COVID-19 Crisis: All LGUs ordered to ramp up vaccination and booster drive as Omicron cases increase

Does your local government unit (LGU) seem to be working sluggishly with regards to the local vaccination and booster drive for COVID-19? The local authorities should improve their performance on immunizing the locals as the Department of the Local and Interior Government (DILG) headed by Secretary Benhur Abalos has officially ordered all LGUs nationwide to ramp up the vaccination and booster rollouts, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr. directed on Saturday, July 30, all local government units (LGUs) to step-up their Covid-19 vaccination and booster inoculation efforts amid the rising number of 890 Omicron BA.5 subvariant infection in the country.

The DILG is one with PBBM (President Bongbong Marcos) as we altogether aim for improved booster inoculation, hence, we direct all LGUs to ramp up their vaccination drives and encourage the eligible segment of the population to take advantage of the protection the booster shots offer,” Abalos said.

He said LGUs are integral in communicating the importance of boosters to overcome vaccination hesitancy and increase the number of eligible citizens that are boosted.

“Inaasahan ko ang pakikiisa ng bawat LGU upang mas paigtingin ang pagpapa-booster sa kanilang mga lokalidad. Alam nila ang pulso ng kanilang nasasakupan, kaya mas maipararating nila ang ating mensahe na ito (Covid-19 vaccines and boosters) ay ligtas at isa sa pinakamabisa nating sandata laban sa Covid-19 (I expect the cooperation of the LGUs to enhance the booster campaign in their localities. They know the sentiments of their turfs that is why they can send the message that it is safe and one of the most effective weapons against Covid-19),’’ he added.

As of July 25, only 15.9 million have received their booster doses out of the 71.5 million who are already fully vaccinated.

Intensified vaccination efforts

Abalos, in the DILG Memorandum dated July 15, 2022, directed LGUs to ramp up their vaccination efforts and instructs them to urge and reach out to all their unvaccinated and booster-eligible constituents; address vaccine hesitancy, particularly in rural and far-flung areas; bridge the gap between vaccination services and communities to make it easier for the people to get inoculated; and, avoid vaccine wastage by ensuring that all available vaccines are administered in their respective areas.

Now is the best time to get vaccinated and boosted as we continue to move forward and prepare for the full conduct of face-to-face classes which is already near. Let us all do our part in achieving the protection population that can ultimately benefit the whole Filipino citizenry,” Abalos insisted.

The DILG secretary also urged LGUs to support the Department of Health’s (DOH) PinasLakas (Enhancement) campaign which was launched on July 26, 2022.

PinasLakas is the revitalized government Covid-19 vaccination and booster campaign that aims to achieve the government’s targets of vaccinating 90 percent of senior citizens and boosting 50 percent of the eligible population in the first 100 days of the administration.

It also highlights the unity between government agencies, LGUs, the health sector, the private sector and other key organizations towards Covid-19 population protection.

“Hinihikayat ko po ang lahat ng LGUs na makiisa sa PinasLakas upang mas lalong maprotektahan ang ating ating senior citizens at lumakas ang immunity ng eligible population (I am encouraging all the LGUs to support the PinasLakas to further protect our senior citizens and strengthen the immunity of the eligible population),’’ Abalos said.

Take note that in recent times, more patients have been declared by the Department of Health (DOH) eligible to get the 2nd booster shot. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. already declared that no lockdown will be declared as his administration has a COVID-19 exit strategy is already being developed.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Has your LGU been doing a bad job organizing COVID-19 vaccination operations? Do you believe that the anti-vaccine fanatics fooled your local government officials with their misinformation and lies? Has your local government been issuing 2nd booster shots to the comorbid patients (18-49 years old) and adults aged 50-above? Do you believe that the anti-vaccine fanatics will organize another misinformation campaign drive now that they know the DILG ordered LGUs nationwide to ramp up vaccination and booster rollouts? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics sold their souls to anarchists, terrorists and fascist figures?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines pandemic exit strategy coming

It has been over two years since the entire Philippines first got setback economically and socially by the COVID-19 crisis. Until now, people, private organizations and businesses are still struggling to fully recover from the varied effects that come with government-imposed restrictions, limitations on business-related activities, and the public’s complacency towards COVID-19. It is bad enough that the Philippines now has a core of anti-vaccine fanatics who are misinforming and scaring people while offering no real solutions to the problems.

