Antitrust notification for Robinsons’ full takeover of Ministop not needed according to Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)

If you have been living here in the Philippines, have you visited any branch of the Ministop chain of convenience stores lately? Did you notice that the term acquisition was more prominent recently in business news as of late mainly due to the Microsoft-Activision-Blizzard deal?

The point here is that another acquisition happening in the Philippines – Robinsons is set for a full takeover of Ministop (which itself is already majority owned by the said corporation) and an antitrust notification is not needed according to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC). This was reported lately by GMA Network news.

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

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said Tuesday Robinsons Supermarket Corp. does not need to notify the antitrust watchdog of its full takeover of the Ministop franchise in the country as the company already has majority control over the convenience store franchise.

“Based on PCC’s merger rules, the Commission acknowledges that Robinsons’ current majority stake in Ministop already affords them control, and Robinsons is no longer required to notify the proposed acquisition to the antitrust commission,” the antitrust body said in a statement.

On Monday, Robinsons Supermarket —a wholly-owned subsidiary of Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI)— announced it will acquire the 40% share of Ministop Japan in Robinsons Convenience Stores Inc. (RCSI), effectively taking full ownership of the business.

RCSI is the exclusive franchisee of Ministop in the Philippines, with Robinsons Supermarket Corp. holding a 60% stake in the firm. It will continue to operate the stores with the Ministop brand, within a prescribed transition period agreed upon with the Japanese counterpart.

RRHI said the stores will continue to operate as Ministop until they are repurposed and appropriately rebranded, in consideration of its ready-to-eat offerings such as Uncle John’s Fried Chicken and Kariman.

The PCC said it received reports of Ministop Japan’s sale to Lotte, including its sale of its joint venture stake in the Philippines.

Nikkei Asia reported that the Japanese convenience store operator will sell its South Korean and Philippine businesses, after unloading a Chinese subsidiary in Qingdao.

The PCC, however, noted that it will look into Robinsons’ portfolio in the consumer retail sector which includes supermarkets, department stores, and community malls, among others.

Merger reviews are focused on the effects and changes of market behavior in the hands of new owners or stakeholders,” it said.

“This transaction may result in a change in ownership of a significant portion of equity but it is not likely to have an effect on the economic behavior of the target firm,” it added.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this business development? If you are a regular customer of Ministop, what do you think will happen once the full takeover by Robinsons happens? Do you think that the quality of the customer service and store facilities will improve? When it comes to convenience store competition here in the Philippines, how do you rate Ministop with the likes of 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Lawson? Are you personally attached to Ministop’s branch?

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/

31st SEA Games in Vietnam will still push through as planned

Even as the whole world continues to struggle with the varied effects of COVID-19, the 31st Southeast Asian Games (AKA 31st SEA Games or Hanoi 2021) to be hosted by Vietnam will still push through as planned this coming May according to a news report by GMA Network.

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

Following the first meeting of member countries’ chefs de mission (CDM), organizers have set the timeline for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Hanoi, Vietnam.

It’s certainly a go for the SEA Games in Hanoi in May,” Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president and Rep. Abraham Tolentino said, following the CDM’s virtual meeting on Tuesday.

The SEA Games is set for May 12 to 25, with the organizers setting March 12 as the deadline for the entries of those who will compete in the Games.

The POC plans to send 627 athletes for 39 out of 40 games, with the country not competing in Xiangqi or Chinese chess. However, the Philippines will field athletes for bodybuilding which is making its return to the biennial meet.

Aside from the March 12 deadline of entries, the organizers also set April 25 as the opening of the SEAG accreditation center, and May 12 as the opening ceremonies.

The above report ended stating that the next big meeting of the officials will happen on March 18.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that by May 2022, the COVID-19 infections will slow down? How excited are you for the 31st SEA Games right now? What is the one sport of the 31st SEA Games you are looking forward to?

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/

COVID-19 Crisis: No Vax, No Ride policy is unconstitutional and discriminating?

Life has gotten much more challenging for the many people here in the Philippines who still have not yet gotten vaccinated for COVID-19. The unvaccinated people are being regulated by varied government units (for reference, click here, here and here). Just yesterday, the No Vax, No Ride policy under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) was implemented officially and already two drivers have been apprehended within Muntinlupa City for allegedly violating it.

At the same time, someone has spoken out against the No Vax, No Ride policy with regards to legality and constitutionality, according to a GMA Network news report. To put things in perspective posted below is an excerpt from the GMA news report. Some parts in boldface…

The recent policy requiring commuters to present their vaccination cards before boarding public vehicles is unconstitutional and discriminatory, Public Attorneys Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta said Monday.

“I think the policy of the LGUs is highly unconstitutional and against the law,” Acosta told ANC.

Acosta cited Republic Act 11525 which states that vaccine cards “shall not be considered an additional mandatory requirement for educational, employment, and other similar government transaction purposes.”

