COVID-19 Crisis: A new attempt to reopen cinemas in Metro Manila under Alert Level system

It has been so long since the cinemas in Metro Manila have been closed and have not screened any new films since the start of the pandemic which negatively affected the local cinema industry’s operators and their employees. 300,000 employees to be precise.

Early this year, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced that it has allowed a variety of businesses around the Philippines to resume operations to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and cinemas were among those businesses. However the mayors of Metro Manila opposed the decision and according to the Manila Times’ news report, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos noted that “movie theaters are enclosed and air-conditioned spaces where people stay for more than 30 minutes, conditions that increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.” Abalos lamented that there was this fear of a possible spike in COVID-19 infection if cinemas were allowed to reopen. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a memorandum calling for the reopening of cinemas in GCQ (general community quarantine) areas starting March 5, 2021 but the said businesses remain closed.

That was back then and by now, many millions of residents of Metro Manila have been vaccinated for COVID-19, many businesses went through the Safety Seal program and a new system of community control has been implemented. Since the pandemic started, cinemas in Metro Manila were shut down with the exception of some cinemas that were turned into temporary venues for COVID-19 vaccination.

Now there is renewed hope for Metro Manila cinema operators and their employees as the Manila Bulletin reported that the IATF will discuss reopening cinemas under the Alert Level system.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

Malacañang said the government’s pandemic task force is set to discuss the possible reopening of cinemas in areas under the Alert Level 3, part of the new system being implemented in Metro Manila response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) appealed to the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow the limited operations of cinemas under the Alert Level 4.

In his press briefing on Thursday, October 7, Roque said that the IATF will discuss the reopening of cinemas but not in areas under Alert Level 4.

“Ang alam ko po nasa agenda ‘yan mamaya ng IATF pero ang pagbubuaks po na pag-uusapan po ay Level 3, hindi Level 4 (I know it’s part of the agenda of the IATF later but the reopening that will be discussed will be in Alert Level 3, not Level 4),” he said.

Under the current guidelines for the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System for COVID-19 response in Metro Manila, cinemas will be allowed to operate at a maximum of 50 percent venue capacity under Alert Level 2.

In February this year, the IATF allowed the reopening of traditional cinemas in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) but Metro Manila mayors opposed this decision in fear that it may trigger superspreader events.

In a Facebook post, the CEAP appealed to the IATF to allow the reopening of cinemas, ensuring that the industry values the health and well-being of its employees and moviegoers.

According to CEAP, the cinema industry has ensured that all employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The group likewise said that a number of cinemas have been awarded the Safety Seal Certification by their local government units (LGUs) which affirms that they are compliant with the minimum health standards set by the government.

The Manila Bulletin report ended mentioning that theater managers have gone through occupational safety and health training.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe it is high time for cinemas in Metro Manila to reopen now that many millions of people in the metropolis have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and a lot of businesses have made efforts to meet the requirements of health protocols (and the Safety Seal program)? Do you believe that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) actually care about the state of the 300,000 employees of the nation’s cinema industry? Do you think Abalos and the Metro Manila mayors will still make decisions out of fear as far as movie theaters are concerned?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Several young people apprehended in Parañaque City for curfew violations

Are you a resident of Parañaque City struggling with the COVID-19 situation and do you have anything to say about the way local authorities are managing your local community? Previously, the residents of Annex 35 within Better Living Subdivision made the news by complaining about the limited essentials while they were locked down and some of the provided food were spoiled. I wonder if Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos is aware of the Annex 35 situation.

The other day, the Manila Bulletin published the latest about crime in Parañaque. Nine young individuals were caught by barangay personnel for violating the local curfew in Barangay San Dionisio. How exactly did they violate curfew? Read the excerpt below from the Manila Bulletin news report (which referenced ABS-CBN). Some parts in boldface…

Nine youths were arrested by patrolling barangay watchmen after they were seen playing computer games inside a shop in Paranaque City Sunday night.

According to a report, the youths aged 18 to 22 were arrested at about 11 p.m. in a shop located at 6087 Tramo I, Barangay San Dionisio. They were brought to the barangay hall.

The youths were issued a citation ticket for a fine of P200 each for violating curfew, according to ABS-CBN report.

The city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office, Atty. Melanie Soriano-Malaya, when asked about the incident, said that computer shops were not allowed to operate under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

Malaya said they were waiting for the report for them to verify if the computer shop has a permit to operate.

