COVID-19 Crisis: 6.5 million vaccine doses for NCR and certain provinces confirmed

By now, most people should be aware that Metro Manila will effectively shift back to the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to August 20, 2021. Already it has been confirmed that even during the upcoming ECQ, COVID-19 vaccination operations per city in the National Capital Region (NCR) will continue as planned. In relation to that, the national government confirmed that it will supply 4 million doses of vaccines for Metro Manila plus 2.5 million for certain provinces, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The national government will deliver 6.5 million doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) jabs to local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus to intensify mass vaccination.

National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 deputy chief Secretary Vince Dizon said NCR mayors asked for more supplies during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20.

“Plus” provinces Rizal, Laguna Cavite, and Bulacan will also be supplied an additional 2.5 million doses.

“Humingi ang NCR ng four million doses. ‘Yan ay ibibigay na ng national government. Ipinangako na ni (NTF chief) Sec. (Carlito) Galvez ang four million doses ng ibat-ibang bakuna nitong mga susunod na linggo. Magbibigay din ng 2.5 million sa ibat ibang probinsya sa Plus (NCR asked for four million doses. That will be given by the national government. Sec. Galvez promised four million doses of different vaccines for NCR these coming weeks. Also, 2.5 million for those in the Plus areas),” Dizon said in an interview on Saturday during the launch of the Covid-19 drive-thru vaccination site in Manila at the Quirino Grandstand.

He said NCR mayors committed to finishing administering all four million doses, a combination of first and second doses, while under ECQ.

Dizon said the NCR accounts for 30 percent of the over eight million who are fully inoculated.

As you can see in the above details, the mayors of Metro Manila requested the additional 4 million vaccine doses which in reality is one of the two conditions they made in relation to supporting the return to ECQ according to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the said report. Pay close attention to the details below…

At a press briefing on Thursday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief Benhur Abalos said the mayors had an emergency meeting on Wednesday to come up with a game plan against the highly infectious Delta variant.

“We will not wait for hospitals to get filled. Our suggestion is to have more heightened restrictions,” Abalos said.

But under Metro Manila Council Resolution No. 21-15 series of 2021, the mayors listed two conditions that needed to be met before placing Metro Manila under ECQ again: the availability of financial assistance for the poor and an additional supply of vaccines for an aggressive inoculation program.

Abalos said the mayors agreed that an ECQ could not be implemented without financially helping the families that would once again lose income for two weeks.

They also wanted an allocation of at least 4 million vaccines for the NCR that they committed to administer during the two-week period.

As of this writing, the Delta variant has been detected not only in Metro Manila but also in other parts of the country. That variant is much more contagious and could lead to even more new COVID-19 infections. In the City of Bacoor in Cavite Province, two entire buildings of a housing project had to be locked down temporarily due to the detection of a new Delta variant case there. Meanwhile, the Province of Laguna has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status because of the threat of the Delta variant.

For people to survive and be protected, getting vaccinated is crucial (note: the unvaccinated are at risk) and looking up to the Lord and being faithful to Him is essential. For your faith in the Lord and for His divine protection, go read the entire Psalm 91 in the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe the national authorities and the local government units (LGUs) are doing enough to get more people here in the Philippines vaccinated? Are there still people in your local community who continue to be defiant and completely avoid getting vaccinated? Do you think that the LGUs of Metro Manila ran out of money which made them come to the national government for new supplies of vaccines for their respective constituents? Is your local government doing enough to contain the Delta variant?

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: Strict GCQ declared for NCR and bordering provinces effective August 1 until August 15, 2021

Even as more people in Metro Manila have gotten worried about the highly infectious Delta variant which has been detected already in Parañaque and Las Piñas, the general community quarantine (GCQ) for the National Capital Region (NCR) and bordering provinces has been declared which will take effect on August 1, 2021 and will last until August 15, 2021, as reported by the Philippine New Agency (PNA).

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

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation to extend the general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions in Metro Manila until August 15, Malacañang announced on Wednesday.

The stricter GCQ has been retained in Metro Manila, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) observed an increase in the daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and health care utilization rate in the country’s metropolis, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a pre-recorded Talk to the People.

“The Chief Executive extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions classification of the National Capital Region beginning August 1, 2021 until August 15, 2021,” Roque said in a press statement.

Apart from Metro Manila, four of its nearby provinces – Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – will also be placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions from August 1 to 15, Roque said.

