COVID-19 Crisis: More support for businesses by means of easing restrictions

Are you a business owner who has been struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic here in the Philippines? On the national level, more support for businesses by means of easing the restrictions has been pushed for by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III according to a recent news report by GMA Network.

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

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III on Tuesday called for the need to open up more of the economy in the final quarter of the year, for businesses to recover and be able to pay their dues.

According to Concepcion, the fourth quarter is crucial for businesses given the historically higher consumer spending amid the Christmas holidays.

“We have to open the economy because this is the last quarter. This is time when most negosyantes can get back what they lost in the previous months. Babayaran nila mga 13th month pay, may utang nila sa bangko, sa suppliers [They will have to pay the 13th month pay, their loans in the banks, with suppliers],” he said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing.

Concepcion has been pushing for the imposition of “bakuna bubbles” or pockets of micro-herd immunity among closed groups such as homes and workplaces.

Under the proposed measure, vaccinations will be mandated for a range of indoor gatherings in a bit to boost the country’s immunization efforts and only allow privileges to those fully vaccinated.

At present conditions with only 30% indoor dining allowed for fully vaccinated individuals in Metro Manila, Concepcion said businesses do not gain much, noting that this should be increased to at least 50% to carry businesses over to 2022, or even 70% by November or December.

“Ito ang panahon that we should start to live with COVID. Kung pabagsak ang [If there is a downtrend on the] trajectory ng infection level, then we should open up more and more and then keep an eye, watch out if it reverses then we pull back and we can push back,” said Concepcion.

“For now, it’s only one quarter left ’til the end of the year. Bigay na natin ‘to sa mga negosyaante para mabuhay sila ’til next year. [Let’s give this to the businesses for the thrive until next year],” he added.

In relation to the news above, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) called for businesses to be open on all alert levels. The Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) appealed to the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow the limited operations of cinemas under the Alert Level 4.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about Joey Concepcion’s statements on supporting businesses a lot? Do you feel confident about the further reopening of the national economy? Do you think that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will understand Concepcion’s pro-business push and make wise decisions this time around?

Can you imagine the MMC and MMDA recommending another enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to the IATF in the near future that will surely destroy jobs and hurt businesses all over again?

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: More than 43,000 businesses certified with Safety Seals

Since its implementation months ago (click here, here and here) the Safety Seal certification program has covered a lot of business establishments and offices (including government). Recently, it was reported by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that more than 43,000 business establishments nationwide have been certified safe as Safety Seals were issued to them. This is really good news because our nation badly needs economic recovery as a lot of workers lost their jobs and income as a result of the last enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that happened in Metro Manila as well in other regions. The national economy has clearly been damaged not only by COVID-19 but also by the lockdowns (note: observe closely how the top officials of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Metro Manila Council think and act when making their recommendations to the IATF).

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

A total of 43,332 public and private establishments nationwide have been issued safety seal certifications, an assurance to the public that health protocols are put in place amid the quarantine restrictions.

The safety seal certification program indicates the compliance of establishments to the minimum public health standards (MPHS) set by the government.

In a news release issued Tuesday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the certification program is beneficial to the country’s recovering economy as it boosts the confidence of consumers in going out and patronizing business in the new normal with the assurance that a business establishment is compliant with health protocols.

He encouraged more businesses to adopt the seal as an effective measure in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Businesses can do their share in the fight against the pandemic and create a healthy space for consumers to transact their purchases and for employees to gainfully and safely earn a living,” Lopez said.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año told owners of establishments, especially those in areas under strict quarantine restrictions, to take the time to apply for a safety seal.

Applying for a Safety Seal is not mandatory. However, business establishments are highly encouraged to apply since this will also help them attract customers which eventually leads to increased sales and profit,” he said.

Since its implementation in May 2021, a total of 85,731 applications were received by the issuing agencies as reported by the Safety Seal Technical Working Group (TWG); 50.54 percent or 43,332 applications were approved while 11.50 percent or 9,858 applications were either denied or referred to the appropriate agency.

The remaining percentage represents those that are still in the inspection process.

“I commend and congratulate the establishments that have taken the lead in securing their Safety Seal certifications. This will build confidence that their respective companies are committed to ensuring the health and safety of their stakeholders and workers,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Under the program, a business establishment is eligible to apply for a safety seal given that it is duly registered, adopting the Staysafe.ph app or any other local government unit-mandated digital contact tracing application and strictly following and implementing the MPHS.

