chairwoman Mariel Tumang handing out hygiene kits and fliers at one of the local communities. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan Chairwoman Mariel Tumang)

Barangay Baclaran and Barangay BF Homes are located within Parañaque, the city with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Metro Manila. Parañaque’s city government has been struggling with containing the China virus and, as of this writing, their number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is HIGHER than Las Piñas and Muntinlupa city COMBINED!

Speaking of Parañaque, Muntinlupa and , I am inviting all of you to join the South Metro Manila Facebook group where you will find lots of updates about the three cities, updates about related local communities, business and commercial updates, the occasional overseas updates and Christian worship. Being part of the FB group will also help you engage with others from the different cities and local communities. Visit the South Metro Manila group now at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673/


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My Observations: Even during quarantine, the Chinese connection still caused problems in Parañaque City

Months ago, I wrote that the City of Parañaque became a hot spot for crime incidents involving Chinese nationals and that the said city had more of such incidents than its neighboring cities here in South Metro Manila.

And then the coronavirus disease COVID-19 struck the world and this resulted community quarantine here in the Philippines which was recently extended into mid-May. Under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), most businesses were halted, mass gatherings were prohibited and people were told to stay at home so that the risk of infection would be reduced. The authorities have been struggling with testing people for COVID-19 while local government units (LGUs), including barangays, have been working to manage their respective communities and perform services like distributing relief goods to families, implementing curfew, etc.

Even though the ECQ has been implemented for over a month now, there were still problems in Parañaque City caused by Chinese nationals. I’m talking about the illegal online gaming operation involving 44 Chinese nationals (with 23 Filipinos) and illegal clinics and a stockroom filled with medicine from China.

Let’s start first with the illegal online gaming operation that was found in Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo with details from the Manila Bulletin report.

Excerpt: Forty-four (44) foreign nationals and twenty-three (23) Filipinos (fourteen female and nine male) engaged in an illegal online gaming operation were arrested by the combined team of the Regional Special Operation Unit, Southern Police District, and the Parañaque City police Friday night.

Police said that the suspects were arrested at about 7:30p.m. along Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City.

The police said that prior to the arrest of the suspects, members of the RSOU received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that a group of armed foreign nationals were seen outside their residence violating the curfew hours imposed by the city government while the country is under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Upon receiving the information, members of the RSOU immediately coordinated with the SPD and the Parañaque City police for the arrest of the suspects.

The police said that verification was made and they found the group of foreign nationals with firearms visibly tucked in their waists loitering around the said place.

The suspects, upon seeing the approaching policemen, immediately ran inside their house. A chase ensued that led to the discovery of the illegal online gaming operation of the suspects.

Police recovered cash amounting to more than P1.3-million, 255 Chinese Yuan; 73 Chinese passports; two .45 caliber pistols; two .9mm pistols; nine internet modems, 40 cellular phones; 17 pairs of keyboard and mouse; 36 different brands of laptop computers and assorted computer cables.

Wow. That’s such an operation. How exactly was it set up so discreetly? Was the apartment owner aware that the rented place was turned by the foreigners into an illegal business operation? Also when exactly did the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) of Parañaque City discover the first details about the illegal online gaming operation? Was Barangay Tambo even aware of the illegal operation?

As a result of the arrest done by the law enforcers, the ball is now up to the Bureau of Immigration to decide whether to deport the 44 Chinese nationals or not. Whatever their decision and no matter how long the investigation will take, it is clear that this incident made the City of Parañaque look bad.

To put things in perspective, Parañaque is the hot spot of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Metro Manila with 414 cases as of April 26 and the City Government and the barangays have been struggling to prevent the spread of infection while managing the communities. As seen many times on social media, pictures of many people crowding the public wet markets (palengke) in the city showed clear violations of social distancing. As such, the fear of a possible COVID-19 outbreak in Parañaque is entering more people’s minds.

Next, let’s take a look at the illegal clinics and the stockroom filled with Chinese medicine with details from CNN Philippines’ report.