The above report ended stating that, in case the computer shop has a permit to operate, it may be revoked in relation to violating curfew. Take note, however, that the incident happened on Sunday night during modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). By the time you are reading this, general community quarantine (GCQ) is in effect again all over Metro Manila.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about this latest development in Parañaque City? Were you able to find anyone violating curfew there in your local community? Is there a computer shop or cyber café in your local community that operated during the curfew?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Vaccine czar Galvez favors vaccine booster shots for health workers and patients with comorbidities

Were you fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in your local community? If you were, you better make sure you keep your records and remember under what category you were counted in as a patient and what brand of vaccine you were injected with because recently Philippine vaccine czar and secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. announced that he favors vaccine booster shots for health workers and patients with comorbidities which GMA Network reported.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the GMA Network news report. Some parts in boldface…

Philippine vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said he is in favor of giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to healthcare workers and people with comorbidities.

“I don’t have any problem with it. Our healthcare workers must be given full protection,” he said in Filipino during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum, adding Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac is willing to donate 500,000 booster doses for medical workers.

Galvez, however, said the government is still waiting for the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the vaccine expert panel.

The Duterte administration has requested for standby authority from Congress to buy P45.367 billion worth of booster doses next year.

And posted below is the related GMA news video…

If ever the said booster shots will be approved and made available and legal for the Philippines, the government and the local government units (LGUs) better establish the health policies and clarify it to the constituents. This is because a certain person who got fully vaccinated in Mandaluyong City crossed over to another city to get injected with a third shot (the so-called booster) which caught the attention of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos who himself was mayor of Mandaluyong. In relation to that incident, Muntinlupa’s City Council approved a local ordinance against illegal vaccine booster shots.

That being said, it is important to look closely at how the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) behave, think, analyze and make decisions not only with the vaccine booster shots but also on the proposal to allow vaccinated patients to enter food-beverage joints as well as personal care service joints operating at 20% capacity during MECQ.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe vaccine czar Galvez knows what he is talking about? Do you agree with him favoring healthcare workers and comorbid patients as the first recipients of potential vaccine booster shots? If not, which type of patients should receive the vaccine booster shots first?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Trade Secretary Lopez proposes allowing vaccinated people to dine in food-and-beverage joints, and enter personal care service joints during MECQ

Nothing changes the fact that the restrictions imposed on businesses as a result of lockdown or the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) caused damage on the national economy in the forms of rising unemployment, added business hardship and the loss of income for the affected employees as the national authorities struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) declared that the nation’s economy would lose at least P150 billion per week in relation to Metro Manila and other areas being placed under the most restrictive quarantine measure while the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) announced that the economy should be reopened to prevent any more economic damage. ECOP already stated that lockdown is no remedy.

For the newcomers reading this, under ECQ and MECQ, dining inside food-and-beverage joints and availing of indoor services of personal care service businesses are forbidden. Restaurants, coffee shops and related food-and-beverage joints are limited to take-out and deliveries. Very recently, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has a proposal to help the food-and-beverage joints and personal care service providers and literally give more breathing room to consumers who have already been vaccinated. Take note that already the government announced that more than 50 million new COVID-19 vaccines will come into the country in September and October.

To put things into perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Times report. Some parts in boldface…

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is proposing to allow vaccinated people to dine-in in restaurants and enter personal care services establishments in areas under stricter quarantine measures.

In a Viber message to reporters, Lopez said this will help spur employment in those sectors.

Same MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) but [I] am pushing for allowing vaccinated to [be] allowed only in these restricted sectors like dine-in and personal care. Because we are saying that in these restricted sectors, those who are vaccinated are safer. So, we don’t expect an increase in severe critical (cases) and should not worsen ICU (intensive care unit) cases,” Lopez told reporters in a Viber message.

We pity the dine-in workers. About one million jobs and P1.5 billion revenues gone per week in the National Capital Region (NCR),” he added.

Lopez said that on top of these, 200,000 jobs in the personal care services sector in NCR were also affected.

“For other sectors, no need for distinguishing because both the vaccinated and unvaccinated are allowed. For example, both vaccinated and unvaccinated are allowed to go to malls or ride public transport,” he said.

“Again to clarify, [vaccinated should be allowed] only in restricted sectors during lockdowns like dine-in, personal care services, and meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions. If it’s not locked down, all vaccine status should be allowed subject to operating capacity,” he added.

Lopez, however, clarified that these should be allowed to operate at a maximum of 20- percent capacity.

