I Love Israel: Israeli Ambassador Ilan Flus confirms commitment on collaborating with the Philippines on technology, innovation and medicine

The ties between the Philippines and Israel continued to get stronger as the new Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss confirmed that the State of Israel is committed to collaborate with the Filipino nation on important fields, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

Israel is committed to pursue collaboration with the Philippines in the areas of technology, innovation and medicine, according to its new ambassador to Manila.

Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss confirmed at the “Pandesal Forum at Kamuning Bakery Café” that lots of cooperation are going on between the two countries.

In agriculture, the ambassador said that cooperation in agriculture technology is being discussed and is handled by its economic section. He mentioned of an Israeli initiative for an irrigation project in the country using solar technology to help Philippine agriculture.

Fluss also said that he met recently with Defense Secretary Eduardo Año to discuss cooperation in defense and military training.

On medicines, the ambassador explained that Israel is not yet into COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, but they are going into that. He said that Israel is still in the second stage in their clinical research for COVID-19 vaccine.

We are open to discuss partnership with the Philippines,” he said. In fact, he said, that an Israeli firm is already looking into the manufacture of medicines in the Philippines, but may not be necessarily COVID-19 vaccines.

Meantime, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority announced the approval of Israeli-Filipino joint venture Savepoint Biotek for its proposal to manufacture oral COVID-19 vaccines.

According to PEZA, Savepoint is investing P83 million initially for the project to be located in the Pampanga Economic Zone. The joint venture even projected annual sales of $180 million from the Philippines and export markets.

A source privy to the project application said the company has projected annual sales of $180 million of which 70 percent is expected to come from its export markets Asia Pacific and Africa. The project is also expected to employ 425 workers upon full commercial operation.

Sources said that partners, the Filipino and the Israel pharmaceutical firm, are still finalizing their equity structure. While waiting, the source said, the project would be represented by the Filipino group.

It is always great to learn of the cooperation and unity between Israelis and Filipinos, and as always, we must thank the Lord! Apart from the diplomatic developments, the establishment of Savepoint Biotek by Israelis and Filipinos is significant especially with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: 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

270 people apprehended in Parañaque City for online sabong

The latest Parañaque City crime news are here and not only was it about a relatively new form of gambling but it also involved a few hundred suspects! Two hundred and seventy suspects to be precise according to a news report by the Manila Bulletin.

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

Parañaque City police apprehended on Saturday 270 individuals for playing online “sabong” (cockfight) and for failure to observe social distancing.

Prior to the suspects’ arrest, the police received information about mass gatherings inside the Roligon Mega Cockpit Arena on Quirino Avenue in Paranaque City, according to city police chief Col. Maximo Sebastian.

Sebastian said cops in the nearby police sub-station were immediately dispatched and found the 270 gamblers playing online sabong.

He said the suspects were immediately rounded up and given citation tickets for violation of the health protocols under the new quarantine alert system.

The city police chief said those who will be caught for the first offense will be fined P1,000, P3,000 second for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense.

Sebastian also said the management of the arena failed to show a permit to operate online sabong.

He said the owner of the arena claimed they have a permit from PAGCOR and that their online sabong was just a dry run.

The above report ended stating that according to the police, any form of gambling is illegal under the new alert level.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe the claim that a PAGCOR permit was really issued and that the online sabong was just a dry run or trial activity? How familiar are you with online sabong (AKA e-sabong)? Are there lots of people in your local community who engage in any form of gambling during this pandemic? Do you think that the criminal elements are building up illegal gambling all over Parañaque City?

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: Online stockbroker predicts PSE index to reach 8,100 level by the end of 2021

With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) all set to take effect all over Metro Manila for two weeks starting August 6, a lot of people are disturbed about what lies ahead. For one thing, there is the highly infectious Delta variant spreading nationwide. There is also the potential economic damage and the effects ECQ will have on many workers.

And then there is the local stock exchange. While many investors are constantly looking on different directions and varied factors to decide what to do with their respective investments, the COL Financial Group recently revised its end-of-the-year estimate for the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) but their new prediction still points to a higher count than what the current index shows.