And here is a related news video by GMA Network…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you surprised about the strict GCQ for Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal? Do you believe that the highly infectious Delta variant can be contained? Are you ready for another lockdown? Have you been vaccinated already?

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: GCQ in NCR Plus continues until mid-July

Be informed that the general community quarantine (GCQ) for NCR Plus (National Capital Region plus the bordering provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal will continue to be in effect until mid-July as President Rodrigo Duterte extended it very recently.

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

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) classification in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus with Laguna and Cavite still under “heightened restrictions” until July 15.

In his pre-recorded Talk to the People, Duterte said GCQ will also continue to be imposed in Metro Manila, Rizal, and Bulacan “with some restrictions” until July 15.

Aside from NCR Plus, Ifugao province, City of Santiago, Guimaras, Aklan, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Antique, Capiz, Zamboanga Sibugay, City of Zamboanga, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Sur will also be placed under GCQ in the next 15 days beginning July 1.

The GCQ will be imposed in Baguio City, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batangas, Quezon, Ilagan City, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, South Cotabato, and Cotabato City until July 31.

Meanwhile, Duterte also placed Cagayan, Apayao, Bataan, Lucena City, Puerto Princesa, Naga City, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Zambaogan del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Butuan City, Dumagat Islands, and Surigao del Sur under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from July 1 to 31.

Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte are also under MECQ but only up to July 15.

The rest of the country will be placed under modified GCQ.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said gyms/fitness centers at 40 percent capacity and other indoor sports courts at 50 percent capacity will be allowed in Metro Manila, Rizal and Bulacan but not in other areas of NCR Plus like Laguna and Cavite.

He said 40 percent capacity for historical sites and museums will also be allowed in the NCR Plus areas except in Laguna and Cavite.

The non-contact sports are allowed in GCQ and MGCQ areas while individual outdoor exercises are allowed within the general areas of their residence in MECQ places.

Roque said outdoor dining (Al fresco) with 50 percent capacity will be allowed in GCQ and MGCQ but not in MECQ areas.

He added that indoor sports courts and venues as well as indoor tourist attractions can operate up to 50 percent capacity GCQ areas but should be closed in MECQ places as well as in Laguna and Cavite.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you find the extension of GCQ status for NCR Plus justified? Considering the so-called heightened restrictions, what do you think is the problem going on in the provinces of Laguna and Cavite?

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

COVID-19 Crisis: GCQ in NCR Plus until June 15, 2021

While it was announced really late in the evening of May 31, the general community quarantine (GCQ) remains in effect in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal from June 1 to June 15, 2021.

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

The general community quarantine (GCQ) quarantine classification in Metro Manila and other areas has been extended until June 15, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday night.

Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to extend the GCQ status in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal (NCR Plus) for 15 more days to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press statement, said some restrictions shall remain in place in NCR Plus limiting the capacities of certain industries.

The PNA article also includes key details such the OCTA Research Group recommending the GCQ status for NCR Plus to be retained so that people won’t become very complacent. When it comes to guidelines and restrictions, read the Manila Bulletin article.

I want to add here that vaccination registration and processes are being done by the many local government units around the nation. Millions more new vaccines will arrive this month. That being said, I encourage you – those who have not yet registered for free COVID-19 vaccines – to get registered and wait for the local authorities to contact you. I just received my 2nd dose of vaccine from Russia here in Muntinlupa City. In my two appointments for vaccination, the local organizing of the processes, verification and health check were done efficiently and smoothly. Even if one gets fully vaccinated (2 doses), there is still a need to follow health protocols.

Las Piñas City residents can learn the ways to get registered vaccines right here, while those in Muntinlupa can learn about online registration here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a business owner, what are the biggest problems you experienced during GCQ? How many more business restrictions related to GCQ do you want to see get loosened or removed? If you have not yet registered for the free COVID-19 vaccines in your locality, what is your main reason for not registering?

Is the local vaccination organizer efficient and friendly to those who arrived for inoculation?

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: Over 90% of ECQ aid distributed to beneficiaries in NCR Plus

For NCR Plus (National Capital Region plus Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces), the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) are both over. What is also over during this COVID-19 pandemic is the period of the distribution of the so-called Ayuda or financial assistance by the national government for NCR Plus-based low-income earners who got affected by the ECQ. Specifically, the distribution of the funds ended on May 15, 2021 (Saturday) and according to a news report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) – citing the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – over 90% of the funds were distributed.

