COVID-19 Crisis: Department of Health (DOH) and private sector explain wasted vaccines

Do you believe everything the Department of Health (DOH) declared with regards to their handling of COVID-19 here in the Philippines? In recent times, local news organizations published their own reports about something really unfortunate…the expiration of millions of COVID-19 vaccines amounting to an estimated P15.6 billion. Think about that carefully. Many billions of Pesos worth of COVID-19 vaccines wasted! The DOH and the private sector (represented by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion) separately explained their sides of the huge loss.

So how does the DOH explain the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines? To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the news report of Malaya Business Insight. Some parts in boldface…

THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday defended the high number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that have been wasted and has recently become the subject of the ire of some senators.

In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is not out of the ordinary to have 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines wasted if compared to the experiences of other countries.

“It is not just the Philippines that is experiencing this kind of situation in terms of logistics and supplies,” said Vergeire.

We are seeing more and more that the other countries are having this kind of expirations or wastage of vaccines,” she added without elaborating.

The DOH officer-in-charge added that the 31.3 million doses of wasted vaccines is within the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The DOH has previously acknowledged that the total vaccine wastage in the country is 12.5 percent of the total 250.38 million doses, or 31.3 million.

“The (WHO) specifically said that because of (the) evolving nature of the pandemic, it (allowed vaccine wastage percentage) is around 25 to 30 percent,” Vergeire said.

The Philippines considers this as being still within that level that is acceptable,” Vergeire said in defense of the 12.5 percent wastage rate.

Last week, Sen. Pia Cayetano revealed that about 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were either wasted or not used in the country.

Among the reasons cited for the wastage of vaccines were expiration, short shelf life, damage due to natural disaster as well as damage due to temperature, discoloration, and having particulate or floating matters.

In relation to the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion explained the private sector’s side as reported by the Manila Bulletin. Posted below is an excerpt with some parts in boldface…

The private sector has no control over the Covid-19 vaccines donated to the government, which included 70 percent of wasted vaccines from the private sector.

This was reiterated by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The majority of the wasted Covid-19 vaccines in the Philippines were not under the safekeeping of the private sector,” he said in a statement.

Concepcion shared tallies of its Covid-19 vaccine inventories showing that of the total 23,516,990 doses that the private sector secured through a tripartite agreement with government and the vaccine manufacturers, 9,398,230 doses have expired.

This figure includes the 2,834,495 doses it donated to local governments.

The inventory, however, does not include other private sector initiatives, but Concepcion pointed out that these, too, would be under the custody of the government.

According to Concepcion, the private sector has noted that there have been gaps in the government’s monitoring and reporting of the inventory, especially of the vaccines that it donated as part of the tripartite agreement.

He explained that because Covid-19 vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization, only the government can engage in their purchase and administration, including assessing how many more it needed to buy and add to the private sector donations.

The government, he added, also conducts inventory on vaccines nearing their expiry dates so that it can be used first before procuring more.

Among the factors cited by the government as contributing to the wastage of the vaccines were short shelf life and temperature excursion. It also noted from its inventories that some vials were not opened or used at all.

“Private sector has always been proactive in pushing for vaccinations,” said Concepcion. “In fact we were the ones asking the HTAC (Health Technology Assessment Council) to adopt the US FDA guidelines just so we can speed up the booster vaccinations,” he said.

In July, millions of Covid-19 vaccines worth billions of pesos expired just days after second boosters were allowed for adults 50 years and older, and those 18 to 49 years with comorbidities.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this latest series of developments? Do you believe the ways DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained the waste of over thirty million COVID-19 vaccines? Do you find the vaccine waste acceptable at all knowing that they are worth over P15 billion? Do you still trust the DOH on how they are handling the COVID-19 situation in the country not to mention how their policies impacted your private lives and livelihood? Do you think it is time for the national government to end the Emergency Use Authorization on COVID-19 vaccines so that vaccination operations will be improved and the reduction of vaccine wastage could happen?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar set for December 2-4, 9-11 and 16-18, 2022 in Alabang Hills Village

By the time you are reading this, you must have noticed the sudden number of bazaars and local community events that happened around since October. The Megarahe Sale inside Alabang Hills Village was successful while the Noel Bazaar this past weekend at Filinvest Tent attracted customers. The local communities, the enterprises, the consumers and the nation are indeed rising from the economic downturn of the COVID-19.