“We believe in the vaccine. So, we should believe in the vaccinated. This should also serve as an incentive to those who are vaccinated and to encourage vaccination. With this, we help bring back jobs, open up these sectors,” said Lopez.

He said that once approved, this will be part of the new Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) guidelines.

Metro Manila and other Covid-19 critical areas were earlier placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until August 20.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) disclosed that the two-week ECQ will cost the Philippine economy P120 billion and aggravate poverty.

In relation to the details emphasized by Trade Secretary Lopez, the affected businesses within the restricted sectors can be relieved economically and already there are millions of vaccinated consumers available in Metro Manila to come in and support these businesses even though the maximum capacity is fixed at 20% under MECQ. The unemployed and the under-employed impacted by the ECQ/MECQ will finally get the opportunities to be hired and be able to earn much-needed income. That being said, it is a must that we pray in supporting Lopez’s proposal to get approved so that our nation as whole can recover better and that MECQ won’t be too damaging for businesses and workers anymore.  

Speaking of the National Capital Region (NCR), pay close attention as to how Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos and the members of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) will perceive and react to Lopez’s proposal of allowing food-and-beverage joints and personal care businesses to cater to vaccinated customers at limited capacity during MECQ. Take note that during the last ECQ, it was the MMDA and MMC who approved the restriction on outdoor exercise while businesses and their employees kept losing! Think about how these Metro Manila authorities think. That being said, it is essential to pray to our Lord to enlighten and guide all the government officials so they can do their jobs better and correctly.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you agree with Trade Secretary Lopez’s proposal to help the affected businesses during MECQ? If you are still unvaccinated, does this recent development encourage you at all to get vaccinated? If you are an owner of a food-and-beverage joint or a personal care services joint, what do you think about Lopez’s proposal in helping you and your employees?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City Council approves ordinance against illegal COVID-19 vaccine booster shots

Dishonest individuals to be involved in vaccination fraud or those falsifying their information to receive a COVID-19 vaccine “booster” shot in Muntinlupa will now be penalized and face charges following the approval of a local ordinance.

Muntinlupa City Council passed Ordinance No. 2021-262 this past Tuesday penalizing the dishonest and untruthful declaration of any person undergoing vaccination and to prevent fully vaccinated persons from getting additional COVID-19 vaccine shots as boosters.

Under the local ordinance, persons undergoing vaccination who “knowingly and deliberately lie, commit dishonesty or withhold relevant information such as excess in the number of doses presently allowed or taking different doses” shall be penalized. Violators will be meted with P5,000 penalty and imprisonment from six (6) to nine (9) months.

The ordinance against illegal COVID-19 vaccine booster shots is as an amendment to Ordinance 2020-088 or the Anti-Patient’s Dishonesty Ordinance of 2020 which seeks to apprehend individuals withholding relevant information and committing dishonesty on medical forms required by health workers.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi warns those who will falsify their information in order to get a booster shot that they will be apprehended. The local exec underscored the health risk of getting an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine more than what is presently allowed by the Department of Health or by mixing the brands of their first and second dose.

To date, DOH does not endorse booster shots of any COVID-19 vaccine because of the lack of studies backing up the efficacy and safety of booster inoculations.

Further, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has appealed to the public not to take a third dose, saying that the so-called booster shot is illegal. MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said those taking booster shots are stripping others of the opportunity to get even one dose of the government-acquired and donated jabs considering the low supply.

As of August 23, 442,586 vaccines have been administered in Muntinlupa. At least 293,909 individuals have received their first dose, of which 7,160 were inoculated in vaccination sites of Muntinlupa private companies, translating to 76.2% of the target population. While there are 153,036 fully vaccinated individuals, or those who received their required doses, translating to 39.7% of the target.

The target population to be vaccinated in Muntinlupa is 385,725 individuals or 70% of 551,036 Muntinlupa’s estimated population for 2020.

Muntinlupa City has 18,586 confirmed cases with 15,860 recoveries, 2,299 active cases, 427 reported deaths, 4 suspect cases, and 3,028 probable cases as of August 24.

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The above information was sourced from the official press release of the Muntinlupa PIO. Some parts were changed for this website.

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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Limitations on outdoor exercise within Metro Manila during MECQ imposed

Are you a Metro Manila resident who is having trouble exercising outdoors recently during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) period? Previously, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) imposed a ban on outdoor exercise all over Metro Manila during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in reaction to the Delta variant’s spread. Now that the ECQ has ended, outdoor exercise for Metro Manila residents was allowed but with limits.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in boldface…

In a statement on Friday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and concurrent MMC Chair Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said the resolution prohibiting outdoor exercise will lapse by the end of the current enhanced community quarantine but will be allowed only from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“Outdoor exercises in NCR will be allowed for the period of MECQ starting tomorrow, August 21,” Abalos said.

