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

New gas station in Las Piñas City

Did you notice an eye-catching, new gas station while driving here in South Metro Manila? There is one in Las Piñas City called Cleanfuel and it sure has a notable color scheme that makes it visually stand out.

Cleanfuel’s gas station opened recently in Barangay Pamplona Tres. (source – Cleanfuel Facebook page)

What is also notable was that the brand new Cleanfuel gas station got featured in the Business Mirror. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the article. Some parts in boldface…

The aggressive stance of leading independent oil company Cleanfuel to tap new market is being exercised anew with the recent opening of its premier station in Las Piñas City.

The inauguration of Cleanfuel Alabang-Zapote station has provided easy access to affordable yet quality fuel products to private motorists, public utility, and commercial transport.

The latest location of Cleanfuel serves as one of the gateways in the South Metro Manila, catering to the large volume of vehicles coming to and from Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Bacoor, Cavite.

Located along the busy stretch of Alabang-Zapote Road in Barangay Pamplona Tres in Las Piñas City, this 2,400-square-meter retail station will be beneficial to all types of motorists as it offers topnotch fuel products including Clean91, Premium 95, and high-grade diesel as part of the company’s mission to offer outstanding yet affordable products.

Aside from the products at the new station, the company also prides itself with the first-class amenities offered to customers such as clean and spacious air-conditioned restrooms, commercial space leasing, air-and-water services, cashless payment options, and loyalty rewards program.

The newly-opened station in Alabang-Zapote road, which stretches for nine kilometers and connects roads towards Alabang, Muntinlupa, and Las Piñas, will include added amenities from its leasing tenants such as a carwash bay area, food store outlets, and motorcycle stores.

Providing more value to its patrons is one of Cleanfuel’s best offerings and the VIP Rewards card (which is being offered FREE in all branches) can make the most out of every top-up as customers earn points; redeem exciting items, and discounts from its establishment partners.

“This is such an important occasion for us as we open our first branch in one of the busiest commercial district in the South. We’re excited to provide motorists a new level of customer service, quality fuel, and world class facilities,” said Atty. Jesus “Bong” Suntay, president of Cleanfuel Group of Companies.

Suntay explained, “With businesses slowly opening up and our economy recovers, we at Cleanfuel, through our continuously-growing station-network will be ready to provide the most competitive pricing in the market to help motorists. Our vision is to help our customers maximize their earnings by providing quality fuel at the lowest price possible.”

While the threat of the pandemic is still within the horizon, Cleanfuel customers can expect the same safe and risk-free environment as its workforce continuously upholds safety health precautions like wearing face masks and face shields, thermal scanning of personnel, social distancing, disinfection of workstations, and hand washing. Cashless payments are also made available.

Wow! Cleanfuel and its PR department/partner really went all out with their heavy and lengthy message through Business Mirror. Their gas station did not simply open but offers a lot for customers to enjoy and that the business itself is meeting with health protocols. The company president also stated that they will open more stations, including in key areas of the National Capital Region (NCR).  

For South Metro Manila, this new business is a welcome development especially as the country is on pace for economic recovery and that means consumer spending – including buying fuel and automobile-related services or products – are gradually moving back to pre-pandemic levels. Really, when it comes to restoring prosperity, creating jobs and providing customers choices for products and services, the capitalists can make those happen. The socialists cannot do the same.

Sports cars at the newly opened Cleanfuel station! (source – Cleanfuel Facebook page)

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you visited Cleanfuel in Barangay Pamplona Tres yet? If you did, were you able to buy fuel and spend time at their station? Does Cleanfuel’s claims of first-class amenities prove to be true? Are their fuel rates attractive? Do you want to see more Cleanfuel gas stations open?

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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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

San Miguel Corporation to speed up work on completing Skyway Extension

You must have heard about the opening of the northbound section (entry point at Susana Heights part of the South Luzon Expressway) of the Skyway Extension Project that happened just days ago with the presence of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang and Department of Highways and Public Works (DPWH) secretary Mark Villar who made final inspections that day. That’s really great news!

Here are more good news! SMC announced that it will do more with the construction of the Skyway Extension Project’s southbound section (exit also in the Susana Heights area of SLEX) and things will move at a faster pace with a 3rd quarter completion in mind.

To put things in perspective, below is the excerpt from the press release published through Philippine News Agency (PNA)…

“It’s only been a number of days since we opened the northbound section, free to the public until further notice, and already we have seen a huge improvement in traffic flow, particularly on SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) and the Alabang viaduct. That makes us even more determined to complete construction of the southbound section so this project can fully serve motorists and improve traffic and connectivity to and from the south,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement Wednesday.

Ang said the soft-opening of the first two of the three lanes of the northbound Skyway Extension from Susana Heights to Sucat, Paranaque proved to be timely, as it coincided with the easing of quarantine restrictions.

Despite the higher volume of vehicles on the expressway, traffic has been smooth because many Class 1 vehicles now use the Skyway Extension. 

“We’re already seeing how convenient and much faster travel is now, and it will become even more evident when traffic volume picks up and starts to normalize. That is why we’d again like to ask for our motorists’ cooperation and understanding as we move towards completion of the southbound Skyway Extension,” Ang said.

As part of the next phase of construction, Ang said the Hillsborough off-ramp of the elevated southbound Skyway will be closed to traffic permanently starting April 19 at 6 a.m.

As such, vehicles coming from the elevated Skyway will now exit at the steel ramp in Alabang. Heavy traffic is expected in this area.

“Unfortunately, there is no way around it, we need to close this portion to secure the staging ground for equipment and workers and to accelerate construction and ensure the safety of our motorists. I appeal to our motorists again for their patience and understanding. We expect heavy traffic to persist for the duration of the construction, but rest assured we will do everything we can to help mitigate this, and complete the project within the timetable,” Ang said.

With this, SMC Infrastructure is advising motorists to take the following alternative routes:

Class 1 vehicles from Pasay, Makati, Manila, and Quezon City bound for SLEX and farther South

• From Skyway Elevated, keep left to Steel Ramp towards destination.

Class 1 vehicles from Pasay, Makati, Manila, and Quezon City bound for Alabang

• From Skyway – Elevated, keep right to Alabang-Zapote off-ramp.

The Skyway Extension southbound section has two lanes and runs from the Skyway Main Toll Plaza to Soldier’s Hills in Muntinlupa, with a total distance of four kilometers. 

Meanwhile, Ang reiterated that use of the northbound Skyway Extension will remain free for motorists until further notice. 

The Skyway Extension project is part of the 38-kilometer elevated Skyway System, which includes the newly-opened Skyway Stage 3, also fully-funded by SMC.

Did you enjoy the above news and details? I sure did. What San Miguel Corporation (in coordination with the national government) has been doing is already benefitting people of Metro Manila and those from both the north and south of the National Capital Region (NCR) who need to travel great distances efficiently and faster. The results will be even greater once the entire project has been completed and the benefits will be available not only to travelers and motorists today, but also for future generations of people. Check out the related Skyway video below.

That being said, SMC and the Skyway projects are great examples of capitalism making great improvements to the national infrastructure. It is clear that the private sector is essential as it has the technologies, the expertise and resources to improve the quality of life (apart from providing good paying jobs) here in the Philippines. Capitalism is essential and good, and socialism (and all its related Leftist garbage) sucks. For more insight about capitalism and socialism, watch these videos from John Stossel plus another video that debunks the Left’s propaganda that the poor got poorer.

In closing this piece, let me ask you what you do think about the latest developments about the Skyway project? If you actually traveled via the Skyway lately, how was your travel experience?

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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