COVID-19 Crisis: Omicron-adapted vaccines may generate more immunity

As it is no secret that the Omicron variant and its own subvariants proved to be more infectious, COVID-19 vaccines that have been formulated specifically against Omicron are key to help the nation’s population become more immune and bring down the number of new COVID-19 infections. The talk about Omicron-adapted vaccines came up recently as reported by the Manila Bulletin.

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

Vaccines that specifically target the Omicron variant of Covid-19 may generate more immunity and minimize the severity of the infectious disease in the Philippines, a vaccine expert said on Monday, Aug. 15.

The Department of Health (DOH) previously expressed its plan to procure Omicron-adapted vaccines from other countries once available. Backing this decision, Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) Chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said that these variant-adapted vaccines will be beneficial to the Philippines, considering that the dominant variants in the country are BA.4 and BA.5.

“Sa ngayon, ang umiikot na variant sa atin ay BA.4 and BA.5. Kung ibibigay natin itong bagong vaccine in a bivalent form ay mas makakatulong ito na mas mag generate ng immunity against the specific variant na [nasa bansa]. Ito ang basehan nila kaya gusto nilang magbigay ng variant-specific vaccine (Right now, the dominant variants we have are BA.4 and BA.5. If we give this new vaccine in a bivalent form, it will help generate more immunity against the specific variant in the country. This is their basis that is why they want to provide a variant-specific vaccine),” said Gloriani in a “Laging Handa” public briefing.

An Omicron-adapted vaccine, according to Gloriani, has two forms: monovalent and bivalent. Monovalent vaccines are the variant-adapted ones, which means that it specifically targets Omicron and its sub variants. Bivalent, on the other hand, targets both the original strain of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant.

Asked when the Philippines could procure this vaccine, the expert said that it may take a few months as the vaccines need to undergo authorization before it may be declared safe for jabs.

Take note that in recent times, more patients have been declared by the Department of Health (DOH) eligible to get the 2nd booster shot and all local government units (LGUs) nationwide have been ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ramp up their local vaccine/booster operations. The City Government of Muntinlipa has started expanding its vaccine hubs.

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) declared the Omicron BA.5 subvariant as the predominant sample they have sequenced. With regards to ensuring effective immunity against Omicron, it would be helpful for the Philippines to acquire a lot more new doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light (read and find out by clicking here, here, here, here, and here). At the same time, the national authorities should give people an update about the current status of whatever supplies they still have about COVID-19 vaccines.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Do you want to see the national authorities import a lot of Omicron-adapted vaccines as soon as possible? What is the one thing about Omicron and its subvariants that concern you the most right now? Do you happen to personally know an anti-vaccine fanatic who has been working on spreading lies and misinformation around the Philippines? Do you think that terrorists and anarchists from overseas are funding the anti-vaccine movement of the Philippines?

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: All LGUs ordered to ramp up vaccination and booster drive as Omicron cases increase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intensified vaccination efforts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: During SONA, President Marcos declares no more lockdown

During his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., stated that there would be no more lockdown in the Philippines in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. Take note that new cases of COVID-19 have been rising nationwide but they have not reached the point of overwhelming the healthcare system.

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

“We will no longer implement a lockdown.”

This was among the most resounding remarks President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. pronounced during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, that lasted for more than an hour.

The President said while there are new variants of the coronavirus being discovered at the present, the Philippines can no longer afford to go through another lockdown, so he pronounced that under his administration, there will no longer be lockdown.

“Sa ating sitwasyon ng pangkalusugan, nariyan pa rin ang banta ng Covid-19 lalo’t may mga nadidiskubreng bagong variant ng coronavirus, pero hindi na natin kakayanin ang isa pang lockdown (In our health situation, the threats of new Covid-19 variants are still here, but we can no longer afford another lockdown),” Marcos said.

“Wala na tayong gagawing lockdown (We will no longer implement a lockdown),” the President added, earning an applause from the legislature.

Marcos said health protocols will, however, be implemented depending on the current situation.

For added context, watch this Inquirer news video below.

In relation to President Marcos’ remark of no more lockdown, the Department of Health (DOH) it will act to strengthen the nation’s healthcare system. The DOH shall carry out the directives of the President on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while improving access to primary and specialty healthcare. Both the DOH and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have been directed by Marcos to organize another rollout of booster shots for COVID-19.

Personally, I strongly agree that there should be no more lockdown even if there would be another surge of COVID-19 cases. As we have seen before, a single lockdown caused heavy damage on the economy (limited or shut businesses, loss of income, increased unemployment) and on people. I believe our nation has what it takes to live on with COVID-19, move forward and rise up stronger from the crisis. To achieve true forward momentum, there is still the need to organize wide-scale COVID-19 vaccination operations (note: the national government has to deal with stored vaccines nearing expiration), declare a lot more people eligible for the 2nd booster shot (note: DOH still needs to do any real work on this) and convince people strongly to follow health protocols. There is also the possibility of modifying the COVID-19 alert level system. What President Marcos declared in his speech is clearly related to the COVID-19 exit strategy.

In relation to all of these, I urge you and members of your local community to get vaccinated or boosted, and keep following health protocols to truly achieve improved resistance against COVID-19. Never let the anti-vaccine fanatics fool you, even though they become violent and/or more aggressive towards you and your local community with their lying and fearmongering.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about President Marcos’ no more lockdown remark? Do you believe that the Philippines can move forward with COVID-19? Has anyone from the anti-vaccine extremists been hounding you, or even harassing you? Are many members of your local community eager to get their 2nd booster shots?

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines pandemic exit strategy coming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muntinlupa City passes in Good Financial Housekeeping (GFH)

The progressive City of Muntinlupa made positive waves recently as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) published its findings confirming that the said city passed along with five other Metro Manila cities, 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 Muntinlupa City government has passed the Good Financial Housekeeping (GFH) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The DILG released the list of LGUs in Metro Manila which passed the GFH as of November 2021. These are Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Makati, Quezon City, Pasay, and Pasig.

According to the DILG, the criteria to pass the GFH are that the most recent available Commission on Audit (COA) Audit Opinion is unqualified or qualified for 2019 or 2020, and compliance with the full disclosure policy (FDP) including posting of financial documents in three conspicuous places and in the FDP portal for 2020 (all quarters) and 2021 (first quarter).

In a past circular, the DILG defined GFH as “an LGU that exhibits compliance with accounting and auditing standards, rules and regulations i.e. with an Unqualified or Qualified COA Opinion of the immediately preceding year; as well as Compliance with the Full Disclosure Policy of Local Budget and Finances.”

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what is your reaction to this recent development? Does this make you more confident in the way the City Government does financial housekeeping? Is Muntinlupa a good example for other cities to follow?

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

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

SBMA and strategic partners conduct anti-terrorism drill in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone

Have you been to the Subic Bay Freeport Zone lately? Recently, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and its strategic partners the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) and the Project Management Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted an anti-terrorism drill at the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plan within the freeport, according to a press statement by the SBMA.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the SBMA’s statement. Some parts in boldface…

As part of the national government’s thrust to thwart terrorism in the country, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), along with other government agencies jointly conducted a simulation exercise at the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant.

According to SBMA Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino, the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Simulation Exercise 2022 was conducted by the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) headed by the Project Management Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The official added that the inter-agency simulation exercise series (IA Simex Series) included personnel from the DILG, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), ATC-PMC, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Prevention (BFP), Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices from Bataan and Zambales, Peace and Order Councils of LGUs, CBRN National Team Observers, Subic Water and Sewerage Company, Inc., and the SBMA.

Chairman Paulino further revealed, “The opening scenario during the CBRN Simex was a negotiation between the terrorist group who took over the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant with plans to contaminate the water supply of Olongapo City. The terrorist group demanded P10 million, along with the release of their comrades. A PNP negotiator then attempted to communicate with the terrorist group.

“Should negotiations fail, the PNP will cordon off the area while the SBMA Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team conducts a meeting before an insertion operation Following the insertion, SWAT personnel then neutralize the terrorist threat and rescue hostages taken by the terrorists.

“Both the SWAT and the hostages are then thoroughly checked for any chemical, biological,

radiological and nuclear contaminations before they are allowed to conduct further operations.

Debriefing immediately follows after decontamination,” he said.

The official stated that the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams from the AFP and PNP

scout the area for any explosive devices that the terrorist group may have left behind. The SBMA Fire Department and the BFP then carry out extraction of injured victims and live suspects using hazmat suits.

“Medical teams from the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) then immediately attend to the wounded victims, including the terrorists for medical attention,” Paulino said.

DILG Assistant Secretary Brig. Gen. Alexander Macario lauded the participation of various government agencies at the CBRN Simex 2022, citing that with a bit more polishing, the operation would be seamless. He added that the exercise is designed to meet the needs of the particular area in partnership with stakeholders.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about the anti-terrorism drill that was conducted jointly by the SBMA and its strategic partners? Do you believe that the Subic Bay Freeport Zone is secure enough right now? Does the recent drill make you confident about investing in or taking residence in the freeport?

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

For my recent Subic Bay articles, read my features about Gourmet Garage Subic and Xtremely Xpresso.

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

I Love Israel: Israel monitoring Philippine developments as a result of the police intelligence report about Hamas plot in the country

Recently, it was reported that intelligence work by the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that the Palestinian militant group Hamas plotted to not only establish their presence in the Philippines but also recruit Filipinos and kill Jews in the country. As a result, the Israel Embassy is monitoring developments and has appreciated the efficient response of the PNP’s intelligence work.

Be aware that this is not the first time Hamas (which has been identified for terrorism by some governments around the world) tried establishing its presence in the country and in recent times the ties between Israel and the Philippines got stronger (for some reference, click here, here, here, here, here, here and here) .

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article dated February 17, 2022. Some parts in boldface…

The Israel Embassy in Manila is monitoring developments in the Philippines following an intelligence report alleging Palestinian militant group Hamas was planning to recruit subordinates to mount an attack against Israeli nationals.

We appreciate the efficient response of the Philippine police and their efforts to make sure that the Israelis are well-protected. We are closely monitoring this,” the Embassy said Thursday.

The statement came following a report that Hamas has denied the supposed plot.

Citing a source from Hamas, Gaza-based Shehab News Agency said the movement had belied the allegation, noting “commitment to its well-known and declared policy of limiting its conflict with the Israeli occupation within the occupied Palestinian territories, and not to transfer it to any Arab or foreign lands.”

On Tuesday, the Philippine National Police Intelligence Group said it uncovered a plan to recruit Filipinos who will be “utilized to kill Jews present in the country, conduct rallies at the Israeli embassy and spread (of) video propaganda against Israel.”

For further perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the other PNA article also dated February 17, 2022. Some parts in boldface…

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said some persons are being monitored in connection with the reported plan of the Middle East-based Hamas militant group to operate in the Philippines.

“Those people mentioned in the report are now under surveillance and monitoring,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday night, referring to a report that was recently submitted to him by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He, however, did not say how many individuals are being monitored for supposedly being involved in the plot.

“The PNP Intelligence Group is into this, they’re monitoring the movement of these Filipinos who are reportedly (involved),” said Año, adding that the effort has been coordinated with the Anti-Terrorism Council.

While he believes that the plot was already preempted, the DILG chief said intelligence personnel continue to monitor and gather relevant information on the matter.

“There are no indicators that they are really on the verge of implementing it (plan to establish foothold). It’s still information that is being acted upon by the intelligence community,” the DILG chief added.

On Tuesday, the PNP Intelligence Group said it has uncovered a plan to recruit Filipinos who will be “utilized to kill Jews present in the country, conduct rallies at the Israeli embassy and spread (of) video propaganda against Israel.”

The information was uncovered through information provided by a local contact of Hamas who was allegedly approached by Hamas-Foreign Liaison Section head Fares Al Shikli, who is based in Turkey, as early as 2016.

The “local contact” reportedly made several trips to Malaysia from 2016 to 2018 to discuss the possibility of launching attacks in the Philippines in exchange for financial assistance.

The above article ended stating that in 2018, police operatives arrested Iraqi national Taha Mohammed Ahmed al-Jabouri. Al-Jabouri, who was later deported by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to Turkey, was described by local law enforcers as a “chemist with knowledge on explosives” and “closely affiliated” with Hamas.

For the newcomers reading this, Hamas is described as a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and nationalist organization which has a record of violence and terror. Hamas is an enemy of Israel.

As such, we must pray to God to help the State of Israel and its people to be protected more and to emerge victorious in its conflicts with Hamas. We also need to pray to the Lord for the fall of Hamas so that their agents will realize the errors of their ways, get out of the wickedness they lived with, repent to God and submit themselves to Him willfully. Pray also that the apartheid practiced by the Palestinian Authority (PA) will come to an end and that the Palestinians be freed from their government’s corruption and wickedness. Pray to the Lord that the millions of young people in North America brainwashed by socialists in colleges will stop supporting terrorists, stop those reckless “Free Palestine” activities, and realize they need to come to Jesus to be redeemed.

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City Council enacts ordinance scrapping the mandatory use of face shields within city limits

The collective push on making face shields non-mandatory in Metro Manila gained strength lately as City Council of Muntinlupa enacted an ordinance scrapping the mandatory use of the said things within the city’s jurisdiction, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

The Muntinlupa City Council has enacted an ordinance scrapping the mandatory use of face shields in the city.

Majority Floor Leader Raul Corro told Manila Bulletin that the City Council enacted the ordinance on Nov. 8. The ordinance, he said, lifted the mandatory use of face shields except in hospitals and clinics.

The approval of the ordinance came ahead of the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the use of face shields.

Interior Sec. Eduardo Año defended the issuance of executive orders (EOs) by Manila and Davao scrapping the use of face shields, saying mayors and local government units have the power to issue executive orders and ordinances under Republic Act 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991.

He cited Section 16 of the code, which states that “every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied there from, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.

Año was reacting to the comment by presidential spokesman Harry Roque who said the EOs are “null and void” for violating an executive order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Personally, I give the Muntinlupa City Council’s enactment my approval. Face shields should no longer be required not simply because they are inconvenient to use but because they are less relevant given the much-improved situations in Metro Manila related to the pandemic. The daily national count of new COVID-19 infections are much lower now, more people in Metro Manila have practiced caution and followed local health protocols, more people have gotten vaccinated and fully vaccinated (29.8 million as of November 9, 2021), etc.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what can you say about this latest local development? Do you think the City Councilors made the right move? Have you personally encountered someone who strongly believes that using face shields should remain a requirement all over 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 and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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

COVID-19 Crisis: A collective push to make face shields non-mandatory in Metro Manila

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Alert Level 4 all over Metro Manila from September 16 to September 30, 2021

Change is indeed coming to Metro Manila starting September 16 as the national authorities announced yesterday (as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer) as the entire metropolis will fall under what is referred to as Alert Level 4 in relation to the new guidelines that got ratified by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

What can National Capital Region (NCR) residents and stakeholders expect over the 15-day period? To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Inquirer report. Some parts in boldface…

Metro Manila will be placed under Alert Level 4 starting Sept. 16 until Sept. 30, which is the start of the pilot run of granular lockdowns, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday.

Año said Metro Manila mayors have agreed to implement just one alert level as a whole “for uniformity and easier enforcement.”

“Yes, under Alert Level 4 because the NCR (National Capital Region) mayors reached a consensus that they will follow one Alert Level only,” he said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.

“For uniformity and easier enforcement within NCR, they agreed to be under Level 4. Hanggang Sept. 30 ang pilot testing,” he added.

Año said the majority of areas in the metro belong to Alert Level 4, anyway, but some qualify for Alert Level 5 while at least two areas under Alert Level 3.

Based on the new guidelines on granular lockdowns, areas under Alert Level 4, which is the second highest alert level in the new system, are those with high and/or increasing COVID-19 transmission and high total bed and intensive care unit utilization rates.

Persons aged below 18 and above 65 and those with health risks, including pregnant women, must stay at home unless they need to access essential goods and services or have to go to work.

Intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons who are not required to stay at their homes may be allowed subject to guidelines of their destination local government unit.

Individual outdoor exercises are likewise allowed in areas under Alert Level 4 for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status, but they must remain within the area of their residence.

Government agencies in areas placed under Alert Level 4 must remain fully operational while employing at least 20 percent on-site capacity with the rest under a work-from-home or flexible schedule scheme.

Under Alert Level 4, outdoor dine-in services in restaurants and eateries are only allowed at 30 percent venue capacity.

Meanwhile, indoor dine-in services are allowed to open at 10 percent capacity, but they may only cater to persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

All workers of these establishments must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Furthermore, LGUs may decrease the allowable capacity for these restaurants and eateries.

Personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons are allowed at 30 percent capacity “if such services are conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status.” But if these are indoors, the IATF said they may only operate at 10 percent capacity.

Clients must also wear face masks at all times and all employees should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Religious gatherings, meanwhile, can be held on 30 percent venue capacity if conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status but only 10 percent will be allowed if conducted indoors and they may only accommodate persons fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or other religious ministers and the assistants of these religious congregations must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must observe minimum public health standards.

That was a heavy load of details above. Were you able to read and understand it immediately? If you are having trouble understanding, you are not alone. What I’d like to point out that it is a relief for businesses offering personal care services and businesses in the food-and-beverage industry to be allowed to operate with the declared limits above. For the restaurants, coffee shops and other related food-and-beverage joints, take-out and delivery are still too limiting for their survival.

As for churches allowed to hold faith gatherings, what was stated above is a relief albeit with limitations. The 10% limit on venue capacity for indoor worship services is indeed small even for the fully vaccinated people who want to worship the Lord on-site (which is much more engaging than online worship). The 10% limit for on-site worship will have to do for now in Metro Manila until the end of this month. Whatever the declared limits are, never lose faith in God and keep praying to Him that the national and local authorities will do better and govern knowing that He is watching all of us.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the Alert Level 4 status for Metro Manila lasting for the rest of September? If you are a business owner, are the declared Alert Level 4 limitations good enough? If you are a pastor or church organizer, what do you think about the 10% limit on capacity venue for indoor worship? Is the requirement for pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or other ministers and personnel on churches to be fully vaccinated too imposing on the part of the government and possibly unconstitutional? Do having multiple alert levels look confusing to you right now? Do you heavily trust the Metro Manila mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) over the way they have been managing the metropolis?

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