While restrictions on outdoor exercise have relaxed, he said the current 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew will remain across the National Capital Region (NCR).

Think about what MMDA chief Abalos announced. Three hours for outdoor exercise in the morning during this current MECQ period? A three-hour window for exercise outside people’s homes will mean that those who work out will have to rush with whatever physical activity they do. Those who bike will have to rush. The same with those who jog or do urban hiking. A 3-hour period is not good enough for those who need to shed weight, build-up stamina and enhance the immune system which itself is essential in this time of COVID-19 crisis.

Unsurprisingly, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the National Capital Region (NCR) coordinated with the local government units (LGUs) to implement outdoor exercise protocols. The current MECQ will last until August 31, 2021.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe that MMDA chief Abalos and the Metro Manila mayors really care about the fitness and health of their constituents during this time of pandemic? Do you believe that Abalos and the mayors consulted with doctors and fitness experts at all? Did MMDA personnel or police officers disrupt your outdoor exercise recently?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: MECQ in effect in Metro Manila until August 31, 2021

Finally, the surprise enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for Metro Manila has ended as the national government announced late Thursday night that the new level of restriction for the metropolis is the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) which is now in effect and will last until August 31, 2021. For the newcomers reading this, MECQ is supposed to be lighter than ECQ when it comes to restrictions.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The quarantine classification in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Laguna and Bataan has been downgraded from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to modified ECQ (MECQ), Malacañang announced Thursday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EUD), approved the latest quarantine status in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“These latest classifications are without prejudice to the strict implementation of granular lockdowns,” said Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, in a press statement.

Roque said Metro Manila will be placed under MECQ from Aug. 21 to 31.

Bataan, on the other hand, will be under MECQ from Aug. 23 to 31, he added.

Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan were initially placed under ECQ, the strictest form of community quarantine, due to the spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

Roque stressed that despite the deescalation of quarantine level, religious gatherings should remain “virtual” in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan.

He added that indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, as well as personal care services such as beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas should remain prohibited.

Roque said local government units in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan are likewise directed to improve the vaccination rates within their localities, as well as intensify the “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies to control the spread of Covid-19.

And here is a related news video to watch…

In an article by the Manila Bulletin, curfew hours in Metro Manila still remain and quarantine passes (QPs) are not required. MECQ also means no cash aid (ayuda) will be released by the national government. There are also other MECQ-related guidelines to follow in another article by the Manila Bulletin. As for the unpopular ban on outdoor exercise approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC), that one has ended and therefore the freedom to exercise outside our homes has been restored but to a certain extent.

As seen in the details regarding MECQ, there is no real ease nor positive change for several businesses and churches. Restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores that have tables and chairs are still prohibited from having customers dining inside and on the immediate space outside their joints. In a business sense, this is bad because take-out and delivery services are not good enough for food/beverage sellers to make their ends meet. People of faith, meanwhile, are still literally blocked from worshiping the Lord physically at the venues of their faith communities or ministries. As such, the online form of worship in Metro Manila is still the way but I can tell you from my experience that onsite, physical presence worship of the Lord is the better and more preferable way to worship Him. Online worship has its limits and it lacks the immersion that on-site, physical worship has.

That being said, I encourage you all reading this to pray to God to enlighten all the public officials (from the barangay up to the national level) to look up to Him and come back to Him for His guidance which they really need when it comes to managing the people and their communities as everyone still struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic. The public officials need prayers for the Lord to guide them, strengthen them and prevent them from getting lost.

It should be noted that just days ago, the Metro Manila Council left the decision on community control to national government. Just think about that! Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Benhur Abalos and the mayors met and that was all they could come up with – letting someone else decide for the many millions of people living and struggling in the National Capital Region (NCR).

As such, praying to the Lord to help the public officials is very much needed. It is a fact that each local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila is struggling not only with their respective COVID-19 vaccine operations but also with all other functions.