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

Online stockbroker COL Financial Group expects the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) to end the year at 8,100, slightly lower than previously projected, supported by optimism for faster economic recovery and earnings growth.

COL chief equity strategist April Lynn Tan said their forecast for PSEi has been reduced from 8,300 considering the lower earnings incurred by property companies as their mall operations are affected most by the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under the most restrictive ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20 to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

This, after the one implemented from May 17 to April 13, 2021 to stem the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) surge.

We cut our earnings forecast and fair value estimates for the property companies given that they are part of a lot of the big holding companies that also dragged our fair value estimates. (But) an 8,100 target is still significantly higher from where we are today. That is why, we keep on saying that the negatives are priced in,” Tan said in a virtual press briefing Monday.

She said companies are “coping well” with the pandemic, adding that almost all sectors, except the property sector, reported higher year-on-year earnings.

“The reason why companies were able to deliver higher profits in the first quarter of this year compared to last year even though we are still in the pandemic is because they have adapted to the pandemic scenario by cutting cost and of course they also benefited from the lower tax rate, thanks to the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives) law,” Tan said.

President Rodrigo Duterte last March 26 signed into law the CREATE Act reducing the corporate income tax rate by 5 to 10 percent for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other corporations.

Moreover, Tan said they remain bullish of the stock market on the back of efficient vaccination efforts and inflation reaching its peak.

Predicting the future is very unpredictable no matter what category gets discussed. Remember when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) predicted a brighter post-Olympics future for the city of Rio de Janeiro in relation to hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games? What happened after Rio Olympics were lots of unfulfilled promises, deteriorating facilities and a lot of embarrassment.

Going back to Philippine stocks, the COL Financial Group showed lots of details in their explanations of their 8,100 index end-of-2021 prediction. They were right to point to the CREATE Law which itself was a factor in the spike of foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country last April. The CREATE Law effectively reduced the corporate income tax rates for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). From this point on, it is interesting to see how the CREATE Law will impact the national economy and the local stock exchange in the months to come.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are an investor, what can you say about COL Financial Group’s end-of-the-year prediction for the Philippine Stock Exchange? Are you confident that the economic stakeholders, the businesses and investors will emerge stronger starting with the end of the next ECQ period until the end of the year? Is the CREATE Law positively impacting your business and/or investments?

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: ECQ for Metro Manila announced (August 6 to August 20, 2021)

A lot of people were very surprised yesterday with the sudden announcement that Metro Manila will be placed under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status effective August 1 until August 20, 2021 supposedly in connection to the rising spread of the highly infectious Delta variant (Parañaque and Las Piñas each have one) and COVID-19 cases in general. It is surprising because very recently it was announced that the National Capital Region (which Metro Manila is clearly part of) would be placed under the strict form of general community quarantine (GCQ) from August 1 to 15, 2021.

Take note that the Metro Manila mayors favored ECQ and even set terms that include the national government will provide financial assistance to their respective constituents plus millions of vaccines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article about the sudden ECQ announcement. Some parts in boldface…

Metro Manila will be placed under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20, Malacañang said on Friday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) recommendation to impose the strict quarantine classification in Metro Manila.

In an announcement aired over state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Metro Manila will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions” from July 30 to August 5 and will shift to ECQ from August 6 to 20.

“Hindi po naging madali ang desisyon na ito. Maraming oras ang ginugol para pagdebatehan ang bagay na ito (It is not an easy decision. We have spent so much time to debate on the proposal [to place Metro Manila under ECQ]),” Roque said.

Metro Manila is currently under GCQ with heightened restrictions. Its quarantine status was supposed to be extended until August 15.

However, Metro Manila mayors have urged the IATF-EID to implement a two-week ECQ in the country’s metropolis to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

More restrictions

Roque said “additional restrictions” would be imposed in Metro Manila from July 30 to August 5.