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

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said the distribution of aid has reached 91 percent or PHP21.06 billion given to low-income earners in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area as of May 15, the deadline set by the national government.

In a news release, the agency said 37 local government units (LGUs) reached 100 percent completion of aid distribution.

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that amid all the challenges, the LGUs delivered their end of the bargain on the distribution of ‘ayuda’ to millions of beneficiaries, with most registering a 90 percent completion rate as of May 15.

He said the 91 percent distribution rate is a testament to the LGUs’ commitment to extend the most help they can give to their constituents.

“Alam ninyo po isang malaking hamon po talaga itong pamamahagi ng ayuda sa panahon ng pandemya at nakakatuwa na we saw the commitment of the LGUs (As you know, the distribution of the assistance at this time of a pandemic was a big challenge. We are elated with the commitment we saw from the LGUs). And now billions of pesos of financial assistance have reached our kababayans. The 91 percent or PHP21.06 billion ‘ayuda’ distributed to qualified beneficiaries is a victory for the LGUs and the national government,” Año said.

He explained that the remaining 9 percent represents the unclaimed ‘ayuda’ and they have granted the LGUs with unclaimed funds the authority to prepare a new payroll and distribute these to other affected individuals in their respective communities within 10 days.

“Despite diligent efforts by the LGUs, some of the beneficiaries did not claim their ‘ayuda’ because they have moved to the provinces or are no longer residing in their LGUs. Many of them were also delisted because they were found to be duplicates in the Social Amelioration Program list. The LGUs have started to prepare a new payroll in order to distribute these unclaimed funds,” he said.

On May 15, Año said Bulacan tallied the highest completion rate of 96.85 percent corresponding to PHP2.87 billion worth of financial assistance with 12 LGUs namely Balagtas, Baliwag, Bocaue, Calumpit, Doña Remedios Trinidad, Guiguinto, Norzagaray, Pandi, Paombong, Plaridel, San Miguel and, San Rafael finishing their ‘ayuda’ distribution.

Laguna tallied 19 LGUs which have completed aid distribution, the most among the whole NCR Plus bubble while garnering a high completion rate of 96.50 percent corresponding to PHP2.62 billion worth of financial aid distributed.

Among the LGUs which have completed distribution of ‘ayuda’ in Laguna are the cities of Biñan, Cabuyao, San Pedro, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and the towns of Alaminos, Calauan, Famy, Kalayaan, Lumban, Mabitac, Magdalena, Nagcarlan, Paete, Pagsanjan, Pakil, Pila, Rizal and Siniloan.

Meanwhile, Rizal followed with 93.34 percent, NCR with 90.99 percent; and Cavite with 86.04 percent, with five LGUs including Tagaytay City, Amadeo, Mendez, Naic, and Noveleta completing the aid distribution.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the Philippine News Agency’s crime news report? Did your local government unit distribute the money with transparency and honesty? Do you believe your LGU achieved 100% completion of the ayuda distribution?

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: So-called stricter GCQ in NCR Plus begins today

Starting today until the 31st of May, the level of quarantine and restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal – these form NCR Plus – has been lowered to the softer general community quarantine (GCQ). The period of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for NCR Plus (note: specific places outside of NCR Plus are still under MECQ) is over at last and the shift to GCQ was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

However, the GCQ this time around will have some more restrictions of its own. To put things in perspective, read the details from this excerpt from the Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) article. Some parts in bold…

Duterte decided to ease quarantine protocols in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, also known as “NCR Plus,” upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Presidential Spokesperson Roque, who was present during a meeting with Duterte at Malacañan Palace, said NCR Plus will be placed under GCQ “with heightened restrictions” from May 15 to 31.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, May 13, 2021, approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to 31, 2021,” Roque said in a statement.

Apart from NCR Plus, the quarantine classification in Abra was also downgraded from MECQ to GCQ.

Areas of concern

The MECQ status was, however, retained in the City of Santiago in Isabela, Zamboanga City, Quirino, and Ifugao.

Duterte said the four areas would remain under MECQ until end of May following local governments’ concerns over the spike in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) within their localities.

GCQ is imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, and Puerto Princesa City until May 31.

The rest of the country remains under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ) for the whole month of May.

Implementation of stricter GCQ

Once GCQ with heightened restrictions is implemented in NCR, only “essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus” will be allowed, Roque said.