As Christmas is nearing, the Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) officially announced that they will be hosting Christmas shopping bazaars set to happen over three consecutive weekends this December. The event is officially called the Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar and the exciting news is that people are invited to attend it as there will be vendors selling lots of products and food, plus some notable fun events.

The Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar banner. (source – AHVA website)

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the AHVA’s official announcement. Some parts in boldface…

We are delighted to announce that we will again be holding a Christmas bazaar this December! Dubbed “Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar”, the festive event will draw on the theme of Tchaikovsky’s world-famous Christmas ballet, “The Nutcracker”.

The bazaar will open on Friday, the 2nd of December and will run for three consecutive weekends: December 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18. Bazaar hours will be from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day of the 9-day bazaar. Venue will be the entire AHV Phase 2 Park.

Come to the Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar and enjoy

• CHRISTMAS TREE & BAZAAR LIGHTING CEREMONY on December 2, 6:00 PM,

• UNCLE DROSSELMEYER’S ENCHANTED MARKET (the bazaar),

• THE KINGDOM OF SWEETS & SAVORIES (the food pavilion), and

• HARLEQUIN THEATRE (the stage and performance area)

The bazaar’s fun highlights will include Bingo & Raffle Afternoons, Dance, Food, Magic, Music, and more!

Entrance to the bazaar is free! Invite your friends and relatives and let’s together make this a fun and memorable community Christmas celebration! A portion of the proceeds from the bazaar will go to the beneficiary of the AHV Christmas Outreach Program.

Indeed, the Christmas season is already here and if you are looking for things to buy for Christmas gift-giving or buy something you need, then Alabang Hills’ Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar is something you should consider. With three consecutive full weekends set, there will be opportunities for you and your friends to attend and have fun. The Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar is the first Christmas bazaar to be held inside Alabang Hills Village in the last few years. Truly, the AHVA and its strategic partners and bazaar organizers are going big-time this December with the 3-weekend bazaar.

Before you engage in Christmas shopping and having fun, always remember that Christmas is always all about Lord Jesus and it is to be rejoiced with Him. Thank the Lord for the continued revival of the Philippines from the downturn of COVID-19. Thank the Lord that more people have gotten vaccinated/boosted for COVID-19, that the local businesses and customers are more confident to interact with each other face-to-face, and that the Philippines is moving beyond the pandemic. Thank the Lord for the Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar and the many fun activities scheduled!

For inquiries about this new development, visit https://alabanghillsvillage.com/ or call them at 88508254. You can visit their office at 1 Don Jesus Boulevard inside Alabang Hills Village from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM. Always remember to follow their rules and speed limits whenever you are in the village. Be aware also of the recent in-village traffic adjustments and if you are a non-resident motorist who needs a new car sticker from AHVA, you can apply online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

“Hired on the Spot” employment program in effect in Las Piñas City

In the City of Las Piñas, a special program was recently launched to provide employment to local workers who were displaced by the pandemic, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

The Las Piñas Public Employment Service Office (PESO) conducted house interviews as part of its weekly employment facilitation program called “Hired on the Spot” on Monday, Nov. 14.

Mayor Imelda Aguilar said the “Hired on the Spot” program is being conducted by PESO, in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), with the goal of ensuring prompt and efficient delivery of employment facilitation services.

Aguilar said the program also aims to provide employment to workers displaced by the pandemic, particularly to Las Piñas residents.