“The implementation of the Safety Seal Program is a very laudable initiative that highly reinforces our country’s response to combat Covid-19. As we gradually reopen our economy, it is important to ensure that our people are safe, and adherence to Minimum Public Health Standards is one vital key to this aspect,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) also reaches out to tourism establishment owners to get the seal.

“The Safety Seal certification program bodes well with the DOT’s priority to ensure the health and safety of both tourists and tourism workers. Let us continue to make travel fun and safe for all,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

The Safety Seal Technical Working Group assured the public that the government exerts the best efforts with a whole-of-government and whole-of-society coordination in support of the Inter-Agency Task Force’s Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: As a consumer, are you confident that economic recovery will happen over the next twelve months? Are there still many business joints in your local community that are operating without Safety Seals? Do you believe that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council should be held accountable for every job lost as a result of their recommending ECQ to the IATF?

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: Metro Manila still under Alert Level 4 until October 15, 2021

In case you missed the news, the national authorities extended the Alert Level 4 status on the entire Metro Manila until October 15, 2021, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. While the said status looks the same, there were some changes made in favor of certain businesses as well as churches organizing indoor worship services which I personally like.

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

The government’s pandemic task force has extended the pilot implementation of the new Alert Levels System for coronavirus (COVID-19) response in the National Capital Region (NCR) until October 15 but agreed to relax some of the Alert Level 4 restrictions.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as Metro Manila’s Alert Level 4 status ends on September 30.

In a statement on Thursday evening, September 30, Roque said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious DIseases decided to extend the pilot run of the new COVID-19 response strategy until October 15, 2021.

While Roque’s statement did not specify if Metro Manila will be kept under Alert Level 4, the second-highest of the five alert levels, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said confirmed in a text message that the region will still be under the same alert level.

Meanwhile, Roque said that the IATF has approved the recommendation to increase to 20 percent the operational capacity of indoor services such as dine-in, in-person religious services, and personal care under Alert Level 4 for those fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The IATF initially allowed the said services to cater to the fully vaccinated indoors at only 10 percent seating capacity.

Operational capacity for outdoor dine-in, religious, and personal care services will remain at 30 percent.

The task force also approved the recommendation to reopen fitness studios and gyms at a limited 20 percent capacity for fully vaccinated individuals. However, gym workers should also be fully vaccinated.

Both gym clients and service providers are required to wear face masks at all times. Group activities are not allowed.

According to Roque, the said indoor services are allowed to increase their operational capacity by another 10 percent if they have a safety seal certification.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? If you are a business owner who badly needs customers to avail of services indoors, are the recent changes good enough? If you want to worship the Lord on Sunday during worship services indoors at your local church, were the mentioned changes good enough? Is your local government unit (LGU) doing a sufficient job on having you and your fellow community members vaccinated for COVID-19?

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. 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: DTI Secretary Lopez pushes for easing of protocols for fully vaccinated people

Previously, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez proposed to allow vaccinated people to dine in food-and-beverage joints as well as enter the personal care service establishments during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). This past weekend, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported that the DTI Secretary is back and called for the easing of protocols for people who have been fully vaccinated and Metro Manila could be the region to have such moves pilot tested within.

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

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has endorsed tweaking of community quarantine protocols by allowing more mobility for fully vaccinated individuals.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People aired over the weekend, Lopez told Duterte that “it is about time to change our protocol” in terms of easing some restrictions for the vaccinated population.

“We were discussing the need to have (a) different approach in terms of solving Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019); not just lockdowns,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.

The DTI chief said under the new protocol, fully vaccinated individuals could be allowed in restricted economic activities, such as dine-in services in restaurants and personal care services.

He said this would allow safe reopening of the economy as fully vaccinated people have protection against the Covid-19.

People with complete vaccines are unlikely to develop severe to critical Covid-19, he added.

These are labor intensive. These sectors, there are 2 million individuals employed in dine-in restaurants. In salons, there are around 400,000. This is nationwide,” Lopez said.

The trade official said this could be pilot tested in Metro Manila, as the National Capital Region has more than 50 percent of its eligible population for Covid-19 vaccines already got their jabs.