Roque said interzonal travel from NCR Plus areas, except those conducted by Authorized Persons Outside Residence, will remain prohibited in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

“Public transportation shall remain operational at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation guidelines while the use of active transportation shall be promoted,” he said.

Roque said only individuals aged 18 to 65 can leave their homes while NCR Plus is under stricter GCQ.

Entertainment venues like bars, concert halls, and theaters; recreational venues, such as internet cafes, billiards halls, and arcades; amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides; indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions; and venues for meetings, conferences, exhibitions will not be allowed in NCR Plus, Roque said.

Roque said religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than Covid-19 in NCR Plus will be allowed up to 10 percent of the venue capacity.

He added that indoor and outdoor dine-in services would be allowed in Metro Manila and its four neighboring provinces.

Also, indoor dine-in services in NCR Plus shall be at 20 percent venue or seating capacity while outdoor or al fresco dining shall be at 50 percent venue or seating capacity,” he said.

Roque said outdoor tourist attractions in NCR Plus may be opened at 30 percent, with “strict” adherence to minimum public health standards.

“Also continued to be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions are non-contact sports, games, scrimmages held outdoors; and personal care services that allow for services not requiring mask removal, such as salons, parlors, [and] beauty clinics, at 30 percent capacity,” he said.

While the GCQ is stricter than its previous form, it does allow more breathing room for businesses because they are essential on providing customers the products and services needed (or wanted), and it is the businesses who provide jobs for the unemployed. Businesses, not socialists, can lift people up from poverty and prevent their employees from falling into poverty. As I mentioned previously, the more Filipinos fall into poverty due to restricted economic activities (that result job losses), the more expensive it becomes for any government unit to provide relief to the constituents.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your impression about the so-called stricter GCQ for NCR Plus? Are the restrictions of the new GCQ disturbing to you? Does the new GCQ affect your plan to travel to the provinces?

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 for NCR Plus extended until May 14, 2021

After weeks of anticipation by the public, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the other night the extension of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, 2021 for the National Capital Region (NCR) plus the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. In connection to this, Duterte apologized.

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

“Modified enhanced community quarantine. Modified ito so medyo strict. NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal (Modified enhanced community quarantine – modified, meaning somehow strict – will be imposed in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal),” Duterte said in his talk to the people.

MECQ will be implemented in NCR Plus, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, MECQ until May 14, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a separate press statement.

Quirino and Abra provinces, as well as the City of Santiago in Isabela, will also stay under MECQ for the whole month of May, Duterte said.

On the other hand, the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will be imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur from May 1 to 31.

The rest of the country will remain under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Roque said the latest quarantine status is still “subject to the appeals of local government units.”

The government is targeting to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates to ease the quarantine protocols in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In recent times, the daily count of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines fell below 10,000. It was reported the other day that the new COVID-19 cases was at 6,895 nationwide. Still the nation has over 1,000,000 COVID-19 cases grand total (including recoveries) and the secured vaccines cannot arrive fast enough from overseas. Also, it will take a lot of time before the local production of vaccines will become a reality in the nation.

Apart from public health, more attention should be paid on the economy which has been set back a lot since the latest ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). The current MECQ meanwhile resulted 13% of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to stay closed specifically in the NCR Plus zone.

More on the economy, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is pushing to help the economy by recommending a flexible MECQ in NCR Plus with gradual reopening of labor-intensive sectors in mind.

For perspective, posted below is an excerpt for the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in bold…

In a radio interview Thursday, Lopez said the agency is eyeing to reopen personal care services with a limited capacity of 20 to 30 percent as well as dine-in services in food establishments by 10 to 20 percent.

“Ni-recommend ho kasi naming ‘yong MECQ with flexibility. We are just after sa pagbabalik ng trabaho, pero yung higpit naman ng mobility ay nandoon pa rin. Ang importante lang ay itong trabaho. We’re talking about opening the sectors na sarado pa rin (We recommended the MECQ with flexibility. We are just after bringing back jobs, but the strict mobility will still be there. What’s important is the jobs. We’re talking about opening the sectors that are still closed),” he said.

He added that the gradual reopening of the personal care and dine-in services was “partially discussed” with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“Iko-confirm na lang mamaya sa IATF kung ilang porsyento [The IATF will confirm later the percentage (of capacity)],” Lopez said.

An estimated 200,000 workers in personal care services and 1 million fast-food and restaurant crews were affected during the stricter community quarantine measures in National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal and about PHP60 billion worth of wages were lost during the two-week MECQ, Lopez said.