She said over 150 applicants send their resume daily to PESO and around 40 percent of the applicants get hired on the spot.

The mayor said that in addition to PESO house interviews, booths are also set-up in the city’s different barangays and partner establishments.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Las Piñas City, what is your reaction to this development? Did you notice if the number of members of your local community remained unemployed? Do you consider unemployment a major problem in your city right now?

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Philippine economy grew 7.6% in the 3rd quarter

You may not feel it but the economy of the Philippines grew by 7.6% in the 3rd quarter this year according to the recent announcement published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). This is very encouraging news following the recent report of the falling unemployment in the country. Indeed, the nation continues to rise after suffering from the COVID-19 crisis’ downturn.

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

The Philippine economy grew at a faster rate in the third quarter of the year at 7.6 percent, higher than the revised gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter at 7.5 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Thursday.

In a press conference, PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa said this is the sixth consecutive quarter that the economy recorded expansion.

The country’s GDP growth from July to September 2022 is also higher than the 7-percent increase in the same period in 2021.

The third quarter’s GDP exceeded the median analyst forecast of 6.3 percent,” National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

Balisacan said the average GDP growth for the first nine months of the year stood at 7.7 percent.

“With this, we are on track to achieving the government’s growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for 2022. Given the latest GDP outturn, our economy needs to grow by 3.3 to 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter,” he said.

The PSA reported that all major industries improved their performance in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, with agriculture, forestry and fishing growing by 2.2 percent; industry, rose to 5.8 percent; and services, up by 9.1 percent.

Services contributed 5.8 percentage points to the 7.6 percent GDP growth in the third quarter, followed by industry which shared 1.6 percentage points, and agriculture, forestry and fishing at 0.2 percentage points.

By industry, wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles contributed 1.9 percentage points to the GDP growth in July to September period, followed by financial and insurance services at 0.77 percentage points and construction at 0.76 percentage points.

Compared to last year, the sector of accommodation and food service activities expanded by 40.6 percent, which is the largest across industries. Transportation and storage also improved by 24.3 percent and construction increased by 12.2 percent.

This economic performance largely benefitted from the further easing of mobility, including the resumption of face-to-face classes, which boosted consumption among Filipinos,” Balisacan said.

The NEDA chief added that the relaxation of borders and simplifying travel protocols supported the recovery and growth of local tourism and other sectors.

In terms of spending, household final consumption expenditure is the largest contributor to GDP in the previous quarter at 5.9 percentage points, exceeding the share of construction at 1.5 percent percentage points, durable equipment at 0.7 percentage points, and government final consumption expenditure at 0.1 percentage points.

In relation to the above news, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. recently visited Cambodia and there he invited the nation’s business leaders to invest in the Philippines. Posted below is an excerpt from the report of GMA Network news. Some parts in boldface…

“We would like to invite at the very least, for you, to have a look at the opportunities that are available. And finally I suppose at some point, since we are not so far away, to come and we will explain to you exactly what we have done and why we have done it and where we have arrived in that process of transforming the economy,” Marcos told business leaders during a roundtable meeting.

“I do not talk about recovery of the economy, I talk about transformation of the economy because the new economy is going to be different from everything that we did in 2019. And so this is what we are looking forward to and I hope to see you all in the Philippines soon,” he added.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent announcement about the state of the Philippine economy? Do you look forward to a more prosperous year in 2023? Are you planning to open a new business soon? If you are an investor, are you confident about investing in the stock market and in companies?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Unemployment in the Philippines falls down further, the lowest in more than two years

As the Philippines continues to keep on recovering from the damage of COVID-19, the national authorities reported that unemployment in the country fell down further achieving a 2-year low, according to a news article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). This is really good news because economic growth and continued employment are very essential right now. It should also be stated that immunity from COVID-19 is better now that many millions of Filipinos have gotten vaccinated and/or boosted.

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

Unemployment rate in September 2022 stood at 5 percent, the lowest in more than two years, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Tuesday.