The above article ended stating that the guidelines of the protocol are being finalized. It is very clear that lockdown and restrictions on businesses result a massive loss of income and a rise on unemployment. The DTI Secretary’s proposal is part of an effort to ensure that the Philippine economy will recover and rebound, and if you have been paying close attention to the number of Metro Manila cities that have been vaccinating their patients, there are now millions of fully vaccinated people in the National Capital Region (NCR) combined. In the City of Las Piñas alone, their fully vaccinated patients had reached almost 315,000 as of September 11, 2021. In Muntinlupa City, the number of fully vaccinated patients is almost 200,000.

You travel along Aguirre Avenue inside BF Homes subdivision and you will see lots of restaurants, coffee shops and personal care service providers located along the long road. A lot of them have been struggling because of the prohibition on customers from entering and spending time inside those business joints. You go to Filinvest City in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, and search for a place to have a nice meal at only to be disappointed that you cannot dine inside and will have to order for take-out. Take-out and delivery are the current options that food-and-beverage joints have when it comes to serving their customers but those options are not good enough to help them survive. For me, DTI Secretary Lopez’s proposal makes sense and it will help not only the struggling businesses and the unemployed, but also improve economic activity.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about Secretary Lopez’s latest move? Do you believe it is time to ease the protocols with the many millions of fully vaccinated people in Metro Manila?

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: Guidelines on localized lockdowns in NCR ‘provisionally’ approved by IATF

Are you still disappointed over the extended MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) in Metro Manila which was the result of the recent flip-flop by the national authorities? You definitely are not alone as Marikina City’s mayor spoke out against the national government for their flip-flop and the Metro Manila mayors plus the MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority) issued a resolution urging Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to consider easing the COVID-19 guidelines for fully vaccinated people in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The current MECQ will last until September 15 and we should not be surprised to see changes happening on the 16th as the IATF “provisionally” approved guidelines on the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns in Metro Manila according to an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Speaking of granular lockdown, take note what happened in a certain locked down residential community in Parañaque City.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency. Some parts in boldface…

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has “provisionally” approved the guidelines on the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns in Metro Manila, Malacañang announced on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) policy shift would only impose either the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or the general community quarantine (GCQ) with four alert levels in Metro Manila.

“Sang-ayon po dito sa policy shift na gagawin natin, dalawa na lang ang quarantine classifications. Ito po ang ECQ na ipapataw ng IATF o ‘di naman kaya ay GCQ (Based on the policy shift that we will carry out, there will only be two quarantine classifications. These are the ECQ that will be imposed by the IATF or the GCQ),” Roque said in a virtual presser.

He said the localized lockdown that would be pilot-tested in Metro Manila has four levels.

The IATF-EID is still ironing out the details on the implementation of alert level 4, the strictest level, Roque said.

Roque said all areas that would be placed under an alert level system should follow the protocols that are consistent with their alert levels and issued by the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19.

The classification of pilot areas and their alert levels will also be done weekly, unless otherwise specified, he added.

“Lahat po ng areas ay magpapatupad po ng granular lockdowns, sang-ayon po sa guidelines ng NTF. Ang pagkakaiba po nito, itong lockdowns na ito ay mas strikto (All areas will implement granular lockdowns, based on the guidelines of the NTF. The difference is these lockdowns are stricter),” Roque said.

With the implementation of stricter granular lockdowns, health and allied health professionals are the only ones who will be considered Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), he said, noting that government workers in areas under localized lockdown would not be allowed to go out.

“‘Yun pong mga taong gobyerno ay hindi makakapagtrabaho kapag kayo po ay nasa ilalim ng localized lockdown. Hindi kayo pupuwedeng lumabas (Government workers will not be allowed to go out if their areas are under localized lockdown. They cannot go out),” Roque said.

He, however, assured that local government units and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would provide assistance to households that might be affected by the implementation of granular lockdowns.

“Magbibigay na po ng ayuda ang lokal na pamahalaan at ang DSWD para po hindi na kinakailangang lumabas ng kahit na sino sa mga lugar na naka-granular lockdown (Local governments and the DSWD will give assistance so residents of areas under granular lockdown would no longer need to leave their homes),” he said.