“And yet they are circumventing. Lalabag nila ‘yung batas indirectly para mapiitan kang magpabakuna. You need magpabakuna para pasakayin ka. Ano ‘yun pinupwersa,” Acosta said.

(And yet they are circumventing. You will indirectly violate the law so you will be forced to get vaccinated. You need to get vaccinated so you will be able to board. You are being forced.)

Under the new policy, only full vaccinated individuals in the National Capital Region may board public transportation vehicles while the region is under Alert Level 3 or higher. Alert Level 3 is currently in effect in NCR until January 31.

Exemptions to the policy include persons with medical conditions that prevent their full COVID-19 vaccination as proven by a duly-signed medical certificate with the name and contact details of their doctor.

Another exemption is those who will buy essential goods and services, such as but not limited to food, water, medicine, medical devices, public utilities, energy, work, and medical and dental necessities, as shown by a duly issued barangay health pass or other proof to justify the travel.

Despite these, Acosta maintained that the policy is unconstitutional.

“That’s unconstitutional because the Bill of Rights, Section 1 states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law,” she said.

“You know you are discriminating against the unvaccinated and then you are just favoring the vaccinated. You let them ride and then the unvaccinated anong gagawin, maglalakad?” she added.

She also cited the patient’s rights in the Department of Health portal. “May karapatan ang pasyente na tumanggi sa bakuna at tumanggi sa ano mang medicine dahil ang katawang ito pagaari mo mismo, hindi pagaari ng gobyerno ang katawan mo,” she said.

(Patients have the right to refuse vaccinees and medicine because they own their bodies, the government does not own their bodies.)

According to the PAO chief, the public has the right to refuse to become an “experimental pig.”

“Dahil inamin ng gobyerno sa batas na ito, nasusulat, state recognizes the experimental nature of COVID vaccine and will compensate serious adverse effects,” she said.

(The government said it recognizes the experimental nature of the vaccine and will compensate serious adverse effects.)

She said authorities should instead explain to the public the benefits of getting vaccinated as well as inform them of the risks.

“Pag magkasakit kayo, sagot kayo ng mayor, wala kayong problema… Ang problema ng tao pangbili ng pagkain, paano pa ‘yung pang pa-ospital. Explain nila ‘yung beauty of the vaccine,” she said.

(If individuals get sick, the local government should pay… the public already has troubling paying for food, what more for hospitalization. They should explain the beauty of the vaccine.)

“Ngayon, kung hindi kumbinsido ang tao pa rin, abay hayaan niyo siya mag desisyon, siya ang mananagot noon,” she added.

(Now, if they are not convinced, they should be allowed to decide.)

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your opinion right now about the No Vax, No Ride policy? If you are still unvaccinated, were you affected negatively by the policy? If you are negatively affected, are you looking for someone to stand up and move forward to challenge the legality of the No Vax, No Ride policy? Did you spot any city government personnel who abused their authorities on the unvaccinated?

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: Marikina City Mayor Teodoro says use of face shields remains optional within the city

With the current surge of new COVID-19 infections affecting the Philippines as a whole, a lot of people have gotten worried about their health as well as the return of certain restrictions such as the mandatory use of face shields which themselves are known to be inconvenient to use and make verbal communication a chore.

In the City of Marikina, mayor Marcy Teodoro publicly clarified recently that the use of face shields within the city remains optional, not required, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. To be clear, Marikina’s City Government previously announced that face shield use was mandatory and the mayor had to make things clear.

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

The Marikina City local government on Sunday, Jan. 9, clarified that the use of face shield in the city is still optional.

This after the city government announced the mandatory use of face shields in vaccination centers last Jan. 5.

“Nililinaw ng pamahalaang lungsod ng Marikina na hindi mandatory ang pagsusuot ng face shield sa siyudad (The Marikina City local government is clarifying that wearing of face shields is not mandatory in the city),” Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said in a statement.

He added that there is no affiliated penalty for residents who are not wearing face shields within the city.

Teodoro said wearing of face shields is just a part of the safety and additional precautions against the virus, especially in congested areas.

“Dahil ito nga ay optional, walang kaakibat na penalty o multa ang hindi pagsusuot ng face shield. Kundi ito ay bahagi lamang ng ibayong pag-iingat o added precaution sa crowded o congested areas (Because it is optional, there is no penalty or fine for not wearing a face shield. It is only part of the added precaution in crowded or congested areas),” the mayor said.

The city government, meanwhile, encouraged its residents to use face shields in crowded places for additional protection against COVID-19.

With COVID-19 infection very high nationwide, there were rumors floating around that a total lockdown would happen. The fact that the COVID-19 positivity within Metro Manila is high added to the anxieties and worries.