Speaking of solutions, a pandemic exit strategy is brewing high up in the government and it should be sent to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., soon, according to a recent report by the Manila Bulletin.

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

A Cabinet member has committed that the proposed pandemic exit strategy crafted by a panel of medical experts will be endorsed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Former presidential adviser and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said that Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos will endorse the proposal which the government can adopt to help the country transition from pandemic to normalcy.

In a statement, Concepcion said “Abalos said he will endorse the presentation of the proposals to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

Abalos also said that he “will organize a meeting with the Department of Health (DOH) to initiate more vaccinations at the community level.”

Abalos also agreed on the importance of raising booster vaccination rates to 70 percent of the eligible population which is included in the pandemic exit proposal.

“Kailangan ng isa pa. Isa pa para sa mga pamilya, isa pa para sa komunidad (We need one more One more for our families, one more for our community),” Abalos said.

With this, Concepcion also renewed his call to push for one more massive effort for vaccination.

Complacency is really the problem. There is no sense of urgency because people don’t see what might happen if our wall of immunity starts to weaken,” he said.

Concepcion explained that re-infections are quite possible, and that cases of long Covid have grave consequences on productivity, and ultimately, the economy.

He echoed Abalos’ statement that “we need to convince people that they need boosters.”

The DILG Chief recently met with Concepcion and members of the Advisory Council of Experts (ACE), a group of medical doctors, scientists and academics comprising the country’s foremost authorities on public health, molecular biology, disaster resilience, data insight and analysis, and economics.

The group’s proposal outlined parameters to ease the country into normalcy and encourage economic activity without risking the public’s health. It has been met with approval from the private sector, including several industry groups and businessmen.

Abalos further expressed optimism as the proposal was an initiative of the private sector, and that it puts emphasis on the importance of achieving high booster vaccination rates.

As you can see in the above news excerpt, national government officials, private sector members and other stakeholders have been brainstorming and discussing ways with the exit strategy in mind to truly lift the nation further from the COVID-19 crisis. Former presidential adviser Joey Concepcion is absolutely right when he pointed to complacency which is an enduring problem on the part of the public when it comes to how they perceived COVID-19, vaccination and health. I am certain that a lot of people got fooled by the anti-vaccine fanatics who keep on spreading misinformation and fear.

On the aspect of vaccination, I do agree that a major renewal of COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot rollouts should happen soon. I’m talking about reopening the closed vaccination sites, deploying a lot of health workers with lots of supplies of vaccines prepared, and making sure that each vaccination hub is well organized (note: we don’t want a repeat of the very embarrassing Parañaque Pfizer vaccine launch of May 2021). In addition, the national authorities should come up with ways to make economic recovery more achievable for businesses and employees. On the topic of new infections caused by Omicron and its subvariants, our nation should serious consider acquiring more Sputnik vaccines as those have proven to be very effective against Omicron. Whatever the details they are discussing, the pandemic exit strategy for the Philippines something that everyone should watch out for.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Do you think that the national authorities and other stakeholders will be able come up with a pandemic exit strategy that will work? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will ramp up their misinformation campaign and fearmongering now that they know a national pandemic exit strategy is being developed? Do you think President Marcos will spend sufficient time to review the pandemic exit strategy before issuing his response?

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 as well as making a donation to support my publishing.. 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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: DTI calls for gradual shift to Alert Level 1

Are you tired of living with restrictions and government overreach these past two years as a result of the COVID-19 crisis? A lot of people are not just tired of it but also frustrated as many of them saw their loss of income, losing their jobs, the closure of their businesses as well as an enormous negative impact on their lives. To manage the people living under the pandemic all around the Philippines, an Alert Level system was established months ago as part of quarantine in relation to the number of new and active COVID-19 cases. Currently Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2, however in the City of Parañaque the restrictions on the unvaccinated are still in effect. Parañaque is one of four Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) that still have not lifted the restrictions on unvaccinated people while Metro Manila is placed under Alert Level 2.