The heightened restrictions for NCR are more stringent compared to the GCQ with heightened restrictions of other areas,” he said in a press statement.

Roque said indoor dine-in services and al fresco dining are prohibited and only take-out and delivery are allowed in Metro Manila.

“For people working in these establishments, operations are allowed to continue and finish within the day,” he said.

Personal care services like beauty salons, beauty parlors, barber shops and nail spas may operate up to 30 percent of venue or seating capacity, Roque said.

He added that indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions and specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT) may not operate, while outdoor tourist attractions, as may be defined by the DOT, will be allowed at 30 percent venue capacity.

Roque said only Authorized Persons Outside their Residences will be allowed to travel “into and out” of NCR Plus, which is composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

Only virtual religious gatherings shall be allowed. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than Covid-19 shall be allowed, provided they are limited to immediate family members, he said.

Avoid panic buying

Following the government’s decision to implement ECQ in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20, Roque reminded the public not to resort to panic buying.

“Meron naman tayong isang linggo para mag-prepara dito sa two weeks na ECQ. Wala pong dahilan para mag panic buying dahil maski ECQ po, bukas naman po ang ating mga groceries (We still have one week to prepare for the two-week implementation of ECQ. There’s no reason for panic buying because despite the ECQ implementation, groceries are still open),” he said.

Apart from Metro Manila, Iloilo province and its city, Cagayan de Oro City, and the City of Gingoog in Misamis Oriental have also been placed under ECQ from July 21 to August 7.

On Tuesday, Roque announced that individuals residing in Iloilo province and its city, as well as the cities of Cagayan de Oro City and Gingoog, will receive cash assistance worth PHP1,000 per individual or PHP4,000 per family.

When quizzed if Metro Manila residents would also be given financial aid, Roque said: “Most likely but will seek confirmation.”

And here are related news videos to watch…

Economic damage and losses very likely

While it is understandable that ECQ is a response to the Delta variant and COVID-19 problems, it is very clear that this will result more financial losses on businesses and damage the nation’s economy which itself has been struggling to stand up and grow. Take note that the more businesses lose money, it could lead to job losses and result in lower tax collection on the part of the national government and LGUs. For insight, posted below is an excerpt from another PNA article published before the ECQ announcement. Some parts in boldface…

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

The economy cannot bear another massive lockdown. We lose around PHP30 billion for a two-week lockdown. Many lost their jobs, livelihood, most of them are micro (and) SMEs (small and medium enterprises),” Lopez said during the Laging Handa public briefing Thursday.

He said the recommendation of placing National Capital Region (NCR) Plus under GCQ with heightened restrictions is in accordance with the IATF’s consultations with reliable health experts.

“We really take a balance, a holistic approach,” he added.

Lopez underscored that the IATF enforces restrictions amid the threats of the more infectious Covid-19 Delta variant.

But the restrictions are focused on ‘super spreader’ activities like mass gatherings, while lockdowns will remain a granular lockdown approach, the DTI chief said.

He also called on businesses to create their own health and safety committee that will ensure minimum public health protocols are being monitored and maintained in their respective establishments.

COVID-19 vaccination operations will still continue

Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccination operations will still proceed during the ECQ period. Check out this excerpt from the GMA Network news report below…

Malacañang said the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program will proceed in Metro Manila even if the region will be under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20.

Yes, definitely [it will proceed]. Details will be provided in due course of the COVID-19 vaccination committee,” Roque said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you surprised about the sudden announcement of ECQ for Metro Manila? Do you believe that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) is correct that the national government should provide the financial aid and vaccines for their respective constituents?  Could it be possible that certain city governments or LGUs (local government units) of Metro Manila have ran out of funds and have no choice but to rely on the national government to provide for them?

If you are a business owner within Metro Manila, do you believe that August 6 is too early for the imposition of another ECQ? Do you think that the Metro Manila mayors spent enough time researching about the potential economic damage of the ECQ they pushed for?