In a press conference, PSA chief and national statistician Undersecretary Dennis Mapa said the number of unemployed Filipinos in September fell to 2.5 million, or 183,000 lower than the 2.68 million citizens with no jobs the previous month.

The number of jobless Filipinos during the month was also lower by 1.78 million from 4.28 million unemployed a year ago.

“This means 50 out of 1,000 individuals in the labor force have no job,” Mapa said in Filipino.

On the other hand, employment rate in September 2022 was at 95 percent, which translates to 47.58 million Filipinos who have jobs.

This is higher than the August 2022 employment rate of 94.7 percent, and also higher than the September 2021 rate of 91.1 percent.

He identified sectors with largest month-on-month increase in employment. These include manufacturing, up by 780,000 jobs; education, up by 159,000 jobs; public administration and defense, compulsory social security, up by 128,000 jobs; transportation and storage, up by 56,000 jobs; and real estate activities, up by 13,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, underemployment rate also increased to 15.4 percent in September this year from 14.7 percent in its previous month. This means 296,000 more employed Filipinos want to have additional hours of work in their present job or an additional job.

Despite challenges concerning inflation, Mapa is optimistic that the country will sustain unemployment rate near the 5-percent level for the remaining months of the year.

He added the average unemployment rate for this year is close to the pre-pandemic level, which is at 5.1 percent in 2019.

Mapa said the average unemployment rate for the first nine months of the year stood at 5.8 percent.

The above article ended stating that the Philippines had an unemployment rate of 17.6% in April 2020 or shortly after the first COVID-19 lockdown. For the year 2020, the average unemployment rate was at 10.4%

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent announcement about the state of unemployment in the country? Do you feel confident that 2023 will be a better economic year and that more of the unemployed will be able to find new jobs?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Noel Bazaar returns to Alabang on November 18-20 and December 16-18, 2022

As the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, pre-Christmas shopping in the Alabang area of Muntinlupa City will become much more livelier this year as the famous Noel Bazaar will return on November 18 to 20 and December 16 to 18 at the Filinvest Tent in Filinvest City, according to an Inquirer.net article.

For the newcomers reading this, the Noel Bazaar has an established history as a long-running and popular holiday bazaar and also “features the best of entrepreneurs carrying the latest crafts and merchandise from clothing, Christmas and home decors, fashion accessories, novelty and gift items to food and drinks.”

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

With a wide array of merchants selling specially curated items and unique gift finds, every shopper will find what they need at Noel Bazaar: from novelty items, stylish apparel, Christmas decors and home furnishings, body and beauty products, to fashion accessories, shoes, and bags. The best part? Shoppers get to see, touch, feel, smell, and even taste all the products in person! Indulge in a variety of sumptuous and festive food choices that await visitors of Noel Bazaar so you don’t have to go shopping on an empty stomach.

Get your hands on your favorite gifts while giving back and enjoying the festivities with ease. Have a merry and extra meaningful Christmas as a portion of the bazaar’s proceeds will go to the GMA Kapuso Foundation and Inquirer Foundation. Health protocols will be strictly implemented throughout the duration of the event ensuring that merchants and shoppers can look forward to a better and safer Noel Bazaar comeback this 2022.

The Noel Bazaar 2022 series is in partnership with GMA Network, Inquirer Group of Companies, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer.Net, Pop!, Inquirer Mobile, UnionBank, and Okada Manila. Other media partners include WhenInManila.com, DiscoverMNL, Village Pipol, Buzzsetter, Our Awesome Planet, Travelokaloka, Your Tita Ja, Chinese Commercial News, and Digiboards, Inc.

