COVID-19 Crisis: President Marcos approves optional use of face masks outdoors

After much online buzz that was created in reaction to the recommendation by the Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., finally approved an executive order (EO) that allows the optional use of face masks outdoors according to an announcement published through the Philippine News Agency (PNA). In other words, what the IATF recommended is quickly becoming a new policy but there are key details that need to be read closely.

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

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has approved an executive order (EO) allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings, particularly in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.

“Naglabas po tayo today ng Executive Order No. 3 (We have released EO No. 3) allowing voluntary wearing of face masks in outdoor settings and reiterating the continued implementation of minimum public health standards during the state of public health emergency relating to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced in a Palace press briefing.

She said the EO, signed by the President on Monday, will be effective immediately.

This order shall take effect immediately upon its publication in the OG [Official Gazette] or newspaper of general circulation. Nasa OG na po siya (It has been published in the OG),” she said.

Under the EO, those who have yet to complete their primary Covid-19 vaccination series, senior citizens, and immunocompromised persons are still “highly encouraged” to use face masks.

Cruz-Angeles said physical distancing and other minimum public health standards (MPHS) will also continue to be strictly enforced.

“The voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation is hereby allowed provided that not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are highly encouraged to wear their masks and physical distancing will be observed at all times,” she added.

The EO still requires face masks to be worn in indoor, private or public establishments, including in public transportation by land, air or sea and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

“Tuloy pa rin po ang other (We will continue adhering to other) minimum public health standards intended to effectively prevent and minimize the spread of Covid-19 in the country. It shall continue to be implemented consistent with the principles of shared accountability, evidence-based decision making, socio economic equity and rights-based approach,” Cruz-Angeles said.

She said the EO also directs the Department of Health (DOH) to update the MPHS guidelines.

Open to feedback

Cruz-Angeles said the voluntary wearing of face masks will be implemented in phases or stages to gather feedback from health authorities.

We’re doing this in stages, in phases so that we can have feedback on whether or not these new policies are working and how to make them more efficient so that hopefully by the end of the year we might be able to be voluntarily masked indoors as well,” she said.

She said the policy will be reviewed if the voluntary face mask policy would cause an increase in Covid-19 cases.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you believe that the entire Philippines and its many local government units (LGUs) are ready to comply with the new policy approved by President Marcos? If you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, do you seriously see yourself using face masks extensively in the future? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will spread fear and distort information related to the new policy that allows the optional use of face masks in outdoor settings? With the way things are right now, have you grown sick and tired of using face masks each time you go outdoors?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Optional face mask use outdoors recommended by IATF

Are you sick and tired of wearing face masks outdoors as a means of protection from COVID-19? Did you hear about the Cebu City government’s bold move on having voluntary use of face masks on a trial period? Looks like things will change here in the Philippines and its efforts on rising up from the pandemic’s effects as the Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recommended the voluntary use of face masks in open spaces by year-end, according to a GMA Network news report pointing to Malacañang and the Department of Health (DOH).

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

The Inter-Agency Task Force of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has recommended the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces by year-end amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Malacañang said Wednesday.

In a press briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the IATF’s recommendation is to make optional the wearing of face mask in open spaces or non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation, provided that the COVID-19 booster uptake in the country improves.

“Doon sa IATF, ang kanilang rekomendasyon ay pag-liberalize ng ating mask wearing mandate and make mask wearing outdoors voluntary across the country,” she said in a press briefing.

(IATF’s recommendation is to liberalize our mask wearing mandate and make mask wearing outdoors voluntary across the country.)

Angeles stressed that this is not yet a policy, but the pilot testing of the optional face mask use will be conducted towards the end of the year.

“Ang tuluyan na lifting ng mandatory mask mandate ay ipi-pilot towards the last quarter of 2022, provided na may improvement doon sa COVID booster vaccination coverage,” she said.

(The lifting of the mandatory mask mandate will be piloted towards the last quarter of 2022, provided there is an improvement in the COVID booster vaccination coverage.)

Senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals are, however, still highly encouraged to continue wearing face masks, she added.

‘Verbally approved’ by Marcos

Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed such a suggestion by the IATF, saying that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has already “verbally approved” it.