Excerpt 1: Authorities raided two illegal clinics and a medicine stockroom in Parañaque City on Sunday night.

Among those seized in the stockroom in Barangay Baclaran in Parañaque was a large shipment of medicine for respiratory illnesses allegedly being used as a possible treatment for the coronavirus disease. There is no confirmed cure yet for COVID-19.

They found many more boxes of medicine and medical supplies from China in the stockroom, such as boxes of dextrose and medicine ranging from antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, and medicine used for treating sexually transmitted diseases.

“They have all kinds of medicines. Na-amaze ako kasi puro injectables silang lahat,” says Paranaque City Health Officer Dr. Olga Virtusio. She adds, “Kakaunti ‘yung oral meds, madami ding through IV (intravenous) fluid.”

[Translation: I was amazed because most of the medicines I saw were injectables. There were a few oral meds, but there were a lot of IV fluids.]

Meanwhile, some types of medicine sold by the two illegal clinics are a herbal supplement is used as a traditional Chinese treatment for colds, fever, cough, and sore throat and a non-prescription drug for flu and respiratory illnesses.

“The team is thinking na most probably they are really catering to the POGOs around, especially noong nagkaroon tayo ng massive routing of the different clubs at madaming nakitang prostitution. Mostly chinese ang nahuhuli,” the doctor added.

Authorities said they acted on a tip from a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics. The owner of one of the clinics allegedly took her quarantine pass. As a result, the helper informed officials of what she called a “hospital” catering to mostly Chinese patients.

Excerpt 2: After the city government closed down the place, authorities found another similar clinic just a few blocks away.

Police found a Chinese man claiming to be a doctor in the second clinic. He did not speak on camera but presented what he claimed to be his doctor’s license in China.

The local government said they are finding out who owns this clinics and the stockroom.

Charges will be filed against the owners for violating quarantine laws, medical regulations, and for operating without necessary permits. The confiscated boxes of medicine will be turned over to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing.

Two illegal clinics that most likely served Chinese nationals located just a few blocks away from each other…could those two be connected with each other? As for the medicine imported from China, I wonder if they were cleared by the officials of customs. When exactly did the City Health Office led by Dr. Virtusio become aware of the illegal clinics? Did anyone from Barangay Baclaran notice the anomalies within their territory?

With these cases combined – the illegal gaming operation and the illegal clinics – I wonder if there was any bribery involved in establishing the illegal operations, how much the local authorities knew about their existence, and how exactly are Parañaque officials dealing with Chinese nationals who really had no intention to follow local laws.

It is fortunate for law enforcers that a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics tipped them while a concerned citizen did the right thing by calling them about the presence of foreigners who were armed with guns. What exactly were those guns for, personal protection or as a means to threaten the local community’s members?

Whatever is happening behind the scenes with these two recent developments, what is clear is that Parañaque is still a hot spot for illegal activities involving Chinese nationals and the connection with mainland China. How the local authorities will deal with them is a big question mark.

You the reader might want to ask yourself: Are Chinese nationals already setting up Parañaque to be a key location for a future military invasion by mainland China?


For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

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Barangay Baclaran Youth Council plus Partners at Work (Community Quarantine and COVID-19 Crisis)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of interviewing a top official of the Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Barangay Baclaran Youth Council plus Partners at Work (Community Quarantine and COVID-19 Crisis)

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Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia (left, wearing black t-shirt) and her companions hand out free items to local residents to help them protect themselves from coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (photo approved for publishing by Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia)

With the enhanced community quarantine in effect here in the Philippines as a result of the ongoing corona virus disease (COVID-19) crisis, life is now much different. Most businesses have been halted, people are required to stay at home and others have no choice but to make hard adjustments just as the national authorities work on preventing an outbreak of COVID-19.

When it comes to the authorities of each city, the local government unit (LGU) as well as the barangay units are mandated to govern and manage their respective communities. This includes enforcing curfew, the ban on liquor, traffic management, implementing awareness campaigns about COVID-19 and distributing useful items to the constituents.