Roque did not mention when the pilot implementation of localized lockdowns would commence.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the new guidelines for granular lockdown? Do you believe that the plan of using 4 alert levels for GCQ will cause a lot of confusion? Do you think that the national authorities will be able to finalize and issue the new guidelines before September 15?

How many people do you personally know lost their jobs because of the most recent flip-flop by the IATF resulting the extended MECQ? Do you believe that the IATF, the Metro Manila Council and the MMDA are paying sufficient attention to economic matters like job losses and the affected employees’ loss of income?

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: Metro Manila under GCQ from September 8 to September 30, 2021

Finally, residents and businesses of National Capital Region (NCR) will experience relief and added liberty as the national authorities declared that starting September 8 until September 30, Metro Manila will revert back to general community quarantine (GCQ) according to a report by the Manila Bulletin. It should be noted that August 2021 was full of restrictions for Metro Manila such as the sudden enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the prohibition on outdoor exercise and the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) (which saw an extension) due to the rise of COVID-19 cases. These same restrictions also resulted damaged to the national economy in the form of increased unemployment and further business hardship which prompted the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to make a proposal with economic recovery in mind.

Very recently, granular lockdown action happened around the NCR and such forms of restrictions look like will become the new normal for communities with infections.

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

After enduring a month of strict lockdown, Metro Manila will shift back to a general community quarantine (GCQ) although it will also serve as the pilot area for the implementation of granular lockdowns starting Sept. 8 until the end of the month.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement on Monday, Sept. 6, or a day before the expiration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status of the National Capital Region (NCR).

In his press briefing on Monday, Roque announced that Metro Manila will be placed under the more lax GCQ beginning Sept. 8. He also confirmed reports that granular lockdowns will be implemented in the region as a new tact against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Roque said limited dine-in services and religious gatherings will be allowed again in Metro Manila once it shifts to GCQ.

Granular lockdown

However, Roque said details about the granular lockdown were still being finalized and will be announced before Sept. 8.

He explained that it will be the governors and mayors who will decide on the granular lockdowns. The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases can reverse the decision of the local chief executives, he said.

The Palace official explained that the granular lockdown should cover the smallest area as possible.

“The granular lockdown does not have to be an entire barangay. It can be a street, it can be a house, it can be a community. It should be as granular as we can,” he said.

According to Roque, the government shifted to granular lockdowns because the number of COVID-19 cases did not seem to go down despite the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)–the strictest quarantine level possible.

“Ang tingin ng mga eksperto, mas epektibo po kung tayo po talaga ay magpapatupad ng systematic at scientific granular lockdowns (Exprets think that the implementation of systematic and granular lockdowns will be more effective),” he said.

We have the Lord to thank for the Metro Manila GCQ. So much economic damage has been done already and it is high time for businesses and the affected employees to move forward and lead the way for economic recovery. It is also high time for the faithful to be allowed to worship the Lord on-site at church facilities as it is a fact that online worship is very limiting (especially when Zoom is used as a digital platform). When it comes to public health, people of Metro Manila should have more freedom and time to exercise outside of their homes to gain fitness and strengthen their immune system which itself is crucial during this pandemic.

Of course, each and every individual has a personal responsibility to properly follow health protocols (social distancing, using sanitizers, contact tracing and more) whenever he or she enters a church to worship the Lord, or enter a restaurant or a personal care service provider to be served, or visiting random places outdoors. Each of us has a role to be taken seriously to stay safe, be safe and avoid getting infected while moving around in public to fulfill our respective objectives.   

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does the new GCQ announcement for Metro Manila surprise you in relation to the daily high numbers of new COVID-19 infections?

If you are a Metro Manila resident, do you trust your mayor or the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) when it comes to making big, sweeping decisions that affect you and your family? Have you prayed to the Lord to enlighten all the government and community leaders so that they can do their jobs better and rightfully?

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

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on the lookout for local vloggers who made millions of pesos

Are you a vlogger based here in the Philippines who made a lot of money recently? Be aware that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is on the lookout for vloggers they might find taxable. The other day, it was reported by the Manila Bulletin that the BIR is paying close attention to a certain unidentified couple who allegedly earned between P50 million to P100 million (US$1 million to US$2 million based on the latest foreign exchange rates) that past few years and the deletion of their social media channel was seen to be a move to avoid taxation. It should be noted that the BIR launched a campaign focused on social media influencers or SMIs.