There is a verbal approval from the President when they talk to Secretary Benhur from DILG,” she said, referring to the Secretary Benhur Abalos of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Vergeire said Marcos’ executive order on the matter may be released “immediately,” but he has not given a timeline as to when exactly.

“Everything is being prepared. Nakipagusap na rin naman po tayo. We’ll just wait for the issuance. But definitely, and we think based from the feedback, talagang pabor naman ang Presidente, so the executive order can be issued immediately,” she said.

As you can see above, the recommendation of the IATF is related to the state of COVID-19 booster shots and the efforts to have more people immunized. There is still much work to be done on the part of the national authorities, the provincial authorities and local authorities to have more people vaccinated and boosted. What I find very notable was the Press Secretary’s mention of a pilot testing phase of the optional use of face masks which will be conducted towards the end of 2022. That pilot testing is very related to what Cebu City’s government pushed for. Also notable was the mentioned verbal approval of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (who is overseas as of this writing) according to the DOH’s officer-in-charge Vergeire.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Are you eager to see IATF’s recommendation of voluntary outdoor face mask use officially become policy? Do you think the IATF’s recommendation was somehow influenced by Cebu City’s bold move? Are there enough people in your local community who got boosted for COVID-19? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will distort the meaning of the IATF’s recommendation?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Cebu City Government sets voluntary face mask policy on trial period until December 2022

In recent times here in the Philippines, Cebu City has been getting a lot of attention with regards to the COVID-19 crisis we are all living with. This was because the City Government decided to loosen the face mask mandate within the city’s jurisdiction and the Department of Health (DOH) claimed that they were “never consulted” about it. Just yesterday, GMA Network reported that the City Government of Cebu announced that the voluntary face mask policy will be set on a trial period until the end of 2022. In case a COVID-19 surge, the said policy will be lifted automatically. Already, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has its attention on Cebu City.

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

The Cebu City government on Monday announced that its voluntary face mask policy will be on trial period until December 2022, and will be automatically lifted should there be a surge in COVID-19 infections in the city.

In reading the Executive Order (EO) No. 6, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s spokesperson Karla Henry-Ammann said that the trial period of the EO 5 which lifted the mandatory face mask use in the city, was set from September 1 to December 31, 2022.

The same period is hereby referred to as the trial and observation period,” she added.

Further, Ammann said the EO will be automatically lifted and the wearing of face masks in the city will be mandatory anew if there will be a surge of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City, as verified by the government.

Rama signed the EO on Monday during the city government’s flag ceremony.

Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge (OIC) Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday said they were not consulted regarding the lifting of the mandatory face mask policy in Cebu City.

Vergeire stressed there will be a higher risk of infections in an area if the safeguards against COVID-19 are not in place.

The above article ended by stating that Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said they respect the mandate of the local government units (LGUs) over their respective jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, the Manila Times published an article regarding Cebu City’s move on loosening the face mask policy and the need for health experts to update the face mask policy. Posted below is an excerpt. Some parts in boldface…

CEBU City’s attempt to relax the rules on the wearing of face masks draws attention to an attribute needed in policymaking. That is, the crafting and tweaking of policies should keep pace with how quickly situations change. We remain firm in the belief that science, or more specifically medical expertise, should take the lead in devising the policies concerning Covid-19. But people struggle to understand why they take so long to adjust to developments.

Perhaps officials in Cebu have grown impatient with the national government, more specifically the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Last week, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued an executive order making the wearing of face masks in open spaces optional. But he later delayed the implementation of the order after talking to Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Abalos promised the mayor that he would bring up the need to review the health protocols with the task force.

Mr. Abalos sounded inclined to allow Mayor Rama’s executive order. The secretary said in a statement: “In fact, I am going to even further suggest to make Cebu City the pilot implementer of this measure since the city has always been first in espousing non-masking policies outdoors for the ease and benefit of its people amid the pandemic.”

The point in delaying the new order in Cebu seems to be about “harmonizing existing laws and policies” regarding the lingering pandemic. The problem is that the situation is not uniform across the country. Also, the Philippines has opened up its borders to tourists and foreign travelers, including those who come from countries where wearing face masks are no longer required. And doing so has not caused a spike in new or imported Covid-19 cases.

Indeed, a review of health protocols seems overdue. Earlier in June, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia clashed with national health authorities when she issued an executive order that allowed people not to wear face masks in open areas, like beaches and mountain trails. Her decision seemed sensible then, and so does the similar order issued by Cebu City.