Also pray to the Lord that the national government will be more accommodating to the businesses and churches that got negatively affected by these community quarantine levels. Pray to the Lord that the employees, the business owners, the people of faith, the pastors and ministries will be assisted and accommodated better.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about the shift to MECQ for Metro Manila? If you are a manager or owner of a restaurant or coffee shop, how did the recent ECQ affect you and your employees?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Vaccine czar Galvez states it is better to take COVID-19 booster shot in 2022

Are you a fully vaccinated patient who feels eager to take a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot because of the news about the spread of the Delta variant, the Lambda variant’s detection in the Philippines, and the buzz about the Metro Manila ECQ?

Before you take any form of action, you should be aware first that according to a Manila Bulletin article, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., stated that it is better to have a third dose (also referred to as the booster shot) of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2022 than this year.

In other words you should not rush, and you better NOT even think about crossing borders to get a 3rd vaccine shot in a different city because it could lead you to trouble as already one fully vaccinated patient of Mandaluyong City somehow got the 3rd shot in another city. That incident even compelled Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman and former Mandaluyong City mayor Benhur Abalos to react.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

A third dose or booster shot of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is preferrable to have in 2022 than right now, according to the country’s vaccine czar.

Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., also the chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, claimed experts have found out that booster shots are “more effective” nine to 12 months after an individual has taken the recommended two doses of the jab, or single dose in the case of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

“Ang sabi ng experts, ang booster shot walang gaanong epekto iyan kung ang ating spacing napakababa (According to experts, the booster shot has no significant impact if we have too little spacing),” Galvez said Sunday afternoon, Aug. 15, during the arrival of 469,200 doses of Moderna vaccine that were procured by the government and private sector.

“Mas maganda kung ang booster natin is sa first month of year 2022, sa first quarter (It would be better if our booster shots will be given in the first month of 2022, in the first quarter),” he noted.

Aside from this, the country still has limited number of supplies so Galvez said it is the moral obligation of fully vaccinated Filipinos to let the unvaccinated get their shot in the arm, instead of getting a third dose or more for themselves.

“We are asking our people to be patient. We should be morally obliged. We need to wait for our turn. When we are finished [getting the recommended two doses], let the others [take] their turn,” Galvez stressed.

The vaccine czar issued the remark after reports surfaced that there were individuals who have already been inoculated with booster shots in some parts of Metro Manila through “vaccine hopping.”

The NTF has launched an investigation to punish individuals who are registering for vaccination in different cities to get more than two vaccine doses as he called them “immoral.”

In closing this piece, let me ask you readers: Do you believe that Galvez is correct that fully vaccinated patients should take the booster shot in 2022? If you were fully vaccinated already, how long has it been since the 2nd dose was injected into your body?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: ECQ in Metro Manila to be extended beyond August 20?

The Manila Bulletin reported yesterday that Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed that he and the National Capital Region (NCR) mayors will meet very soon to talk about the possible extension of the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which itself was announced to last until August 20, 2021. Meanwhile, a GMA Network news report states that the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) expressed that a lockdown is not the remedy and that the reopening of the economy is necessary.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report regarding Abalos and the Metro Manila mayors. Some parts in boldface…

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said he and the mayors of the National Capital Region (NCR) will discuss the possible extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period in the metropolis this coming week.

Abalos made this revelation in an interview over DZBB radio on Sunday, Aug. 15.

“Martes or Miyerkules mag-uusap po kami, marami kang babalansehin diyan (We will talk either Tuesday or Wednesday, you have to balance a lot of things there),” said Abalos, who is the concurrent chair of the Metro Manila Council (MMC).

He said the factors that need to be considered in such talks are the number of those who will have no work as a result of the possible ECQ extension, the hospitalization rate for coroanvirus disease (COVID-19) cases, and the number of vaccinated persons in Metro Manila.

“Kasi kung mag-i-ECQ ka, ayuda nanaman yan eh (Another round of ECQ means another round of cash aid),” he pointed out.

Abalos reiterated in the interview that the mayor-members of MMC have yet to come to an agreement on whether or not to extend the imposition of ECQ, contrary to a news report over the weekend.

“Hindi pa po nag-uusap tungkol doon, pag-uusapan pa lang po (We haven’t talked about that yet, but we will),” he noted.

The report quoted MMC chair, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez as saying that the local chief executives have agreed during a meeting to extend the ECQ up to Aug. 30. Abalos has denied this, saying that Olivarez was just misquoted.

In addition, Abalos and the Metro Manila mayors should be aware of the presence of the Lambda variant in the Philippines. For sure that will be discussed in their meeting.

Now, we focus on the economic side with this excerpt from the GMA news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) on Saturday said reopening of the economy is necessary to prevent further economic damage and job losses, along with continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and adherence to health protocols.