For economic recovery and the uplifting of the country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) called for the gradual shift to the looser and more business-friendly Alert Level 1, according to a GMA Network news report. It should be noted that new cases of COVID-19 infections have declined recently.

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

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday backed the calls to downgrade the quarantine status of the country to Alert Level 1 to open more businesses and jobs amid the decreasing number of new COVID-19 infections.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said should the country (shift) to Alert Level 1, which is the lowest in the alert level system, it has to be done slowly as there is still the lingering threat of COVID-19.

“Kung mag Alert Level 1 tayo, na gusto din ni (DTI) Sec. Mon (Lopez) na mangyari pero dahan-dahan lang, nandiyan pa rin ‘yung virus. So, kailangan pa rin nating sundin lahat ng health protocols,” she said.

(If we shift to Alert Level 1, which Sec. Mon wants to happen, it should be done slowly because the virus is still there. So, we still need to follow all the health protocols.)

Currently, the National Capital Region (NCR) and several provinces are under Alert Level 2 from February 1 to 15.

Under Alert Level 2, certain establishments and activities are allowed at 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated adults and minors, and 70% capacity outdoors, even if unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, under Alert Level 1, all establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it follows minimum health standards. This, however, excludes areas under granular lockdown.

Castelo said about 1.5 million businesses in the country can operate at full capacity if the quarantine restrictions are further eased, thus allowing more people to return to work.

“Pagka nag-100% na, full capacity na lahat ng negosyo, lahat nung nagtatrabaho before COVID, ‘yun na din ang makakabalik ngayon,” she said.

(If the businesses are at 100% or at full capacity, all employees working before the pandemic could go back to work now.)

When several areas in the country, including the NCR, moved from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, the DTI estimated that around 100,000 to 200,000 employees got back to work. That is an addition of almost 16,000 workers weekly, Castelo said.

It would be nice to see the shift to Alert Level 1 actually happen as it means better economic recovery, more employment and a healthier society. I personally want the government-imposed restrictions on businesses and on people removed. Remember the sudden ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in Metro Manila that happened last August followed by the ban on outdoor exercise? A lot of people got frustrated with those two Metro Manila unfortunate developments months ago. Observe closely how the Metro Manila mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) behave and make decisions. Oh yes, Benhur Abalos is no longer MMDA chairman.

Meanwhile, vaccination programs and COVID-19 testing are being organized most of the time and the more people get vaccinated, the better for the nation and its economic recovery. It would be great for the Philippines to acquire more Sputnik Light and Sputnik V vaccines as they have proven to be effective in protecting people from the infectious Omicron variant. Very recently, Sputnik Light has been approved for use in India and that is something the national government’s officials should seriously consider for acquiring more vaccines for the entire Philippines.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the DTI’s call for the gradual adjustment into the looser Alert Level 1? Do you think the national government as well as local government units (LGUs) have gotten too far with governing and managing us people? Do you think that the more people get vaccinated, the more our country will overcome this pandemic?

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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.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: Unvaccinated people are still restricted in Parañaque City under Alert Level 2

People who remain unvaccinated are still restricted in Parañaque City, according to the news report by the Manila Bulletin. It seems that the recent shift of control of Metro Manila into Alert Level 2 does not matter to the said city.

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

The Paranaque City government will continue to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals despite the de-escalation of Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 quarantine status, Mayor Edwin Olivarez said on Wednesday, Feb. 2.

The mayor said unvaccinated individuals must always stay at home unless there is a need to buy essential goods and in need of medical services.

Olivarez said residents ages 18 years old and above are allowed to go out of their residences while the 17-year olds and below are only permitted outside if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated relatives.

(He) said for transportation, the city government allows tricycles to carry three passengers while buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 70% capacity.

The mayor said for businesses, the city government advised the establishments to apply for a safety seal so they can be allowed 10% additional operational and venue capacity.