Perhaps, the national government should listen more to local officials. They should consider giving them more discretion in setting health guidelines for their respective areas of concern.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction this latest series of developments? Do you think Cebu City’s approach on loosening the face mask policy within their jurisdiction makes sense? Do you believe that the national authorities – including the DOH itself – should listen more to the local government and provincial government leaders on how to deal with COVID-19 and implement health protocols? Do you think that the remaining restrictions are outdated and don’t make sense anymore? Do you think Cebu City’s move on loosening the face mask policy will succeed and inspire other LGUs – especially in Metro Manila – to follow suit? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics and other anti-authoritarian activists will make moves to ruin the authorities’ moves on dealing with 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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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

COVID-19 Crisis: President Marcos says the wearing of face masks would become optional if booster shot campaign succeeds

If you are sick or tired of wearing face masks after enduring more than two years of this COVID-19 crisis we are still living with, you are not alone. Recently, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. stated that the wearing of face masks would become optional if the booster shot campaign succeeds, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

Wearing of face masks would become optional if the government’s booster shot drive against Covid-19 succeeds, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said.

Marcos, however, said that easing of restrictions to that extent would be a long shot as his administration attempts to duplicate the national vaccination rollout done last year.

“[L]et us return to the idea of what we did last year na magkaroon ulit ng (to have another) vaccine rollout. Gawin na natin ito para makatiyak na tayo (Let’s do this now so we can be assured),” the President said in his virtual speech during his supposed face-to-face meeting with local government units officials in Malacañang on Friday night, July 8.

At pagka maging matagumpay ang ating booster rollout ay makikita naman natin siguro puwede na nating ibaba ang mga alert level, puwede na nating gawing optional ang mask (And if the booster rollout succeeds, perhaps we can lower the alert level and make wearing of mask optional),” Marcos added.

The Chief Executive stressed that making the wearing of masks optional will not be enforced until it’s crystal clear that it will be safe to do so in order to prevent the return of surging cases in the country.

“Pero hindi po natin gagawin ‘yan hanggang maliwanag na maliwanag na safe na talaga. Dahil although so far maganda naman ang takbo, hindi naman napupuno ang mga ospital. Ngunit kung hindi tayo maingat, mapupunta na naman tayo doon (But we will not do that yet until it is very clear that it’s already safe. Because although, so far, hospitals are not overwhelmed, if we don’t remain cautious, we will again go back there),” Marcos said.

The government is planning to implement a booster rollout for children in an attempt to fully open schools for face-to-face classes before the year ends.

Making the wearing of face masks optional is a new challenge not just for the national government but also for the provincial government units and local government units that are doing their respective parts in the fight against COVID-19. In recent times, it was reported that more than 70 million people nationwide got fully vaccinated (2 doses of most COVID-19 vaccines) while more than 15 million got their first booster shot.

I personally support the idea of intensifying the booster shot campaign as only a minority of the fully vaccinated patients got boosted. That being said, it would also be good for the country if only the Department of Health (DOH) would officially declare more boosted patients (including the comorbid patients among them) eligible to get their 2nd booster shots, especially if more than six months had passed since the first booster shot was administered to them. Clearly, more COVID-19 vaccination sites need to be set up on the local level to ensure better immunization. In fact, the vaccination sites that got closed down need to be reopened. As for the national government, they need to release COVID-19 vaccines that are nearing expiration. Let me add that the national daily count of new COVID-19 cases exceeded 2,000.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Do you desire that the national government and other government units nationwide would declare the wearing of face masks optional? What do you think the DOH should do next in order to allow more patients to get their first or second booster shots? Are the anti-vaccine fanatics out there still bothering you or even harassing you? Do you realize that the anti-vaccine fanatics offer no real solutions to the COVID-19 problems of our nation?

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City apprehends quarantine violators, strengthens vaccination drive amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Amid the sharp increase in new COVID-19 cases, members of the Muntinlupa City Police Station (MCPS) has apprehended more than 900 individuals this month for violating city ordinances and quarantine rules, while the City Health Office (CHO) strengthens the local vaccination efforts.

MCPS acting chief-of-police PCOL Angel Garcillano reported that 978 city residents were apprehended violating curfew hours, mandatory wearing of face mask and other city ordinances from January 1-24.