Two days ago, I wrote about the community assistance and information campaign done by the Barangay BF Homes Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan ng Barangay BF Homes) in . This time, the focus shifts to the Barangay Baclaran Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan ng Baclaran) which performed community service (partnered with the Katipunan ng Kabataan) of the same nature.

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A man assisted by Baclaran’s SK chairwoman herself. (photo approved for publishing by Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia)

According to Baclaran SK chairwoman Rachel Garcia, her team and the KK prepared a total of 3,000 units of alcohol (with free refilling), 3,000 units of hand sanitizer and 2,000 units of soap. Those said items, which are meant for prevention of COVID-19 from spreading, were distributed by the Baclaran SK and the KK around the local community for free. Garcia and her companions endured the heat of the day visiting residents in Barangay Baclaran from one house to another house.

In addition, the group also organized an awareness campaign so that Baclaran residents will know what they can do to avoid infection, how to avoid infecting others and why they should follow the quarantine by staying at home.

Like their counterparts in BF Homes, the Baclaran SK has a tough task and a huge responsibility to fulfill with regards to the COVID-19 crisis. If you think about it very carefully, it’s just mind-boggling that very tiny microbes like COVID-19 could cause a tremendous, negative impact on the whole world. Look at the many people getting infected as well as those who died.

Overseas, several teams of scientists are working hard to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. In the United Kingdom, clinical testing for a vaccine will start soon. In Israel, biopharmaceutical company Kamada announced that it is working on a blood-plasma treatment for coronavirus. Until medical breakthroughs against COVID-19 materialize, local authorities will have to keep performing with their current duties.

Going back to the publicly elected officials of Barangay Baclaran and its youth council, Garcia and her SK kagawads have more than two years of service left before the next barangay and SK elections will take place. Previously the barangay-SK elections were scheduled to happen this coming May but that all changed when President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act Number 11462 (titled “Postponement of the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections Act”).

To learn more about the Baclaran SK, read my January 1 article and visit their Facebook page.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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A Creative, Eco-Friendly Project by the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) of Barangay Baclaran

A Creative, Eco-Friendly Project by the Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) of Barangay Baclaran

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Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) chairwoman Rachel Garcia in front of their Eco-Friendly Plastic Bottle Cage.

During my recent visit in Barangay Baclaran in Parañaque City. I was fortunate to meet the chairwoman of the Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council)Rachel Garcia.

She generously showed one of their special projects called the Eco-Friendly Plastic Bottle Cage which is publicly accessible to anyone who wants to dispose of their respective used plastic bottles.

“This project serves as a container where people can place used plastic bottles. All the collected materials will be sold to the local junk shops and the money we raise from the transactions enable us to buy rice grain for the local youth,” Barangay Baclaran SK chairwoman Garcia explained.

Visually the Eco-Friendly is a cage with a creative, fun-oriented touch. On top of the cage is a makeshift basketball board with a small rim that is supposed to encourage people to shoot their plastic bottles and watch it fall into the cage. This is the meaning behind the line “Shoot for a Change” written on the board.

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The Eco-Friendly Plastic Bottle Cage from another angle.
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Once filled up, all of these plastic materials will be sold to local junk shops by the Barangay Baclaran SK. The money raised will be used to purchase rice grain for the benefit of the local youth.

One clear advantage of the Eco-Friendly Plastic Bottle Cage is that it can compel people to refrain from throwing their plastic bottles into other trash containers (which contain other forms of waste like paper, plastic bags, etc.).

This is why if ever you (with your plastic bottle at hand) pass by one of those Eco-Friendly Plastic Bottle Cages of the Baclaran SK during your next trip in Barangay Baclaran, take time out to put your plastic bottle into the cage.

Speaking of being eco-friendly, the Barangay Baclaran SK has been active with not only protecting the natural environment but also with participating in clean-up drive activities.

SKBaclaranEnviro

For more information, visit the Barangay Baclaran SK’s FB page here.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com