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: Over 90% of ECQ aid distributed to beneficiaries in NCR Plus

For NCR Plus (National Capital Region plus Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces), the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) are both over. What is also over during this COVID-19 pandemic is the period of the distribution of the so-called Ayuda or financial assistance by the national government for NCR Plus-based low-income earners who got affected by the ECQ. Specifically, the distribution of the funds ended on May 15, 2021 (Saturday) and according to a news report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) – citing the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – over 90% of the funds were distributed.

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

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday said the distribution of aid has reached 91 percent or PHP21.06 billion given to low-income earners in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area as of May 15, the deadline set by the national government.

In a news release, the agency said 37 local government units (LGUs) reached 100 percent completion of aid distribution.

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that amid all the challenges, the LGUs delivered their end of the bargain on the distribution of ‘ayuda’ to millions of beneficiaries, with most registering a 90 percent completion rate as of May 15.

He said the 91 percent distribution rate is a testament to the LGUs’ commitment to extend the most help they can give to their constituents.

“Alam ninyo po isang malaking hamon po talaga itong pamamahagi ng ayuda sa panahon ng pandemya at nakakatuwa na we saw the commitment of the LGUs (As you know, the distribution of the assistance at this time of a pandemic was a big challenge. We are elated with the commitment we saw from the LGUs). And now billions of pesos of financial assistance have reached our kababayans. The 91 percent or PHP21.06 billion ‘ayuda’ distributed to qualified beneficiaries is a victory for the LGUs and the national government,” Año said.

He explained that the remaining 9 percent represents the unclaimed ‘ayuda’ and they have granted the LGUs with unclaimed funds the authority to prepare a new payroll and distribute these to other affected individuals in their respective communities within 10 days.

“Despite diligent efforts by the LGUs, some of the beneficiaries did not claim their ‘ayuda’ because they have moved to the provinces or are no longer residing in their LGUs. Many of them were also delisted because they were found to be duplicates in the Social Amelioration Program list. The LGUs have started to prepare a new payroll in order to distribute these unclaimed funds,” he said.

On May 15, Año said Bulacan tallied the highest completion rate of 96.85 percent corresponding to PHP2.87 billion worth of financial assistance with 12 LGUs namely Balagtas, Baliwag, Bocaue, Calumpit, Doña Remedios Trinidad, Guiguinto, Norzagaray, Pandi, Paombong, Plaridel, San Miguel and, San Rafael finishing their ‘ayuda’ distribution.

Laguna tallied 19 LGUs which have completed aid distribution, the most among the whole NCR Plus bubble while garnering a high completion rate of 96.50 percent corresponding to PHP2.62 billion worth of financial aid distributed.

Among the LGUs which have completed distribution of ‘ayuda’ in Laguna are the cities of Biñan, Cabuyao, San Pedro, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and the towns of Alaminos, Calauan, Famy, Kalayaan, Lumban, Mabitac, Magdalena, Nagcarlan, Paete, Pagsanjan, Pakil, Pila, Rizal and Siniloan.

Meanwhile, Rizal followed with 93.34 percent, NCR with 90.99 percent; and Cavite with 86.04 percent, with five LGUs including Tagaytay City, Amadeo, Mendez, Naic, and Noveleta completing the aid distribution.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the Philippine News Agency’s crime news report? Did your local government unit distribute the money with transparency and honesty? Do you believe your LGU achieved 100% completion of the ayuda distribution?

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: Almost 100,000 residents receive financial aid (ayuda) in Las Piñas City

If you are a qualified recipient of financial aid from the national government that is being distributed by the local government units (LGUs) in relation to the recent ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), were you able to receive the money?

In relation to this, there is an update about the financial aid being distributed by the City Government of Las Piñas to its constituents.

The Manila Bulletin reported the other day – with Mayor Imelda Aguilar as their source – that almost one hundred thousand city residents have received the financial aid ranging from P1,000 to P4,000. To be more specific, the official count was reported at 98,648 people of Las Piñas who received the money. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin’s report…

Aguilar said the city government recorded a total of 124,435 beneficiaries listed and approved by the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR). Most of them were affected by the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

The mayor said the city government received a total of P501 million from the national government intended for the beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The city government has already handed out about 65.62% of the P501-million allocation to the beneficiaries in 20 distribution points, according to Aguilar.