Of the total, 892 were apprehended for not wearing face masks while 54 violated the curfew.

Under City Ordinance No. 2020-109, every person in Muntinlupa is required to wear face masks at all times whenever outside of their residence, at the workplace, when entering government buildings and offices, and in public places.

Penalties for offenders include P300 for first offense, P500 for second offense, and P1,000 for third and subsequent offenses.

For violators who are minors, a stern warning will be given for the first offense, withdrawal of scholarship grant from the local government or P300 for non-grantee for second offense, and P500 for third and subsequent offenses. The penalty fee for minors will be charged against their parents or guardians.

Muntinlupa PNP has also installed COMELEC checkpoints and augmented its monitoring for the “No Vaccination Card/ID, No Ride” policy of the Department of Transportation.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi continues to urge city residents to strictly follow the minimum public health standards and get vaccinated amid the increasing COVID-19 cases in the city.

Muntinlupa CHO has recorded all time high figures last January 23 with 4,684 active cases and daily new confirmed cases at 467.

CHO acting chief Dr. Juancho Bunyi said the city has strengthened the PDITR + V strategy (Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, Recovery plus Vaccination) to combat the further spread of the virus.

The City Health Office has also launched the “Rolling Bakuna” to bring the vaccination services closer to the communities. From January 3 – 21, Muntinlupa CHO has inoculated 1,687 individuals for their first and booster dose in different barangays.

The Rolling Bakuna is set to serve the following communities and organizations in the coming days: Morning Breeze Alabang (January 25, 240 slots – Booster), Elsie Gaches Alabang (January 26, 300 slots – Booster), Posadas Sucat (January 27, 100 slots – Booster), and PNP Headquarters (January 28, 500 slots – Booster).

As of January 21, at least 461,766 individuals in Muntinlupa have received their first dose, translating to 120.56% of the target population. While, 395,435 in the city are fully vaccinated which is 103.24% of the target.

Of the total vaccinated individuals, 17,521 were inoculated for first dose and 10,659 for second dose in coordination with the private companies.

City residents may register online through the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration system via www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release. Some parts were changed 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.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: Face shields no longer mandatory in areas under Alert Levels 1 to 3

It took a long time to happen but it finally happened at last and will surely provide people relief from the so-called protective but inconvenient face shields. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommended lifting of the mandatory use of face shields specifically in areas under Alert Level 1, 2 and 3, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report. The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommended the lifting in response to the much-improved situations (note: low daily counts of new COVID-19 infections and the continued rise of people getting vaccinated) of the nation under the pandemic. Be reminded that prior to this new development, there was a collective push to make face shields non-mandatory in Metro Manila.

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

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to lift the mandatory use of face shields in areas under Alert Level 1 to 3.

“Ang decision ko is okay, tanggalin nyo na yung [face] shields. Pwede na ninyong (My decision is okay, you can remove face shields. You can), you dispense with the shields but not the (face) mask,” Duterte said in his prerecorded “Talk to the People”.

Duterte said face mask would remain part of the day-to-day safety measure “kasi matagal pa itong virus na nasa hangin lang (because the virus which is airborne will be here for a long time).”

He urged the public to make sure that the Covid-19 positivity rate in the country will continue to go down by following the health and safety protocols.

“You have to obey what the government will tell you to do because it’s for the good of the country and for you. Sumunod lang kayo (Just obey),” he said.

On Monday, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum detailing the voluntary use of face shields in places with a relatively low Covid-19 alert level.

According to the memorandum, the use of face shields in community settings shall remain mandatory in areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns.

For places under Alert Level 4, local government units and private establishments are given the discretion to maintain or remove the wearing of face shields policy.

People residing in places under alert levels 3, 2, and 1 can voluntarily use the face shields as their added protection.

“The above protocols are without prejudice to the continuing mandatory use of face shields in medical and quarantine facility settings, and the required use thereof by healthcare workers in healthcare settings,” the order read.

The IATF-EID on Dec. 14, 2020 issued Resolution 88, requiring all persons to wear full-coverage face shields on top of face masks in all public places to control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Based on the above details, for as long as an area is under Alert Level 3 and lower, face shields are no longer mandatory. Just optional. While a lot of face shields believers out there expressed that the said items are highly protective and prevent COVID-19 from entering people’s eyes, face shields are always inconvenient as they obscure people’s visions and make verbal communication even harder. Try talking to someone while you are wearing both a face mask (which itself muffles your speaking) and a face shield.