“It’s time we learn that lockdown is not the remedy,” ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said in a statement.

“Let’s compromise, we have to think that the economy is more important and we have to live with COVID-19,” he said.

Ortiz-Luis made the statement amid speculations of possible extension of the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila after August 20.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said that the possibility of extending the ECQ in Metro Manila for another three weeks is not yet on the table, and talks of a five-week ECQ are mere rumors and disinformation.

Citing government estimates, Ortiz-Luis said lockdowns cost the economy P150 billion a week, or P300 billion for the two-week ECQ.

Further, he pointed out that the estimated lockdown losses are on top of business closures that lead to unemployment.

“It would have been much productive and useful to channel even a fifth of these losses to strengthen our healthcare system to address the cases and for prevention measures,” the ECOP chief said.

Ortiz-Luis, likewise, noted that the number of deaths related to the coronavirus is small compared to those who die due to other diseases, and even suicide and hunger.

He said there is thus a need to intensify monitoring of severe cases as a large majority of COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic.

“Let us not be fixated on the numbers. Instead, let us intensify and fast-track our vaccination.

“Let us not forget practicing health protocols and comply with quarantine classifications. Continue adding hospital rooms, facilities, COVID-19 centers…,” he said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the MMDA and the Metro Manila mayors will recommend an extension of the ECQ knowing that such a move will require another round of releasing cash aid/ayuda? Do you think the ECOP is correct with the economic damage estimates of P150 billion per week of lockdown?

Within your city of residence, are you satisfied with the way that your local government and its partners are organizing the registration, set-ups and COVID-19 vaccination operations?

Did you hear the recent news about a fully vaccinated patient (two doses in Mandaluyong City) who somehow got a third shot of COVID-19 vaccine in another city?

Still within your city, how many people do you personally know lost their jobs because of the most recent ECQ? Are there any business owners you know who had no choice but to scale down operations or shut down entirely all because of the ECQ?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: PNP to strictly implement Metro Manila prohibition on outdoor exercise during ECQ

Did you spot anyone running or biking or hiking outdoors in your local community recently? I spotted nobody doing any fitness activities outdoors which is not surprising since the Metro Manila mayors passed the resolution prohibiting outdoor exercise for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) which is supposed to end on August 20, 2021.

Yesterday I spotted the Philippine News Agency (PNA) follow-up story to the NCR outdoor exercise ban and it focuses on the side of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who are following the orders to implement the said ban.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, on Wednesday, ordered all police officers to strictly enforce the prohibition on outdoor exercises for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Ang pagbabawal sa mga outdoor activity ay desisyon ng ating mga Metro Manila mayors na kailangang ipatupad ng inyong PNP para sa kapakanan ng lahat, lalo na at marami na ang kumpirmadong kaso ng mga bata, kabilang ang mga sanggol, na nahahawa ng Covid-19 (The prohibition on all outdoor activities is the collective decision of all Metro Manila mayors that need to be implemented by the PNP for the safety of all, especially now that there are a lot of cases involving children, and even babies, who got infected with the coronavirus disease 2019),” Eleazar said in a statement.

He called the prohibition on all outdoor activities very timely, considering that the Philippines has been declared as “high-risk” for Covid-19 due to the increasing number of infections.

The measure, he added, is needed to ensure that the situation would not worsen the country’s health and economic situation.

Eleazar also directed police commanders to maximize the information drive on the measure through the PNP’s social media accounts and through Oplan Bandillo where policemen warn the public through a megaphone or speaker system installed in roving police vehicles.

He appealed to Metro Manila residents to abide by this rule and cooperate with authorities.

In Resolution 21-17, series of 2021 issued on Monday, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) banned outdoor exercise for the remainder of the ECQ in the NCR.

The resolution was signed by the 17 NCR mayors and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr.

“It is hereby resolved that the MMC prohibits outdoor exercise in NCR during the ECQ until 20 August 2021 through the local government units of Metro Manila,” the resolution read.

The decision was made after the “steady rise” in the number of Covid-19 cases, including confirmed cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus,s in the region.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said the Philippines has gone up to high-risk classification as a rise in Covid-19 cases has been observed with a positive two-week growth rate (TWGR) at 47 percent.

In closing this piece, let me ask you readers: Do you believe that the Metro Manila Council made the right decision prohibiting outdoor exercise for the duration of the current ECQ? Are you concerned that the police will abuse their authority once they spot someone exercising outdoors? What do you think about the PNP right now?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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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. 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

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, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673