The current MECQ also shed PHP120 billion in gross domestic product, on top of the PHP180-billion economic losses during the two-week ECQ.

While it is essential for people and organizations to follow health protocols and avoid COVID-19 infections, the same goes with the economy. So many have been suffering from the lack of jobs, the loss of income and, in the case of businesses, the loss of customers and clients. Being in the private sector myself, I definitely want more businesses of any size to reopen, make money, hire the unemployed and contribute to the development of local society. I want to see the personal care services to resume operations, as well as the return of indoor dining for restaurants and cafes. I also want to see more of my fellow Filipinos to stay above poverty and rise higher. That being said, I say that capitalism is the way to go and the real way to restore prosperity for the Philippines even as we face varied challenges daily during this COVID-19 (China Virus) crisis.

From this point on, I encourage you to keep observing the moves of not only the national authorities but also those in your local government, your barangay and other organizations serving you. Pray that the public servants and community leaders will look up to the Lord and acknowledge His authority over them. Pray for the leaders to look up to God. Finally, no matter how good or bad your situation is, keep having strong faith in our Lord. If you are hurting and you need healing, come to Lord Jesus (read Mark 5:25-34 in the Holy Bible).

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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

COVID-19 Crisis: The high cost of ECQ on the Philippine economy

You must be wondering how much of a price did the nation pay as a result of the 2-week ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) ordered on NCR Plus (National Capital Region plus the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal).

The answer? P180 billion in terms of economic losses according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) accounting for 1% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article of April 15, 2021. Some parts in bold…

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has estimated that the country lost 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby provinces.

During the Laging Handa public briefing Thursday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the economic loss due to the half-a-month ECQ in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal (NCR Plus) is equivalent to PHP180 billion.

Earlier, Lopez said around 1.5 million Filipinos had no jobs during the ECQ in NCR Plus, and only 500,000 jobs were brought back when the quarantine classification for areas was downgraded to a less strict modified ECQ (MECQ).

“We want to see lower Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases and lower utilization rate of (Covid-19 beds) before we ease the status to GCQ (general community quarantine),” he said in Filipino.

The DTI chief also downplayed speculation that the reopening of economic activities and business establishments became the ‘super spreader’ of Covid-19.

To manage the rate of infection of the coronavirus, Lopez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will not allow high-risk and non-essential activities and gatherings.

He added the government must slow down the daily Covid-19 cases while increasing the health care capacity to relax community quarantine status in the NCR Plus.

Clearly, the 2-week ECQ period on NCR Plus was damaging not only to the businesses and people of the affected region but on the Philippine economy as well. What we cannot see yet is exactly how many more people – specifically those who lost jobs in NCR Plus because of ECQ – fell into poverty. Take note that the more people fall into poverty, the more costly it becomes for the local government units (LGUs) and the nation government to provide support to them using taxpayers’ money.

As it has been a week since NCR Plus shifted to MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), we will find out soon how much the region and the national economy recovered from the high cost of ECQ.

If you do the math, a single week of ECQ on NCR Plus costs P90 billion. Can you just imagine the dramatic cost to the nation had ECQ went on for a full year of 52 weeks? Do not forget that all the unemployed bad need jobs and income.

Right now, the national government and varied forms of governing units are still struggling to balance themselves between economics and public health during this COVID-19 (China virus) pandemic that has lasted over a year now. No matter how you do your business, how you make your important transactions, follow the health protocols to avoid getting infected with the China virus.

By the way, whenever possible, support the business joints in your local community whenever you need to buy or consume something. By the way, never let the Political Left fool you with their propaganda related to economy and the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Crisis: Important update for SSS members in MECQ areas

Do you have important transactions to do with regards to social security? Are you struggling to do that because of the restrictions that come with the current MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) status? Very clearly the China virus (AKA COVID-19) remains a major problem to us all.

Well, pay attention closely here because the Social Security System (SSS) announced via social media yesterday that members like you located in areas under MECQ – National Capital Region, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino, and Abra – can continue to use online services or drop boxes as all SSS offices and branches located in the mention areas will operate with minimum personnel (skeletal workforce) until April 30, 2021 (the supposed end of MECQ).

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from their Facebook post. Some parts in bold…

In line with the declaration of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino, and Abra from April 12 to 30, 2021, all offices and branches of the Social Security System (SSS) located in the covered areas will operate with only skeleton workforce to ensure the continuous delivery of services.