If you are interested to attend the Noel Bazaar in Alabang soon, visit the Filinvest Tent along Spectrum Midway in Filinvest City. The commercial or business joints located close to the Filinvest Tent are South Supermarket Alabang, Acacia Hotel Manila, Commercenter Mall, BDO Filinvest Spectrum Midway Branch and 7-Eleven along Spectrum Midway. Considering the popularity of Noel Bazaar, do not be surprised to find a huge amount of people present as well as lines of cars at the nearest parking areas. If you want covered parking, Commercenter Mall and South Supermarket Alabang have it. Better start planning where to park and how to make it to Filinvest Tent.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you excited about the return of Noel Bazaar in Alabang? If you shopped at a Noel Bazaar before, when and where was the last time you did? What are you looking for at Noel Bazaar this time around?

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

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: Go Negosyo Founder says that private hospitals can be deputized to procure and administer bivalent vaccines

Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion is back in the news. This time, he emphasized that private hospitals can be helpful in the nation’s recovery from COVID-19 with regards to procuring and administering vaccines to patients who can afford them and are willing to pay for them, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

A former presidential economic adviser on Thursday, Nov. 3, underscored the key role of private hospitals in procuring and administering bivalent Covid-19 vaccines to those who are willing to pay for them.

Amid the plans of the Marcos administration to procure a limited number of bivalent vaccines, which provide broader protection against the original Covid-19 and a component of the Omicron variant, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said that private hospitals can be deputized by the government to procure and administer the bivalent vaccines.

He stated this as he estimated that the government will bring in a limited number of vaccines considering that it is still assessing how much it can procure and how much can be delivered.

The 10 million doses, or however much the government decides to buy, will of course be set aside for the priority sectors, namely the elderly, the immunocompromised and those with comorbidities; but there may be others outside of these priority sectors who would also want the bivalent vaccines,” Concepcion said.

Since all private hospitals are capable of handling vaccinations and all can explore agreements with the government as part of the private sector, he raised the idea of allowing private hospitals to procure the bivalent vaccines and administer them to those who want to pay for them.

Dr. Benjamin Co, chief medical officer of Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, agreed with the ex-economic adviser’s proposal.

I think the best option is to make it available for a fee or at cost. For those who can very well afford it, they can get it from private clinics that offer this and we can charge an administration fee plus the cost of the vaccine,” he said in a statement.

He added that bivalent vaccinations can also become part of the private hospitals’ corporate social responsibility efforts.

“The remaining free vaccines can be appropriated to the rest of the Filipinos who cannot afford this but would like to get vaccinated,” Co suggested.

Recruiting help from the private sector will also unburden the government and allow it to focus on the vulnerable sectors of society, according to Vaccine Experts Panel member Dr. Rontgene Solante, who is also the chairman of Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at San Lazaro Hospital.

“Private sector involvement is another important layer to achieve higher vaccine accessibility and coverage,” he said.

“This is critical especially with waning interest in booster doses of Covid vaccines. Government should always find ways to engage with the private sector, which has been an important partner of DOH (Department of Health) during the pandemic,” Solante added.

Bivalent Covid vaccines provide broader protection against Covid-19 and better protection against its Omicron variant.

However, all Covid-19 vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization, which means only the government can procure and administer the vaccines.

In order to sell the vaccines to the public, vaccine manufacturers need a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR).

As you can in the above article, key steps and legal changes are needed in order to pave the way for private hospitals to get deputized and become key players in the nation’s recovery from COVID-19.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this latest series of developments? If COVID-19 vaccines are offered by private hospitals with price tags, are you willing to pay for them? What do you think is the single biggest disadvantage of government-led handling of COVID-19 vaccines? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics are planning to organize activities to disrupt COVID-19 vaccination around the country?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Muntinlupa City Government sets guidelines for cemetery visits

In the progressive City of Muntinlupa, the City Government issued guidelines for the anticipated visits at the local cemeteries in relation to the “Undas” (or observation of All Saints’ Day), according to a Manila Bulletin news report. Take note that visiting cemeteries and memorial parks did not happen due to COVID-19.

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

The Muntinlupa City government released rules for the observance of All Saints’ Day or “Undas” this year.