As long as COVID-19 infections are low and as long as people practice caution, walking around and doing your objectives without face shields can be done in areas under Alert Level 1-3. With the recent change, I encourage you to pay close attention to your own locality and also observe how the Metro Manila mayors and the MMDA will act and think now that face shields are no longer required in areas under Alert Level 1-3.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you relieved that face shields are no longer mandatory in areas under Alert Level 1-3? How much money did you spend on face shields since the start of the pandemic? How many face shields do you have 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 with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

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

Man arrested at Ipil Site, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City for possession of illegal drugs

The Manila Bulletin recently published a news report about the arrest of a suspect that happened within Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City. The catch here is that the suspect was initially apprehended for violating face mask rules only to be discovered to possess illegal drugs worth hundreds of thousands of Pesos. This is the third consecutive drug-related crime report set within Parañaque City (note: click here and here) published this month.

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

A cellphone technician initially apprehended for not wearing a face mask was found in possession of P340,000 worth of shabu in Paranaque City on Thursday night.

Col. Maximo Sebastian, the city police chief, said the suspect identified as Angelo Bartolay, 32, was apprehended at about 6:20 p.m. at Ipil Site, Delarama Compound, BF Homes, Paranaque City.

Sebastian said patrol cops were conducting “Oplan Galugad” and implementing the health and safety protocols when they spotted the suspect aimlessly roaming around without a face mask.

He said the cops called the attention of the suspect, but the latter tried to escape.

The police cornered him but he became unruly when he was being issued with a citation ticket. He was brought to the Paranaque City Police Station.

The above report ended stating that the police recovered fifty grams of shabu.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Barangay BF Homes, what do you think about this recent development?

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: Face shield policy emphasized by Duterte

The confusion and debate over the importance of face shields during the COVID-19 crisis here in the Philippines continues. Very recently, President Rodrigo Duterte spoke out about face shields and even called their use a small inconvenience as part of preventing disaster.

To put things in perspective, posted below are excerpts from the June 22, 2021 article published by Philippine News Agency (PNA). Some parts in boldface…

The “small inconvenience” of wearing face shields is a “small price to pay” to prevent impending “disaster” caused by new coronavirus strains, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.

Duterte defended his decision to retain the mandatory face shield policy, citing the need to be more cautious over the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant (B1617) first discovered in India.

The Philippines, he said, could not afford another coronavirus wave as it would take a toll on the country’s economy.

He also cited reports that the new coronavirus strain could be resistant to some Covid-19 vaccines.

“I will apologize to the Filipino people that this thing was being discussed openly and many thought that we were ready to do away with the face [shields]. But with the kind of aggressive infection that poses a very grave danger to…it’s a small inconvenience, actually. I know that it is inconvenient really to be wearing the mask, adjusting it from time to time. But that is only a very small price to pay than rather gamble with doing away with it and courting disaster,” Duterte said in a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), some Cabinet members, and medical experts.

His decision to retain the mandatory face shield policy came following health experts’ recommendation to “triple” precautions against the Delta coronavirus strain.

“As of now, the face [shield] is on…It is to the national interest that we must triple our effort because I said we do not know if it would require a new vaccine which has to be invented first. Second, we cannot afford a second wave because it might be far worse than the first and then we will have a problem with the economy and as I said it would be disaster for the country,” he added.

He also clarified that he never said with finality that he would lift the mandatory wearing of face shields.

Last week, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Duterte has agreed that the public should only be required to wear a face shield when they go to hospitals.

The IATF-EID, however, appealed to keep the rule on the use of face shields in enclosed public spaces such as commercial establishments, malls, and public transportation.

“When I mention about the face shield, I was only shooting the breeze with the members of the Congress who were there. I never said with finality that we will do away with the face shield,” Duterte said.