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

A couple, who reportedly raked in multi-million pesos from video blogging (vlogging), abruptly deleted their social media channel in what the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officials believe to be an attempt to avoid paying taxes.

Based on the initial investigation of the BIR, the couple earned P50 to P100 million in the past two years which enabled them to buy luxury vehicles and built a mansion somewhere in Metro Manila.

BIR sources said the couple deleted their channel days after BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay announced a crackdown against social media influencers (SMIs) who have been receiving earning huge sum of money from social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook by compelling them to pay taxes.

The couple, BIR officials said, had more than 11 million subscribers. The names of the pair were withheld pending the outcome of the investigation.

But the BIR said it will still run after the couple, saying deleting the social media channel will not excuse them from paying taxes.

Vloggers are classified as self-employed subject to 12 percent value-added tax if annual income is P3 million and more, eight percentage tax if less than the amount and tax exempt if not more than P250,000.

Dulay advised vloggers to be truthful in their income tax declaration to avoid facing tax evasion charges.

The article ended stating that social media influencers cannot hide their respective income because the “tax authorities of countries where the social media platforms are based are obligated to furnish the BIR with their salaries under a tax treaty agreement with the Philippines.”

For the newcomers reading this, the penalties for tax evasion has been updated this year in accordance to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. A person found guilty of tax evasion, the financial penalty is now P500,000 to P10 million. Imprisonment will be 6 to 10 years.

In closing this piece, let me ask you readers: Do you believe that the BIR’s search for qualified vloggers or SMIs to tax is good for the Philippines? Do you believe that your favorite vloggers or SMIs have a legal obligation to pay taxes? Do you believe that the affected vloggers/SMIs will react by promoting/favoring the politicians or potential election candidates who oppose the current administration?

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: EastWest Bank employees and partners receive protection through FilVax COVID-19 vaccination program

Are you looking for something inspiring or interesting during this pandemic? Check this out…EastWest, a major bank here in the Philippines, had its employees and the personnel of its partners vaccinated for COVID-19 recently.

The EastWest logo.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from EastWest’s announcement sent to me via email. Some parts in boldface…

We’re glad to announce that we’ve now made an important step in fighting COVID-19 by vaccinating our employees and partners across the Philippines!

Last August 3, EastWest and its parent company Filinvest Development Corporation had launched FilVax, a conglomerate-wide vaccination program. Our EastWest employees, janitorial services, drivers, messengers, security guards, and other partners had begun receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine at its supersite in Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, with more sites to be launched across the country soon after. This is part of the 100,000-dose order of the Filinvest Group, and is open to all of EastWest’s employees and partners nationwide, beginning with the bank’s frontliners. We are aiming for full vaccination of our employees by this October.

The vaccination program is the latest initiative in our efforts to protect our customers and employees from COVID-19, which include regular sanitization and disinfection of stores, a remote working setup for employees, and private shuttles for employees reporting for work in our stores. With these efforts, your safety and our uninterrupted service for all your banking needs continue to be our top priority.

It’s nice to see that EastWest made moves to protect its workforce plus other personnel from the dreaded effects of COVID-19. This means it is safe to visit their bank branches and do over-the-counter transactions. Moves like this one is key to help the nation’s economy recover. EastWest and its FilVax program deserve admiration. Getting vaccinated is truly essential!

Meanwhile residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared (with personal information available) and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about EastWest Bank employees and partners getting vaccinated for COVID-19? Do you bank regularly at EastWest? How many EastWest banks are there in your local area right now?

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below 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 in effect in Metro Manila until August 31, 2021

Finally, the surprise enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for Metro Manila has ended as the national government announced late Thursday night that the new level of restriction for the metropolis is the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) which is now in effect and will last until August 31, 2021. For the newcomers reading this, MECQ is supposed to be lighter than ECQ when it comes to restrictions.

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

The quarantine classification in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Laguna and Bataan has been downgraded from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to modified ECQ (MECQ), Malacañang announced Thursday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EUD), approved the latest quarantine status in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“These latest classifications are without prejudice to the strict implementation of granular lockdowns,” said Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, in a press statement.

Roque said Metro Manila will be placed under MECQ from Aug. 21 to 31.

Bataan, on the other hand, will be under MECQ from Aug. 23 to 31, he added.

Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan were initially placed under ECQ, the strictest form of community quarantine, due to the spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

Roque stressed that despite the deescalation of quarantine level, religious gatherings should remain “virtual” in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan.

He added that indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, as well as personal care services such as beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas should remain prohibited.

Roque said local government units in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan are likewise directed to improve the vaccination rates within their localities, as well as intensify the “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies to control the spread of Covid-19.

And here is a related news video to watch…

In an article by the Manila Bulletin, curfew hours in Metro Manila still remain and quarantine passes (QPs) are not required. MECQ also means no cash aid (ayuda) will be released by the national government. There are also other MECQ-related guidelines to follow in another article by the Manila Bulletin. As for the unpopular ban on outdoor exercise approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC), that one has ended and therefore the freedom to exercise outside our homes has been restored but to a certain extent.

As seen in the details regarding MECQ, there is no real ease nor positive change for several businesses and churches. Restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores that have tables and chairs are still prohibited from having customers dining inside and on the immediate space outside their joints. In a business sense, this is bad because take-out and delivery services are not good enough for food/beverage sellers to make their ends meet. People of faith, meanwhile, are still literally blocked from worshiping the Lord physically at the venues of their faith communities or ministries. As such, the online form of worship in Metro Manila is still the way but I can tell you from my experience that onsite, physical presence worship of the Lord is the better and more preferable way to worship Him. Online worship has its limits and it lacks the immersion that on-site, physical worship has.

That being said, I encourage you all reading this to pray to God to enlighten all the public officials (from the barangay up to the national level) to look up to Him and come back to Him for His guidance which they really need when it comes to managing the people and their communities as everyone still struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic. The public officials need prayers for the Lord to guide them, strengthen them and prevent them from getting lost.

It should be noted that just days ago, the Metro Manila Council left the decision on community control to national government. Just think about that! Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Benhur Abalos and the mayors met and that was all they could come up with – letting someone else decide for the many millions of people living and struggling in the National Capital Region (NCR).

As such, praying to the Lord to help the public officials is very much needed. It is a fact that each local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila is struggling not only with their respective COVID-19 vaccine operations but also with all other functions.

Also pray to the Lord that the national government will be more accommodating to the businesses and churches that got negatively affected by these community quarantine levels. Pray to the Lord that the employees, the business owners, the people of faith, the pastors and ministries will be assisted and accommodated better.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about the shift to MECQ for Metro Manila? If you are a manager or owner of a restaurant or coffee shop, how did the recent ECQ affect you and your employees?

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: 118 businesses in Las Piñas City awarded with Safety Seals

To ensure that business establishments are safe for customers to visit and do business transactions in during this COVID-19 pandemic, the inspection team of the City Government of Las Piñas found one hundred and eighteen businesses qualified for the Safety Seal as revealed in a recent Manila Bulletin news report. That is a majority of the recent inspection of almost one hundred fifty businesses they visited.

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

The Las Piñas City government inspection and certification team has already inspected 149 business establishments around the city.

Out of the evaluated establishments, 118 have already been awarded with safety seal certification for passing the checklist in the implementation of health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Safety Seal Inspection Team formed by Mayor Imelda Aguilar is composed of City Administrator Reynaldo Balagulan, City Public Information Officer-Paul Ahljay San Miguel, and other offices in the city government.

According to the report, 31 business establishments that were inspected and evaluated still need to comply with other requirements before they will be awarded with safety seal certification.

Aguilar called on all business establishments in the city to comply with the checklist requirements.

She said the safety seal certification will allow businesses the opportunity to gradually increase their operating capacity.

For the newcomers reading this, business establishments having Safety Seals posted should restore business confidence at least in the short term. Within Las Piñas, SM Southmall itself got certified safe. Offices at Las Piñas City Hall qualified for Safety Seals. Whether an office or a business establishment has a Safety Seal or not, visitors can still do their parts in meeting health protocols by wearing face masks and face shields.

With regards to local COVID-19 matters, any Las Piñas resident reading this who has yet to get registered for free COVID-19 vaccines can learn the ways (4 methods) by clicking here. Anyone who is ready and willing to register online can click bit.ly/LasPiñasVaccination

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you visited any local business there in Las Piñas that does not have a Safety Seal yet? Did you witness the City Government’s inspection team do their work?

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