Last year, the city government banned visits to cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria due to the Covid-19 situation but relaxed the rules this year as health protocols were eased.

According to the city government, cleaning, painting and renovation of niches will be allowed until Oct. 28.

All private and public cemeteries will be open from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors are allowed to stay for three hours per tomb.

No funeral or cremation will be allowed from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1.

”Hindi lubos na ligtas na isama pa ang mga may edad 12 pababa at 60 pataas (It is not safe to bring those 12 years old and below, and 60 years old and above),” the city government said.

It added that overnight stay and selling in cemeteries are not allowed.

Minimum health protocols will be strictly implemented such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and handwashing or use of alcohol.

The above article ended stating that the following items are banned in cemeteries: alcoholic beverages, flammable materials, firearms and any pointed items such as knives or cutters, and sound systems that emit loud sounds.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this latest development? Are you confident that it is safe to visit the cemeteries this year? Has everyone in your household been fully vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19?

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

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: President Marcos declares it is time to return to pre-pandemic life

Life in the Philippines continues to move back to normal even though new COVID-19 cases are being recorded in the thousands daily in recent times. Still, it is notable that many millions of Filipinos have gotten fully vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19 (note: around 3.5 million received their 1st booster shots recently) and even though the past summer saw lots of election campaign events that had many, many political supporters gathered in high numbers, no new outbreak of COVID-19 happened. There is also the growing confidence about organizing events that attract customers, sports participants and spectators and more.

In relation to what I stated above, it is significant that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., declared to the people it is time to return to pre-pandemic life which the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported. Take note that under Marcos, the use of face masks outdoors is now optional.

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

President Ferdinand R. Marcos on Sunday enjoined Filipinos to get back to their normal lives before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, stressing that it is crucial to show the world that the Philippines is slowly getting back on its feet.

It is a good thing to remind people that the pandemic may have been difficult, the pandemic really put us through the wringer. But we are back,” Marcos said in a speech in Bacolod City during a luncheon just before he graced the culminating activity of the 43rd MassKara Festival.

The pandemic is fading away. We are learning to manage it and now it is time for us to all go back to work, to all go back to our normal lives, to remind ourselves of all the opportunities that were before us before the pandemic…It is time for us to go back to all of those endeavors that we were undertaking before Covid hit,” he added.

Marcos said the MassKara Festival signaled not just the opening of Bacolod City to tourists, but also the entire country.

“It is time for us to go back and exercise once again, show once again the Filipino resilience, the Filipino resourcefulness, the Filipino industry, the Filipino talent, ipakita naman natin sa buong mundo dahil nagbubukas ang mundo, dahil nagbubukas ang Pilipinas, ito ngayon ang MassKara Festival ay isang pagdiriwang hindi lamang sa pagbubukas ng Bacolod kung hindi sa buong Pilipinas (let us show the world because the Philippines is now open, this is the MassKara festival which is a celebration of the opening of Bacolod but of the entire Philippines),” he said.

Despite the festival being borne out of “a very sad period in the history of Bacolod”, the President said it also symbolizes Filipinos’ “reemergence from a crisis.”

“..That is what we celebrate today and that is what we see that people are feeling and that is the feeling that we want to continue to encourage within our people because that is what’s going to lead us to success,” he said.

Marcos also congratulated Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez and event organizers for a successful holding of the festival.

Founded in October 1980 by the late Bacolod City Mayor Jose “Digoy” Montalvo Jr., the MassKara Festival was first held following two major tragedies that befell Negrenses– the collapse of sugar prices in the international market and the sinking of the Negros Navigation ship M/V Don Juan.

During the sugar crisis, artists thought of promoting mask-making as an alternative source of income for the locals.

Montalvo likewise suggested holding a mask festival to lift the spirits of the locals after the maritime accident that killed his wife, two daughters, and hundreds of Bacolod residents.