As you can see in the above details, there was confusion about the national authorities’ approach with face shields. President Duterte claims that he never declared with authority that the mandatory wearing of face shields will be lifted. And then there is the issue about the Delta coronavirus variant (B1617) which the World Health Organization (WHO) claims is mutating and has spread around the world.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe that face shields are essential for personal protection and for public health in general during this time of pandemic? How much money have you spent on face shields this year? Do you believe President Duterte and his view about face shields?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: 165 face mask, face shield violators apprehended in Muntinlupa Police’s Oplan Sita

In an attempt to reduce COVID-19 transmission associated to non-compliance with health protocols, the City Government of Muntinlupa has augmented operations to apprehend violators of face mask and face shield rules.

Members of Muntinlupa City Police Station recorded 165 individuals who are not wearing, or improperly wearing, face masks and face shields in eight barangays during the conduct of Oplan Sita from May 30 – May 31. Of the total number of violators, 43 individuals were fined while 122 received first warning.

While the City Government awaits new guidelines on arresting those caught violating face mask rules from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Justice (DOJ), provisions under Muntinlupa City Ordinance No. 2020-109 have been imposed.

Under the local ordinance, every person in Muntinlupa is required to wear face masks at all times whenever outside of their residence, at the workplace, when entering government buildings and offices, and in public places.

Penalties for offenders include P300 for first offense, P500 for second offense, and P1,000 for third and subsequent offenses. For violators who are minors, a stern warning will be given for the first offense, withdrawal of scholarship grant from the City Government or P300 for non-grantee for second offense, and P500 for third and subsequent offenses. The penalty fee for minors will be charged against their parents or guardians.

The City Government of Muntinlupa has imposed stricter implementation of its local ordinance on the mandatory wearing of face masks following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to arrest people who will be caught not wearing a face mask properly in public spaces.

Further, the City Government lifted liquor ban but with restrictions for the duration of less stringent community quarantines.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi reminds city residents to continue to observe health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, wearing of face masks, and physical distancing.

“COVID-19 is still an imminent threat so I urge everyone to be responsible and to continue observing health protocols even as quarantine measures and the liquor ban are relaxed,” Fresnedi said.

Muntinlupa City has recorded a decrease in COVID-19 cases within the last two weeks. From 1,036 active cases last May 16, it has reduced to 604 cases as of May 30.

To date, there are 12,850 confirmed cases with 11,903 recoveries, 343 reported deaths, 102 suspect cases, and 1,631 probable cases in Muntinlupa.

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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: Many caught violating face mask ordinance in Muntinlupa City

In accordance to the recent order by President Rodrigo Duterte, the police officers in Muntinlupa intensified their implementation of an existing city ordinance on the wearing of face masks outside residence within the city’s jurisdiction.

The result? Over a thousand people were caught by the police last Friday for violating the said ordinance according to the report of the Manila Bulletin.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the May 8, 2021 report of the Manila Bulletin…

The Muntinlupa police apprehended on Friday 1,326 persons, mostly minors, for violating the city ordinance on the mandatory wearing of face masks outside residence.

Of the total violators, 1,281, or 97 percent, were minors and only 45, or 3 percent, were adults. They were all caught without detention as mandated by City Ordinance 2020-109.

The police’s move came after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police Wednesday to arrest people who are caught not wearing face masks properly.

The 1,281 minors who were caught by the police were given warning.

Under the ordinance, if the violator is a minor, a stern warning is imposed for the first offense, withdrawal of scholarship grant from the local government or P300 fine for non-grantee for the second offense, and P500 for third and subsequent offenses. The fines will be imposed on their parents or guardians.

On the other hand, the 45 adults were fined P300 each for the first offense. If they are caught again, they will face a P500 fine for the second offense and P1,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.

The ordinance does not impose any jail time for violators.

An individual inside a private enclosed vehicle is exempted from wearing a face mask but it is mandatory when there are at least two persons in the vehicle.

The ordinance, approved in July last year, requires all persons in Muntinlupa “to wear face masks at all times outside of their residences, at the workplace, when entering government buildings and offices, and while in public places.”

It defines face mask as any “protective clothing or material used to cover the nose, mouth and chin with specifications and proper use as recommended by the Department of Health (DOH), including, but not limited to, surgical masks, medical masks, N95 masks, ear loop masks, indigenous, reusable and do-it-yourself masks.”

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi has urged the public to wear face masks and face shields, and observe physical distancing when outside their residence.

As seen in the above news and details, wearing a face mask properly is a must in Muntinlupa City.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the Manila Bulletin report? Have you been wearing your face mask properly? Are you ready to visit Muntinlupa City soon?

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