Majority of Metro Manila Mayors support shift to MGCQ status by March 1, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte will have a big decision to make that will affect millions of residents and businesses in Metro Manila as a majority of the mayors voted to shift the metropolis from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status by March 1, 2021, as based on a news release on Philippine News Agency (PNA) that got published just last night.

Here’s an excerpt from the PNA report:

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of Metro Manila mayors and national government officials, has voted to support the proposed shift to the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila.

“Ang karamihan po ng alkalde ng kalakhang maynila ay bumoto na MGCQ na po ang magiging posisyon nila pagdating sa Metro Manila (Most of the mayors in Metro Manila voted for having MGCQ as their position in Metro Manila),” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said in a press conference on Thursday.

This, he said, will be sent to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and to President Rodrigo R. Duterte who will make the final decision on whether to implement eased quarantine restrictions by March 1.

He declined to provide the actual number of votes the proposal received but said that all Metro Manila mayors will support the decision.

Indeed, Abalos did not reveal the number of Yes and No votes but the Manila Bulletin reported that the score among Metro Manila mayors was 9-8 in favor of MGCQ.

To put things in perspective, Metro Manila still has yet to adjust to MGCQ status. Metro Manila is the hot spot of multiple cities where a lot of residents as well as business entities of varied sizes are located at. Right now, the nation needs a major boost to its economy even as there is still the need to be vigilant to avoid new COVID-19 infections. Lots of people in the metropolis remain unemployed and badly need income, and having Metro Manila shift to MGCQ status will help revive other businesses and pave the way for more people to get back to work.

It would be nice to see the Metro Manila Council research more and observe closely how other cities and provinces are doing while maintaining MGCQ statuses for months already.

On a grander scale, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the recommendation to have the entire nation placed under MGCQ status by March. The said recommendation was made by Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua in recent times. Below is an excerpt from the PNA report:

“It is about time we move to MGCQ after a year of lockdown,” Lopez told reporters in a Viber message Tuesday. “Lockdown was supposed to buy us time to prepare our health system and improve contact tracing and ‘Trace-Test-Treat’.”

Since June 2020, the National Capital Region (NCR) has not graduated from GCQ status, a stricter community quarantine measure than MGCQ.

It even went back to much stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4 to 18 last year as health care facilities in Metro Manila were overwhelmed due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases during that period.

“As the Philippines recovers, Metro Manila has a very weak recovery, worse in employment and hunger recovery, and that means more urban poor. The damages to malnutrition and other health and social issues will be irreversible,” Lopez said.

NCR accounted for around 40 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP).

But Lopez added the reopening of more economic activities should depend on the Covid-19 statistics.

As pointed out by Trade secretary Lopez, Metro Manila is lagging behind in terms of recovery from the pandemic. Apart from joblessness and lack of income, poverty in the National Capital Region is an important problem to solve. The more people fall under poverty, the more local government units (LGUs) need to exert and spend their limited resources to support them.

Right now, the Metro Manila Council’s approval of shifting to MGCQ status will soon be dealt with by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and President Duterte.

In ending this, here are some videos about combatting the China virus.

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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: 20% discount for Philippine athletes and coaches confirmed

COVID-19 Crisis: 20% discount for Philippine athletes and coaches confirmed

As I write this, the Philippines is slowly taking steps to move its economy forward gradually now that community quarantine rules have eased more. This means more businesses are allowed to operate and this means getting more of their workforce back to work to earn much-needed income. It’s sometimes mind boggling how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from China turned into a pandemic which halted most societies and economies around the world.

For Philippine team athletes and coaches, times are hard as well. Very recently, news have been published that their allowances for this month will be cut by half! According to the Manila Standard report, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) board decided to push through with the reduction following a May 29 board meeting with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). The remittance declared was reportedly P9 million for June 2020 which is a major drop compared to the P150.75 million PAGCOR remitted to PSC last March.

The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was reported to have been severely affected as a result of health-related measures and lockdown implemented nationwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It sure is hard for athletes and coaches to train and develop themselves. Truly this is terrible news. Sports events, both local and overseas, have gotten cancelled.

All is not lost, however, as the PSC announced that its athletes and coaches will enjoy the benefits of a 20% discount for their needs.

Below is an excerpt from the PNA.gov article with text italicized and colored blue for clarity.

On Friday night, the PSC said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Regulation 13-2020, which paves the way for the discount clause to be fully implemented for all athletes.

“We have been looking forward to this and we are thankful that our athletes and coaches will finally enjoy the privilege they deserve,” said PSC chairman Butch Ramirez, whose organization has been working together with the BIR for the discount benefit to be fully enjoyed by local sportsmen.

The discount clause is part of Republic Act 10699, formally known as the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act”.

The discounts shall be applied to food, medicine, recreation centers, hotels, lodging establishments, and sports equipment purchases.

The PSC has already issued identification cards to national athletes, with booklets similar to those used by senior citizens for their own discounts, to follow.

With the reduced allowances and confirmed discount, the past week saw these really drastic announcements affecting the many athletes and coaches supported by the national government. Some things are won and some things are lost.

The COVID-19 crisis affected the private sector so much, it is expected that tax revenues on the part of the national government will be reduced on the short term at least. Think about all the many small businesses around the country that have closed down resulting job losses. Think about the national government’s efforts to support qualified people with cash assistance and other forms of relief.

Now think about the national athletes and coaches. They don’t just need cash to train efficiently for future sports events. They need private sponsorship, new sports equipment, solutions to their current problems, etc.

For more on Philippine sports and COVID-19 Crisis coverage, come back here soon.

Meanwhile, please check out my special features of 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medalists John Chicano and Kim Mangrobang.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sangguniang Kabataan already working

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

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Barangay Baclaran SK chairwoman Rachel Garcia (black t-shirt) and companions handing out free items to local constituents for their safety from COVID-19. (photo approved for publishing by Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia)

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Barangay BF Homes SK chairwoman Mariel Tumang handing out hygiene kits and fliers at one of the local communities. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan Chairwoman Mariel Tumang)

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

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


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 and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.