As far as Manila Bulletin’s reporting above goes, things look really blunt in Parañaque City which itself is one of four cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) that have no automatic lifting of restrictions against unvaccinated in relation to the shift to Alert Level 2. This was confirmed by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benhur Abalos himself in a separate news report. Legally speaking, Parañaque’s restrictions on unvaccinated people (for references, click here and here) remain because the approved city ordinance allegedly has no automatic lifting clause (refer to the same GMA news report with Abalos involved).

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

In a press conference, Abalos said the ordinances of Parañaque, Pasay, Quezon City, and Pateros have no automatic lifting clause for the restrictions against unvaccinated people.

Four LGUs don’t have automatic lifting clause but three LGUs will be issuing a new executive order. These are Parañaque, Pasay, and Quezon City,” he said.

“Only Pateros will be left as they will still discuss the issue tomorrow,” he added.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of the 17 mayors in the region, earlier agreed to restrict the mobility of unvaccinated people in the NCR under the Alert Level 3. These LGUs issued their respective ordinances on the matter.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Parañaque City and you are unvaccinated, do you feel betrayed by your current City Government? Are the local restrictions on unvaccinated persons and businesses affecting you personally and professionally? Do the current restrictions make you think twice about voting in the next local elections? Do you feel like reaching out to anti-vaccine fanatics and SJWs (social justice warriors) from around the country and overseas to come to Parañaque and organize massive protest rallies to compel the City Government to act?

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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.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: Metro Manila mayors approve resolution restricting unvaccinated people

The new year of 2022 is already challenging for the Philippines with the daily count of new COVID-19 infections averaging in the thousands the past few days. For the people who still remain unvaccinated, their movements within Metro Manila will be restricted as the mayors of the metropolis approved a new resolution and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed it, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

Metro Manila (mayors) have agreed to implement a lockdown on all the unvaccinated individuals in the metropolis as part of the measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the rising number of cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the past days.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said this was agreed in principle by all the 17 mayors of Metro Manila during the meeting help on Sunday and was embodied on the resolution approved by the Metro Manila Council.

The move is also aimed at protecting unvaccinated individuals, what with the report from the Department of Health that more or less 85 percent of severe cases of COVID it monitored in various hospitals are those who have not been inoculated against the deadly virus.

“This was what they agreed (during the meeting). Those unvaccinated, they shall remain at their residence at all times,” said Abalos in a press briefing on Monday morning, Jan. 3.

He said unvaccinated individuals would only be allowed to go out of their houses if they would buy essential goods like food, water or medicine or avail of essential services that are mostly relating to medical services, energy and work.

While unvaccinated individuals would not be deprived to do exercises, Abalos said their movement would be limited in areas near their homes like inside the subdivision, puroks or even within the barangay.

Abalos also emphasized that unvaccinated (individuals) will not be allowed to travel and even do leisure activities like going to the malls, tourist spots and other popular leisure areas and would be even allowed to dine both inside and outside any restaurants and other dining establishments.

“This is like implementing ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine which is the highest lockdown measures) but only for the unvaccinated. This is also for their own protection,” said Abalos.

How about unvaxxed workers?

Abalos explained that work-related activities are exempted from the restrictions that were approved by the Metro Manila mayors for the unvaccinated individuals.

The catch, however, is that unvaccinated workers have to undergo RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction which is the most accurate test for COVID-19) every two weeks and that they have to present them to their work places as a matter of policy that was ordered by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Another problem for unvaccinated workers on this policy is that they are the ones who would shoulder the cost of the RT-PCR which costs ranges from P2,500 to P4,000 per test.

In the event that the RT-PCR result is not readily available as it takes time before the result is obtained, Abalos said unvaccinated workers must undergo antigen test, also at their expense.

Vax card as ‘passport’

During the briefing Abalos emphasized the importance of the vaccination card for those who want to move around Metro Manila and for those who want to enter the National Capital Region.

He said the vaccination cards served as the passports to all establishments–in compliance with the IATF order.

“So you need to carry vaccination cards at all times. And aside from vaccination card, the bearer should also have an identification to verify that he or she is indeed the person in the vaccination card,” said Abalos.

He, however, warned against availing fake vaccination cards, saying they would be punished by existing laws.

The same warning was given to establishment owners that would fail to implement the need to present vaccination cards for their clients and customers.