For this reason, SSS is advising its members, pensioners, covered employers, and the public to continue using its online services and drop box system when transacting with its offices and branches as the national government extends quarantine limits to curb the spread of COVID-19. Only 50 percent of branch employees during this period are assigned to physically report for work, while the rest will use alternative work arrangements.

With the 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM curfew enforced during the MECQ period, the said SSS branches will be open on weekdays only from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Branch transactions are limited to the following:

Appointments set with the branch, Submission of documents through the drop box (for transactions that are not available online), Pick-up of Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) Cards and subsequent educational loan checks, Compliance with the Annual Confirmation of Pensioners’ Program (only for those with suspended pensions), and Use of tellering services.

The said measures will also apply to other areas placed under MECQ by virtue of an Executive Order issued by their respective Local Government Units.

Selected SSS branches will continuously implement the number coding system. The prescribed transaction days of members, claimants, and employers are based on the 10th digit of their social security (SS) or employer (ER) ID—1 and 2 every Monday, 3 and 4 every Tuesday, 5 and 6 every Wednesday, 7 and 8 every Thursday, and 9 and 0 every Friday.

For Funeral or Death Benefit Claims, the basis for the prescribed transaction day will be the 10th digit of the deceased SSS member’s SS ID.

However, if the prescribed transaction day falls on a holiday, the member, claimant, or employer may transact with the SSS on the next working day. In case of system downtime, the SSS will set an appointment with those in line or opt to wait until the system is operational.

The SSS also encourages the transacting public to use the pension fund’s online service channels such as the My.SSS Portal of the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph, SSS Mobile App, and Text-SSS at 2600.

Information about the mandatory online transactions and other online services are posted on the SSS’ Facebook page at https://bit.ly/31wTXch and https://bit.ly/3tnW12c. Likewise, members can access the list of various payment channels at https://bit.ly/3lpPYaR.

With those details laid down, you have more options to choose on how to do your transactions with SSS. Please share this article to others so they can be helped. Thanks.

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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: Stricter quarantine outside of NCR Plus ruled out

Are you feeling tired of the restrictions that come with the quarantine for the past month? Moving from GCQ (general community quarantine) to ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and recently MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) made life in the so-called NCR Plus region (the National Capital Region plus the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal) a bit more complicated. Not only were people told to stay at home, there were several businesses that negatively got affected too.

As for those living outside the NCR Plus region, there has been fear brewing that they will find themselves living under a stricter quarantine soon. Those fears can be put to rest as Malacañang officially ruled out the possibility of a restrictive quarantine in communities and places outside of NCR Plus.

The brewing fear was the result of recent reports of the Department of Health (DOH) showing an increase of COVID-19 cases in five regions other than the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the article published through Philippine News Agency (PNA).

In an online press briefing, Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there was an upward trend of Covid-19 infections in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region.

While the government is monitoring the situation in areas outside NCR Plus, it does not see the need to impose stricter quarantine rules in the entire Luzon, Roque said.

“Sa ngayon po, binabantayan naman po natin ang datos at wala pa naman pong ganoong conclusion ang nakikita natin. Ang talagang paglobo po ng mga kaso ay nandito sa NCR Plus. At kaya nga po ang response natin dito muna sa NCR Plus (As of now, we are monitoring the data and we have not arrived at a conclusion [to implement stricter quarantine measures in Luzon]. Rise in Covid-19 cases is seen in NCR Plus. So our response is focused on NCR Plus),” Roque said.

Roque added that the Covid-19 surge in other areas is not that “bad” unlike in NCR Plus.

“As I said, binabantayan din natin ang kaso sa iba’t ibang lugar ng Pilipinas pero so far po (we are monitoring the cases in different parts of the Philippines but so far), nothing as bad as what we are seeing in the NCR Plus,” he said.

Two weeks after being under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are now under the less stringent modified ECQ (MECQ) until April 30.

Apart from NCR Plus, the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino province, and Abra are also under MECQ.

A more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) is imposed in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, and Quezon.

The rest of the country remains under modified GCQ.

So there you have it. The above news and details should remind you that it is essential to follow health protocols by means of sanitizing yourself frequently, wearing face masks and face shields, and practicing social distancing.

Please share this article to others so that they will know that no stricter quarantine is planned outside of NCR Plus.

Now if only more vaccines could be made available locally so that this China virus pandemic will stop…

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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