She said they still have a total of P172,224,000 that will be distributed to the remaining qualified beneficiaries.

As of this writing, the City Government is moving closer to achieving 100% distribution of the national government funds. The city sure has lots of distribution points set at twenty, which apparently reflects the number of barangays in their jurisdiction.

If anyone of you reading this is a certified resident of Las Piñas City and if you have received (or are still trying to receive) the so-called ayuda, you might want to share to me your experience or observations about the distribution by contacting me directly online.

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COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City releases zero-interest loan to local entrepreneurs for their recovery amid pandemic

In an effort to revive the stalled local economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Government of Muntinlupa provided a zero-interest loan assistance to micro-entrepreneurs and MSMEs dubbed as “Muntipreneurs”.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led a turn-over ceremony of loan assistance amounting to P938,000.00 to 51 Tulong Negosyo Batch 122 beneficiaries in Muntinlupa City Hall two days ago. Among the beneficiaries were two local entrepreneurs who received P100,000 each while one member received P75,000. Fresnedi vows to continue the local financing program and hopes to revive the local economy by supporting grassroot players through various programs.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi turns over the local government’s zero-interest loan assistance amounting to P938,000.00 to Tulong Negosyo Batch 122 beneficiaries in Muntinlupa City Hall last January 27. Among the beneficiaries were two local entrepreneurs who received P100,000 each while one member received P75,000. Fresnedi hopes to revive the local economy by supporting grassroot players through various programs. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The City Government assists local micro-entrepreneurs through its Tulong Negosyo Program (formerly Dagdag Puhunan). Muntinlupa is the first LGU to introduce the micro-financing program.

Tulong Negosyo caters to MSMEs and provides micro-finance assistance ranging from P2,000 up to P150,000 depending on the business capital ceiling and payment record of beneficiaries. The program aims to provide additional capital for business expansion for aspiring and established business owners in Muntinlupa.

Recently, the loan repayment period was extended by three months for clients with existing loans from March to June 2020 in a bid to help them recover from losses due to the pandemic.

Tulong Negosyo program has three categories namely: Simulang Kapital (SIKAP) Pangkabuhayan with loan application amounting to P2,000 – P5,000, Asenso Loan Program amounting to P6,000 – P75,000, and Maunlad Loan Program amounting to P75,000 – P150,000.

Further, a Savings Program has been incorporated in the loan assistance to teach clients about the importance of economizing and serve as protection to the clients and the program. Entrepreneurial education through trainings and other related interventions are also conducted.

Due to the limitations in face-to-face transactions, the Tulong Negosyo has implemented Online Application services and cashless repayment system through Smart Padala and G-Cash.

To apply, visit Joint Resources Financing Program – JRF Facebook Page or click the following links: New Applications – bit.ly/TulongNegosyoNew, and Renewal – bit.ly/TulongNegosyoRenewal. The Muntinlupa Joint Resources Financing Program is located at 2F Plaza Central, Brgy. Poblacion with contact numbers 8772-3457and (0921) 888 6124.

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

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COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City releases zero-interest loan to micro entrepreneurs

The official photo release. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi turned over the P1.3 million zero-interest loan assistance to Tulong Negosyo Batch 117 representatives, dubbed as “Muntipreneurs,” last October 6 in a bid to help local businesses recover from the economic disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

70 micro entrepreneurs were provided with the loan assistance this month. Tulong Negosyo caters to MSMEs and provides micro finance assistance which ranges from P2,000 up to P150,000 depending on the business capital ceiling and payment record of beneficiaries. Muntinlupa City is the first LGU to introduce the micro-financing program. Fresnedi vows to continue the program and assist Muntipreneurs especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake newsNO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiaristsNOT to distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, engagements, commerce and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673