MassKara is derived from the words “mass” meaning “many” and “kara” meaning “faces,” thus calling it the Festival of Many Faces.

This year’s festival will be the first face-to-face event after two years of being suspended due to the pandemic.

The MassKara festival’s revival is significant not only with the people of Bacolod City and the province of Negros Occidental but for the nation as well. Here in the Alabang area of Muntinlupa City, the Megarahe Sale and the COPIX both attracted lots of people who searched and bought items. Still in Alabang, it was recently announced by Zonta Club of Alabang that they will be reviving their popular Christmas Carnivale Bazaar on November 25, 2022 at the Filinvest Tent. I myself attended that bazaar back in 2017 and 2018 at the said venue and it is really encouraging that it will be revived next month. These are just a few of the many signs that the Philippines is recovering from the pandemic and can move forward and progress more. Pre-pandemic economic strength will be regained eventually.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? Do you feel encouraged by the statement of President Marcos that the pandemic is fading away and that the country can more forward more?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

I Love Israel: Israel confirms support for Ilocos Region’s mango farmers

The Philippines has very delicious mangoes which can be availed in their basic fruit forms as well as other forms such as dried mango snacks, candies, juices and shakes. For mangoes to remain available for domestic and overseas consumption, the farming and production of the fruits must be maintained in good conditions in the long run and this is where the State of Israel comes in.

This past September, the State of Israel confirmed its support for farmers in the Ilocos Region as Ambassador Ilan Fluss formally visited the province of Ilocos Norte and stated they are looking forward to more cooperation specifically on mangoes, as reported by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). To say the least, mango farmers in the Ilocos Region need Israel’s expertise as they have been dealing with problems for some time now. The Ilocos Region itself is a major source of mangoes here in the Philippines.

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

The Israel government has vowed to assist Ilocos farmers to boost their productivity by sharing their innovative solutions to modern agriculture.

In his first visit to Ilocos Norte province, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said one of the big areas they are looking at for stronger support and longer cooperation is battling emerging diseases in mangoes and other promising crops in the region by tapping mango experts from Israel.

“We have lots of expertise in the approach. See what we can offer if I can identify good experts that can come and help in identifying the disease and solution which is not always on more and more pesticides but try different approaches to look into it and come back to the governor,” he said.

As a junior diplomat to the Philippines back in the 90s, Fluss recalled that the Israel government had introduced a training program in Guimaras then to help in exporting its mangoes to Japan.

Since 2012, the mango industry in the province has been suffering from low yield due to erratic weather patterns and disease infestation.

Ricardo Tolentino, president of the Mango Growers Association in Ilocos Norte, said a lot of mango growers continue to suffer losses due to the El Niño or the prolonged dry spell and the oversupply from other mango-producing provinces that drove prices down.

As a high-value commercial crop in the province, the Ilocos Norte government has been helping farmers rehabilitate their fruit-bearing trees and apply organic conditioners to give time for the soil to “heal.”

Grafted mango seedlings, organic fertilizers, and fruit-fly attractants are, likewise, being distributed to farmers to help boost the industry.

Based on the quarterly bulletin report of the Philippine Statistics Authority from April to June 2022, the Philippines’ mango production decreased by 3.8 percent, from 556,820 metric tons in the same quarter of 2021 to 535,430 metric tons this period.

The above article ended stating that the Ilocos Region contributed 22.5% to the total production and was the top mango producer during the 2nd quarter with more than 120 metric tons registered.

Be thankful to the Lord for this recent development of the strong ties between the Philippines and Israel. Israel itself is a world leader on agriculture and their assistance for mango farmers in Ilocos Norte comes at a very crucial time as the entire Philippines  continues to gradually recover economically and socially from the COVID-19 crisis. What is at stake here are livelihood, food production, food supply and the maintenance of mangoes in the country. Mangoes are a major product of export of the Philippines and we should be thankful to the State of Israel for their attention and support.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco