COVID-19 Crisis: Up to 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine coming to the Philippines this month

Are you feeling uneasy or anxious about the fact that the millions of vaccines for COVID-19 (China Virus) secured for the Philippines could not come in fast enough? You are not alone.

Are the daily reports of new COVID-19 cases released by the Department of Health (DOH) scaring you? You are not alone as I know someone who is extremely religious yet panicky who gets affected by such reports. Not even the good news of the launch of Sputnik V in the Philippines (check out the Muntinlupa City launch) could lift up that same person’s outlook.

Anyway, the latest COVID-19 vaccine update regarding the Philippines is this…the nation will start receiving the bulk of COVID-19 vaccine composed of up to seven million doses within this month. This was according to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reports…

“Ang maganda po dito ‘yong delivery natin ng ano ng May, baka po from 4 million madadagdagan po tayo ng 7 million. Malaki po ‘yon, Mr. President, kasi ang dadagdag po dito ‘yong COVAX mukhang makakapag-deliver na po ng Pfizer at saka ng AstraZeneca (The good news is that, the delivery this May may increase from 4 million doses up to 7 million doses. That’s a huge volume, Mr. President, because the COVAX facility may also be delivering Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines),” Galvez told President Rodrigo Duterte in a Cabinet meeting Wednesday night.

Galvez assured that enough doses dedicated for the vaccinees’ second shots would arrive on time.

“‘Yong second dose wala na po tayong problema. Mayroon po tayong makukuha ngayong May more or less baka mga 1 million or 2 million na AstraZeneca. Iyong definite date lang po ang ina-ano po natin. So matutuwa na po ‘yong mga nakapag-first dose dahil kasi mayroon pong padating na COVAX na AstraZeneca (We don’t have a problem with the second dose. We might be having more or less 1 million or 2 million doses of AstraZeneca this May. We are just working on the definite dates so we are glad because the AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility will be delivered),” he said.

As of May 4, a total of 2,065,235 Filipinos have been vaccinated with at least one dose against Covid-19, with 320,586 persons fully vaccinated.

The bulk of the vaccines will be arriving in June, allowing the government to begin the inoculation of the general populace, Galvez added.

“So pataas po nang pataas ang volume po, Mr. President. Talagang ang medyo nahirapan lang po tayo noong March at saka April. Pero ngayong May medyo mayroon pong bubuhos sa atin (We will be receiving an increased volume of vaccines, we really had hard times during March and April, but this May, more vaccines will be arriving),” he said.

An estimated 20-30 percent of the country’s healthcare workers have yet to be vaccinated, according to Galvez, as they opted to wait for the arrival of other brands of Covid-19 vaccines.

Despite negative reports, Galvez said the public’s acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccines has significantly increased, noting that more Filipinos wanted to get immunized.

To date, data from Our World in Data show that the Philippines is fourth among Southeast Asian nations with the most number of vaccine doses administered.

The report ended stating that as more vaccines arrive, Galvez described as “very doable” is the government’s goal to vaccinate half-a-million people daily.

In closing this, let me ask you readers…do you believe the updates from Galvez? How is the local COVID-19 vaccinating program doing there in your local area? Were you vaccinated already?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City officially starts vaccinating its residents with Sputnik V, MMDA lauds strong public-private partnership

The City Government of Muntinlupa officially launched the ceremonial roll-out of Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac vaccines for senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and other frontline workers from specific groups yesterday morning.

The ceremonial roll-out was held at Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) Field Tent and Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) Tower 2 Rotunda Parking Space. At least 250 members of A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities) priority groups were set to receive their first dose of Sputnik V at OsMun, while 130 individuals from A2 and A3 priority groups were prepared for inoculation at AHMC.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (right most), MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos (2nd from the right), Congressman Ruffy Biazon (3rd from the right) and other officials witness a patient get vaccinated with Sputnik V. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Only the pre-registered residents in the local COVID-19 Vaccination Registration System will be inoculated with Sputnik V in OsMun and AHMC. Residents will receive a message from the local health office for their schedule and no walk-ins will be accommodated in the vaccination areas in OsMun and AHMC. Muntinlupa residents are encouraged to register themselves for vaccination via www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos lauded the City Government’s preparedness as well as its strong partnership with the private sector for the local vaccination program. Abalos recognized the role of Muntinlupa’s partnership with AHMC in encouraging more people to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines.

Special Envoy to the Russian Federation Olivia Limpe-Aw said Muntinlupa met the stringent storage and handling requirements to be selected as one of the pilot sites for the roll-out of Sputnik V.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi expresses his gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for the allocation of Sputnik V to Muntinlupa and being selected as one of the few Metro Manila cities to be the pilot sites for the roll-out of the Russia-made vaccine.

“This ceremonial roll-out signifies a step closer in returning to our normal lives. We are grateful to the national government for donating additional vaccines to our city as this will help reach our target of achieving herd immunity as soon as possible. I encourage all Muntinlupeños to avail the vaccination program of the government because this is a vital step in curbing the pandemic,” says Fresnedi.

Other officials attending the ceremony include Congressman Ruffy Biazon, WHO Representative Dr. Rowena Capistrano, MMDA Public Affairs Dir. Sharon Gentillan, Ospital ng Muntinlupa director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac, AHMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jose M. Acuin, CHO chief Dr. Juancho Bunyi, Muntinlupa City Council Committee on Health and Sanitation Coun. Allan Camilon, Coun. Ryan Bagatsing, and other local officials.

Muntinlupa received three thousand doses of Sputnik V on May 3 and are being stored in OsMun and AHMC’s -18 degrees Celsius temperature storage facilities. With the cold-chain management requirement of the vaccine, members of priority group in the city will be inoculated in OsMun and Asian Hospital. The vaccine is to be administered in two doses 3 weeks apart.

This past May 1, fifteen thousand doses of Sputnik V were delivered to the country by a Qatar Airways flight from Moscow via Doha. The initial doses will be divided among five cities in Metro Manila: Taguig, Manila, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, and Makati.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Sputnik V vaccine manufactured by Russian medical-research institute Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology last March 19, 2021.

Recently, the City Government opened its fourth major vaccination hub in Brgy. Sucat Covered Court last May 4. Other major vaccination hubs launched in the city include: Filinvest Alabang Steel Parking last April 30, SM Center Muntinlupa Open Parking Area, Brgy. Tunasan last April 27 and Ayala Malls South Park, Brgy. Alabang last April 24.

As of May 1, a total of 24,163 Muntinlupa residents were inoculated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 19,991 received Sinovac and 4,172 inoculated with AstraZeneca. While 843 residents from priority groups received their second dose.

Muntinlupa City has 11,513 confirmed cases with 9,924 recoveries, 1,288 active cases, 299 reported deaths, 169 suspect cases, and 980 probable cases as of May 4.

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: MECQ for NCR Plus extended until May 14, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Millions more vaccines coming to the Philippines

For those who are scared about the Department of Health’s (DOH) daily count of new COVID-19 (China Virus) cases in the Philippines averaging 10,000, there is this recent news from the national government that could put some at ease – many millions more vaccines are coming into the country in the months ahead.

The press release published through Philippine News Agency (PNA) states that the national government is working hard to ensure that millions of COVID-19 vaccines from four manufacturers will arrive soon plus even more will come after April. The announcement was made by vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr.

For more, read the excerpt posted below. Some parts are in bold…

The government is working hard to ensure that the country can secure almost 14 million vaccine doses from four vaccine manufacturers within the second quarter, said vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19.

“The global supply is limited but the government is doing its best to ensure that the country will have a fair share of the vaccines. The instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte is for Filipinos to be vaccinated and save more lives as we collectively surmount the challenges brought about by the pandemic,” Galvez said.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Galvez said the delivery of 1.5 million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac is expected to be completed within April.

The government is expecting another 500,000 doses to be delivered on April 22, and another 500,000 doses on April 29.

Sinovac had shipped out 500,000 doses last April 11. These are on top of the 2 million doses that the Chinese vaccine maker had delivered to the country last February and March.

An initial 20,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V are also expected to arrive this week. The second tranche of 480,000 doses will be delivered before the end of April.

Galvez said the government is also expecting the shipment of 195,000 Pfizer vaccine doses by the end of April or early May.

He said there is also a possibility that AstraZeneca vaccines coming from the COVAX Facility will also arrive within the month.

For May, Galvez said the government expects at least 2 million doses of Sinovac vaccines to be delivered to the country, along with 1 to 2 million Sputnik V doses, and 194,000 Moderna doses.

He said the government is also working with the World Health Organization, GAVI, and UNICEF for the possible delivery of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines under the COVAX Facility.

Galvez said the government expects to receive 7 to 8 million vaccine doses in June. These include 4.5 million doses of CoronaVac, 2 million doses of Sputnik V, and 1.3 million doses of AstraZeneca.

“With the arrival of these vaccines, we will continue our aggressive vaccine roll-out in the county to protect the Filipino from Covid-19,” Galvez said.

As of April 18, a total of 1,477,757 vaccine doses have been administered in the country. Currently, only medical front-liners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities are being inoculated.

Starting mid-May or June, the government will allow the inoculation of other essential workers.

The Philippines ranks third among countries in Asean in the number of citizens that have been vaccinated, while the country has placed 41st out of 173 countries worldwide in the same category and 14th among 47 Asian nations.

At present, the government has signed contracts with five vaccine manufacturers, which include Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novovax and Gamaleya. Contracts with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are being finalized.

Galvez said the country expects a steady supply of about 10 million to 15 million vaccine doses per month in the third and fourth quarters of this year. 

In response, Duterte lauded the government’s vaccination rollout, saying it is “more than an acceptable performance in the matter of the fight against Covid as far as the Philippines is concerned.”

“Maganda ang record natin (We have a good record) despite unfounded criticism…The Philippines was able to get the upper berth of the countries that are inoculated. Maganda ang record na ‘yan (That’s a good record) and to think people were almost in a quandary where to get the next vaccination,” the President said.

“Nakita mo naman hindi pala tayo ang pinakamahina at mataas ‘yung atin (We are not the weakest) and it goes to show that we are really working very hard especially Sec. Galvez to get the vaccines here in the Philippines on time,” he added.

Wow. That’s a lot of COVID-19 vaccines coming into the Philippines in the months to come. Achieving herd immunity for the Filipino people is the goal here and it is crucial not only for people’s lives but also for the economy. This China virus pandemic negatively impacted everyone and it even prevented people from heavily attending and worshiping the Lord together at churches. In the private sector, cinemas are still closed which took its toll on the 300,000 cinema industry workers.

While waiting for vaccines to arrive, residents of the cities of Muntinlupa and Las Las Piñas are encouraged to get themselves registered.

For Muntinlupa City, get the details here.

For Las Piñas City, get the details here.

Nationally, a total of 1,353,107 people have been vaccinated with a total of 1,562,563 COVID-19 vaccines as of April 20, 2021. Among those who got vaccinated were 989,703 healthcare workers.

If you have something to say about the current situation of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, or within your city or local community, you may contact me directly online or comment below.

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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

I Love Israel: Israel opening up on May 23, 2021 to foreign tourists who got vaccinated for COVID-19

Israel (population 9.3 million), which recently celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, announced that it will welcome foreign visitors who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 (China virus) starting May 23, 2021. The opening of the borders for foreigners will be done gradually (by stage). Filipinos or Philippine passport holders may enjoy visa-free access into Israel for up to ninety (90) days.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the recent news article published through Philippine News Agency (PNA). Key parts in bold…

Israel is opening up its borders to foreign tourists who have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) starting next month.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism said the initiative will begin on May 23, starting with a limited number of groups that will be increased based on the health situation and progress of the program.

Individual travelers will be allowed into Israel in its “second stage”, with health considerations determining the timeline.

All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding the flight to Israel, and a serological test to prove their vaccination, upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport” it said.

In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test.

Israel’s vaccination program has been successful, outpacing much of the world in inoculating its population.

“After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the COVID year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation,” said Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Health.

This is really great news! Personally, it is my heartful desire to visit the Holy Land in Israel where I can discover places Lord Jesus had been to, realize what I’ve learned in the Holy Bible and deepen my faith in Him even more.

I also strongly value the friendship between Israel and my native Philippines. In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation had a groundbreaking visit to Israel. The friendship of the two nations was clearly reflected during the Networking Night of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) of 2019 which I personally attended. It should be noted that Filipino caregivers in Israel were vaccinated for COVID-19 for free. Truly the Israel-Philippines relationship should be treasured forever! For insight about the many Filipinos who got vaccinated in Israel, watch the video below…

For all Christians reading this…if you are looking for spiritual tours of the Holy Land with a credible tour organizer, I suggest Behold Israel. You can check out their Holy Land tour packages online. For those who have yet to know Behold Israel, it was founded in 2001 by Amir Tsarfati who grew up and lived in Israel all his life. After the end of his military service, he studied at Israel’s School of Tourism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and worked as a licensed tour guide for Sar El Tours and Conferences, and was eventually promoted to CEO (Chief Executive Officer). While guiding dozens of church groups from around the world, God convicted him of the great need – particularly within Evangelical Christianity – to explain Israel and its role in God’s plan. Since 2013, Behold Israel became a major provider of the worldwide, real-time access to reliable sources of news and information about Israel from within the powerful context of Bible history and prophecy. I encourage you to visit https://beholdisrael.org/ and for insight, I recommend watching the videos below (one of which was Amir Tsarfati’s online interaction with my fellow Filipinos).

There is also the organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI) which now has over 10,000,000 members worldwide who are dedicated to defend Israel and fight against anti-Semitism. CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and is the foremost Christian organization educating and empowering millions of Americans to speak and act with one voice in defense of Israel and the Jewish people. The organization is committed to confronting indifference and combating anti-Semitism in all its forms wherever it may be found. CUFI was founded in early 2006 and since grown tremendously. They are accepting donations online and if you believe in protecting and empowering Israel, head on to https://cufi.org/donation/donate/

Going back to Israel-Philippines relations, there is also the online presence of the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines (Facebook page: Israel in the Philippines). Check out their web page welcoming message below…

We will never forget how President Manuel Quezon opened the doors of the Philippines to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe during the Holocaust.

Israel has a great deal of admiration for the approximately 30,000 Filipino caregivers who are working in Israel and have an integral, cherished and respected part of Israeli society.

Israel is considered global high-tech power and a leader in cyber industry. I’m also very proud of the long agriculture cooperation between our two countries. We are excited to promote cooperation in these areas.

Ambassador Rafael Harpaz

On the Facebook page Israel in the Philippines are lots of useful updates related to Israel and its ties with the Philippines. They also publish videos about Israeli culture, cuisine, places of Israel and more. Important or special events are also announced. As such, I recommend you to visit and follow Israel in the Philippines.

In ending this, here are videos related to Israel from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and from Hagee Ministries for you to watch. Love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City starts vaccinating seniors with Sinovac, completes inoculation of healthcare workers

Following the approval of the Food and Drugs and Administration on the vaccination of senior citizens with Sinovac, the City Government of Muntinlupa officially started its roll-out among seniors yesterday.

The Muntinlupa City Health Office announced the roll-out of CoronoVac (Sinovac) among senior citizens starting April 12 in 14 initial vaccine centers in the city.

A senior citizen gets vaccinated with Sinovac. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Vaccination sites in Muntinlupa for A2 members (senior citizens) include Tunasan Elementary School (ES), Victoria ES, Muntinlupa National High School – Annex, Muntinlupa National HS Main, Poblacion ES (SV3), Putatan ES, Soldiers Hills ES, Lakeview Integrated School, Bayanan ES Main, Pedro E. Diaz HS, Cupang ES, Cupang Health Center, Buli ES, and Sucat Covered Court. The City Government targets to inoculate at least 44,000 senior citizens in Muntinlupa.

As of April 10, Muntinlupa CHO has received 20,317 COVID-19 vaccines from the national government, of which 20,063 are Sinovac and 254 are AstraZeneca. There are only remaining 13,964 vials, of which 13,921 are Sinovac and 43 are AstraZeneca.

Further, the vaccination of healthcare workers from A1 priority group was completed with 5,123 (100%) medical frontliners who were inoculated, of which 2,145 received Sinovac and 2,978 were vaccinated with AstraZeneca. While 4,189 (77.6%) individuals received the vaccine from A3 priority group (persons with comorbidities), of which 4,100 were given Sinovac and 89 received AstraZeneca.

Recently, Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi received his first jab of COVID-19 vaccine after President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the inoculation of mayors in “high risk” cities and towns.

Fresnedi, who is also a senior citizen at 70 y/o, has been vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine together with other healthcare workers and persons with comorbidities from priority groups last April 8.

The local exec urges fellow senior citizens and qualified residents who are members of the priority groups to avail the vaccination services of the government for them to have an added protection against the adverse effects of COVID-19.

He also encouraged the public to pre-register in the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration through www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac and to still strictly observe health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing.

Further, Muntinlupa City started distributing the emergency subsidy from the national government to families affected by the enhanced community quarantine in NCR Plus. As of April 12, Muntinlupa City has 8,930 confirmed cases with 6,938 recoveries, 1,757 active cases, 235 reported deaths, 216 suspect cases, and 771 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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

S-PaSS now essential for those who need to travel far and pass through police checkpoints

Moving around the Philippines, specifically in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby provinces, has gotten tougher as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shift into ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) for the said places. ECQ is a more restricted status that will last from March 29 to April 4, 2021. Again, this is the national government’s response to the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases which are very disturbing.

To put things in context, here is an excerpt about ECQ from Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) report…

An ECQ status mandates all households to observe strict home quarantine. Movements will be limited to Authorized Persons Outside Residence, those accessing essential goods and services, and workers in establishments allowed to operate.

Mass gatherings (more than 10 persons outside and non-household members indoors) and face-to-face classes are also prohibited in ECQ zones. Mass transportation is allowed at limited capacity.

With regards to local travel during this time of ECQ, the S-PaSS  (Safe, Swift & Smart Passage) online travel management system is more essential and it has an app that can be downloaded for free. This is the same S-PaSS that the City Government of Las Piñas promoted recently.

For those who have not been familiar nor started using it, the S-PaSS was designed to facilitate a safe, swift and smart coordination of travels to destination LGUs (local government units). The traveler may check if the destination LGU has a restricted or unrestricted travel policy. If the LGU is restricted, the traveler must use the S-PaSS to apply for a TCP or Travel Coordination Permit. Travelers are free to visit any unrestricted destination LGU, however it is recommended to generate a TPP or Travel Pass-Through Permit if they will be passing through LGUs with restricted statuses.

The S-PaSS is now the subject of a new article published yesterday at Philippine News Agency (PNA) and below is an excerpt…

The new paperless app S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage) recently launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) offers a convenient and safe way to process travel authority online for local travelers, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas on Saturday said.

Sinas said S-PaSS will boost the PNP’s imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the quarantine control points (QCPs) that have been set up in different local government units (LGUs).

“It will continue to help and benefit LGUs in recording and monitoring in real time, traveler’s information, such as those who are going in and out of their respective localities,” Sinas said in a statement.

He said the implementation of S-PaSS by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) promises to be a one-stop-shop app for the local stranded individuals (LSIs), returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), emergency travelers (ETs) and other essential travelers during the pandemic.

“The PNP welcomes the development of this local mobility feature as a tool which integrates the processing system for the issuance of Travel Pass-Through Permit or TPP and Travel Coordination Permit or PCP, Travel Authorities and QR codes which quickly generates real-time reports needed,” he added.

Despite the use of the mobile S-PaSS app, Sinas said police deployment will continue to ensure strict public adherence to the implementation of minimum public health and safety protocols.

Last Friday, the DOST and partner government agencies officially launched the S-PaSS, a one-stop online communication and coordination platform for LGUs.

As you can see in the above information, the S-PaSS is crucial for those who need to travel far distances and reach their respective destinations (notably local government units). Apart from helping motorists, other travelers such as returning overseas Filipinos, the stranded people and the essential movers can avail of the system to move around. The Philippine National Police (PNP) recognizes S-PaSS officially.

To learn more about S-PaSS, https://www.facebook.com/spassph or visit their official website at https://s-pass.ph/

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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

Filipino caregivers and students get free vaccine in Israel

I am a Christian and I strongly believe in the strengthening of ties between the Philippines and Israel. This past February, Israel opened an honorary consulate in Davao City. Most recently there was a relevant news report that got published about the Philippines and Israel that I really loved reading.

The other day, the Israel Embassy in Manila announced that thousands of Filipino caregivers, students and diplomats availed of free COVID-19 vaccines in Israel. Below is an excerpt from the news report published by Philippine News Agency (PNA)

The free inoculation is part of the Israeli government’s vaccination drive to immunize all residents in the country, regardless of their citizenship status.

Around 5.2 million people have so far been administered with at least one dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Israel, 30,000 of whom are Filipino caregivers and 400 are exchange students.

Filipinos with expired working permits as well as the staff of the Philippine Embassy in Israel also received the free Pfizer shots.

Israel Ambassador to Manila Rafael Harpaz said this free access to vaccines is another way of expressing Israel’s gratitude to the overseas Filipino workers, particularly caregivers working in their country.

A Filipino getting vaccinated in Israel. (source – Israel in the Philippines Facebook page)

“Israel is thankful for the Filipino caregivers for helping the elderly and the disabled Israeli citizens during the Covid-19 outbreak. For many years, the Israeli government has been providing the Filipino caregivers with full access to the advanced medical services of our country,” he said.

Harpaz added that Israel has been taking “good care” of the Filipino caregivers while citing a 2018 agreement signed during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel.

Israel in recent months has also supported the Philippine government in its pandemic response by donating personal protective equipment to the front-liners of the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police, and equipment to assist the Department of Education in implementing distance learning.

To put things in perspective, the ties of the Philippines and Israel go a long way back. Many decades ago, then President Manuel Quezon (head of the Philippine Commonwealth Government) offered save haven to Jewish refugees who fled the Nazi regime. This act was never forgotten by the Israeli people. In 1947, the Philippines voted in favor of United Nations Resolution 81 which created the State of Israel. Philippines-Israel ties progressed further by establishing full diplomatic relationships in 1957 and the following year, a treaty of friendship was signed.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte visited Israel (Duterte is also the first Philippine President to visit there) which was groundbreaking. Watch the videos below…

In July 2019, I attended the Networking Night of the members of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) in Makati City. During that event, there were speeches delivered by Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad, the Embassy of Israel’s Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov which gave me a clear view about the growing ties between the Philippines and Israel.

In ending this, praying for the Israelites and for the peace of Jerusalem is essential for all Christians. Here’s a video from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) for you to watch.

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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

Muntinlupa City’s road clearing efforts earn positive remarks from DILG-NCR

Members of the regional validation team from the Department of the Interior and Local Government conducted a road clearing assessment in Muntinlupa and recognized the city’s efforts in maintaining cleared major and inner roads.

DILG-NCR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Analyn Baltazar-Cortez led the validation team with representatives from MMDA, DPWH, and NCRPO as they inspect ten (10) local roads yesterday.

ARD Cortez presented some major and minor obstructions observed by the team during their inspection and discussed recommendations for the local government’s consideration. She also lauded the visible effort to clear local roads and rehabilitate sidewalks in Muntinlupa.

“While we acknowledge that the maintenance of cleared roads is a challenging task, the efforts for road clearing is very noticeable. There is a roving vehicle for public announcement, traffic enforcers are highly visible on major intersections, and roads are generally clean and well maintained,” Cortez said.

The final rating will be released by the DILG upon completion of inspection visits in all Metro Manila local government units. Muntinlupa is the 13th LGU to be visited by the regional validation team.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi welcomed the recommendations from the DILG and ordered barangay chairmen to immediately resolve observed obstructions within their areas of jurisdiction. Fresnedi commits to continually support the National Government’s thrust in the clearing of all obstructions and rehabilitation of public roads.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (center) welcomes the DILG regional validation team led by DILG-NCR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Analyn Baltazar-Cortez (left of Fresnedi) during an exit conference yesterday. The validation team conducted an inspection to assess the local government’s road clearing efforts. ARD Cortez recognized the visible effort to clear local roads and rehabilitate sidewalks in Muntinlupa. The final rating will be released by the DILG upon completion of inspection visits in all Metro Manila local government units. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered clearing of obstructions on public roads and sidewalks, including the removal of illegal structures, illegally-parked vehicles, and illegal vending.

DILG reiterated the continuation of Road Clearing Operations through the issuance of MC 2020-145 mandating LGUs to remove road and sidewalk obstructions, craft and implement displacement plans, rehabilitate and maintain cleared roads, and create a grievance mechanism.

Under the Memorandum Circular, LGUs were enjoined to conduct road clearing operations from November 16, 2020 to January 15, 2021. It was later extended to February 15, 2021. 

The degree of implementation varies depending on the community quarantine status raised in the respective locality. For Muntinlupa, partial implementation of the road clearing’s continuation is expected as the city is under the General Community Quarantine.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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

DTI issues new memorandum for the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas starting March 5, 2021

Do you miss watching movies in the cinemas? The COVID-19 pandemic really brought the movie theater industries around the world to a screeching halt which negatively impacted the way movies were distributed and led to the laying off of many employees who worked in the cinemas.

Here in the Philippines, movie theaters are only operating in cities or provinces which are under the state of MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine) which has lesser restrictions compared to GCQ (General Community Quarantine). The thing here is that Metro Manila (which is composed of multiple cities that each has its own government) is still under the GCQ level of control and as of this writing, movie theaters still have not reopened.

Just weeks ago, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced it will allow a variety of businesses to resume operations and among them are the cinemas. Unsurprisingly, the Metro Manila mayors reacted negatively.

That was back then. Even though President Rodrigo Duterte refused to shift the entire nation into MGCQ status, movie theater operators (and their employees) in Metro Manila and other areas still under GCQ status now have something to be happy with as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a new memorandum circular allowing movie theaters in GCQ zones to reopen starting March 5, 2021.

Below is an excerpt from the news article published the other night at Philippine News Agency’s website…

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 21-08 allowing movie houses in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) to reopen starting March 5.

The circular stipulates that cinemas in GCQ areas are only allowed to operate up to 25-percent capacity.

However, moviegoers are prohibited to eat and drink, while face masks shall be worn at all times inside the cinema.

A one-meter physical distance on all sides is also required.

“In the event of free seating, cinema staff shall usher customers to their seats to comply with the physical distancing and maximum operational capacity requirements,” the MC said.

On the other hand, cinemas in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas are allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity.

As you can see in the details in the above excerpt, movie theaters in GCQ zones will be allowed to resume operations but with limitations such as 25% maximum capacity (with social distancing implemented) allowed and the prohibition on moviegoers from consuming food and beverages (this limitation will hurt the cinemas’ food and beverage business partners).

As for the requirement to wear face shields inside the cinema, it’s really a detriment because face shields obscure people’s visions and therefore moviegoers won’t be able to enjoy the visuals displayed on the big screen. 

Let’s be honest here…how many people would really want to watch films inside the movie theater without food and beverages, and having to view films with their vision negatively affected by face shields? I can only state that the DTI should reconsider these limitations soon.

It is understandable that safety measures and the health protection for the public are essential for the national authorities to do which explain the limitations for cinemas in GCQ areas. Take note from the excerpt below…

“Following the earlier agreement at the IATF (Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), DTI issued the circular that will guide the implementation of a safe and gradual reopening of more businesses and economic activities. This is part of our mandate to ensure that as more businesses reopen to provide more jobs and sources of income for our countrymen, the strict health protocols are enforced,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Lopez said while the government continues to reopen more economic and business activities, minimum health measures should be strictly implemented.

The thing which we should observe here in the Philippines is how the local government leaders of GCQ areas will react to DTI’s memorandum circular. Be aware that Metro Manila alone is home to lots of movie theaters, including those with 4D and IMAX technologies. These cinemas, many of which are part of shopping malls, have not operated for almost a year now and they badly need to resume their business not just to serve paying customers but also to take care of their employees such as security guards, ushers, ticket booth operators, film projector operators, etc. Do not forget about the businesses that partnered with cinemas to sell popcorn, snacks and beverages. Right now, economic recovery and job creation are of the utmost importance during this time of pandemic.

Now that you have read this, let me ask you what do you think about this news? Is the DTI right to issue the new memorandum? If you are living in a Metro Manila city, how has your local government leaders reacted to the news? When was the last time you watched a movie inside the cinema? Have you contacted your local cinema operator?

Watch out for further updates right here.

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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