“We are expecting the malls and other establishments to adjust the protocols… So I appeal to the public to follow these rules as a way of cooperating with the government in the fight against COVID-19,” said Abalos.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? If you are unvaccinated until now, does this latest news compel you to finally go out and join the line for the free vaccines? Do you think the Metro Manila mayors made the right decision with the reported resolution dealing with the unvaccinated? If you are indeed unvaccinated, do you feel oppressed by the Metro Manila mayors’ approved resolution? Do you trust MMDA chairman Abalos at all?

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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.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: Metro Manila number coding returns specifically covering evening rush hours

For those who drive daily in or through Metro Manila, better brace yourselves for changes regarding evening rush hours as it was announced that the number coding will return very soon according to a GMA News report.

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

Majority of National Capital Region (NCR) mayors have agreed to reinstate the number coding scheme during afternoon rush hour, according to Allan Gatus’ report on Super Radyo dzBB on Monday.

Citing Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, the report said the number coding scheme will be implemented Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will cover only private vehicles.

Public utility vehicles (PUVs) are exempted from the scheme as they are still operating under limited passenger capacity under Alert Level 2.

The above report ended stating that the actual implementation of the return of the number coding scheme will happen officially two days after the resolution gets published on the Official Gazette.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do you drive regularly around Metro Manila during the evening rush hours? Do you think that the return of number coding in Metro Manila is good?

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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.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: A collective push to make face shields non-mandatory in Metro Manila

It has been days since Alert Level 2 was declared all over Metro Manila and the result was the increase presence of people – including minors – at the parks, the shopping malls and food-and-beverage joints. This past Sunday, I noticed more vehicles traveling north on the Metro Manila Skyway which I found surprising as Sunday traffic is normally light. Vaccination for COVID-19 in the metropolis continues to grow and the national average of daily new infections has been below 5,000 per day for some time now. Things are looking optimistic.

As for the face shields that local have been compelled to use for some time now, there is a collective push to make them non-mandatory in Metro Manila. For one thing, face shields make verbal communication harder (as people are already wearing face masks). Another thing is that face shields can be quite inconvenient, even uncomfortable to use whether outdoors or indoors. Surely the local believers of face shields keep on preaching that the said things provide greater protection from COVID-19 but does the rest of the world agree with them? Locally, the OCTA Research group expressed that face shields should not be required inside cinemas.

More recently, it seems that the mayors of Metro Manila and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) want to scrap the use of face shields (note: there will still be specific places that require face shields) and make their recommendation to the national authorities, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) the scrapping of mandatory use of face shields in the National Capital Region following mutual agreement among Metro mayors.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said Monday, Nov. 8, that the use of face shields will no longer be required except for “critical places.”

Critical areas, according to Abalos, are the hospitals, barangay health centers and public transportation.

“Ang napag-usapan namin sa faceshield number 1, ito yung isusugest ko sa IATF, na tanggalin na ho ang face shield hindi na gawing mandatory except for critical places (What we discussed about the faceshield was that the lifting of its mandatory use except for critical places. I would suggest that to the IATF),” Abalos said in a TeleRadyo interview when asked about what was Metro mayors’ say on removing the use of face shields.

Once approved by the IATF, the use of face shields will no longer be necessary in malls, Abalos added.

Last week, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Usec. Jonathan Malaya disclosed that DILG Sec. Año will be proposing to the IATF the lifting of the same policy as Metro Manila already deescalated to Alert Level 2 status.

For his part, Senator Manny Pacquiao expressed support on lifting the mandatory use of face shields, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Pacquiao, who is running for Philippine President, also expressed his awareness about economic recovery and lessening the burden people have been living with.  

Going back to the Metro Manila Council and the MMDA, it has been reported by GMA Network that a recommendation or an appeal will be submitted to the IATF. Take note that the IATF is the top authority on COVID-19 matters and policies here in the Philippines.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? Do you think that the Metro Manila mayors and the MMDA, who are partly responsible for the August ECQ and even implemented a ban on outdoor exercise, are sincere about face shields right now? Are you sick and tired of being required to use face shields? What is the one thing you despised the most about face shields?

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: 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