While the clarification on face shields made by Marikina’s mayor provided relief to their constituents, it is important for Metro Manila residents to watch closely the moves of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the mayors comprising the Metro Manila Council (MMC) with regards to implementing more restrictions in reaction to the COVID-19 surge.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you worried that the high COVID-19 infections of the nation will result another lockdown and the return of multiple restrictions? Are you willing to accept the mandatory use of 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 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: Omicron variant detected in the Philippines according to DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) announced yesterday the that much feared Omicron variant was detected here in the Philippines and it was found in two travelers who arrived not from South Africa (where Omicron was first detected) but from Nigeria and Japan, according to a GMA Network news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the statement published by GMA Network. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines has detected the Omicron coronavirus variant from two international travelers, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Wednesday.

According to the DOH, one is a returning overseas Filipino who arrived from Japan on December 1 via Philippine Airlines flight number PR 0427.

The other case is a Nigerian national who arrived from Nigeria on November 30 via Oman Air with flight number WY 843.

In a message to reporters, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said one is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while the other is not.

The DOH said the two cases were detected during the latest run that sequenced 48 samples composed of 21 returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), one foreign national, and 26 local cases from areas with case clusters.

The sample of the ROF was collected on December 5. He then tested positive COVID-19 on December 7 and was admitted to a facility on the same day.

“He is currently asymptomatic but had symptoms of colds and cough upon arrival,” the DOH said.

Meanwhile, the sample from the Nigerian national was collected on December 6 while his positive result was released on December 7. The asymptomatic case was quarantined on the same day.

“The DOH is determining possible close contacts among co-passengers during the flights of these two cases,” the DOH said in a statement.

The DOH said it is also verifying the test results and health status of all passengers of the flights to determine if there are other confirmed cases or if there are any who developed symptoms after arrival.

Travelers from the flights were advised to reach out to the DOH through DOH COVID-19 Hotlines at (02) 8942 6843 or 1555, or their respective local government units to report their status.

“With the detection of the imported cases of Omicron variant, the Department also urges everyone to adhere to the minimum public standards,” it said.

“Moreover, this holiday season, the public should avoid holding mass gatherings to curb the transmission of COVID-19. The DOH also urges those unvaccinated to get vaccinated,” the DOH added.

Omicron is very much feared overseas not just because it is more infectious, but also because of the secular liberal news media whose reports added to the fear and chaos to the global audience. It spread panic and caused governments abroad to close down their borders in reaction. Very recently, the OCTA Research group expressed its concern about the possible surge of new COVID-19 cases in the event Omicron hits the Philippines. The reality is that the feared new variant is here.

Now that the Omicron variant is here in the Philippines, I encourage you readers – especially those who are based here in the Philippines – to pay close attention as to how the government officials will react to the detection of Omicron in the country. Watch closely the moves of the Metro Manila mayors, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in reaction to Omicron.

More importantly, I encourage all of you reading this not to panic but come to the Lord and pray to Him for great protection with chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible. Don’t hesitate, do it now for your protection, your family’s protection and the protection of the nation. Pray to the Lord in your room with the door shut, pray in tongues to Him, keep practicing Christian habits (click here and here), and keep on seeking Him first and foremost. Always have unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me 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: Metro Manila number coding returns specifically covering evening rush hours

For those who drive daily in or through Metro Manila, better brace yourselves for changes regarding evening rush hours as it was announced that the number coding will return very soon according to a GMA News report.

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

Majority of National Capital Region (NCR) mayors have agreed to reinstate the number coding scheme during afternoon rush hour, according to Allan Gatus’ report on Super Radyo dzBB on Monday.

Citing Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, the report said the number coding scheme will be implemented Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will cover only private vehicles.

Public utility vehicles (PUVs) are exempted from the scheme as they are still operating under limited passenger capacity under Alert Level 2.

The above report ended stating that the actual implementation of the return of the number coding scheme will happen officially two days after the resolution gets published on the Official Gazette.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do you drive regularly around Metro Manila during the evening rush hours? Do you think that the return of number coding in Metro Manila is good?

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Over 33 million fully vaccinated people around the Philippines

According to a report by GMA Network, the total number of fully vaccinated people here in the Philippines surpassed 33 million. On face value, the number looks big but in reality, it is only a fraction of the target number of people who are eligible to be vaccinated. Also it should be remembered that the Philippines has an overall population of more than 100 million.

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

About 33.3 million individuals or 39% of the eligible population in the country are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In a radio interview, Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the 39% is based on the population who are allowed to get vaccinated, which is around 84 million.

This figure is still far from the government’s target of vaccinating 80% of its 109 million population by May 9, 2022.

The DOH is, however, ramping up the inoculation drive by conducting a three-day national vaccination campaign dubbed as “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” which seeks to administer five million doses daily or a total of 1 million jabs.

Vergeire emphasized that this shall prioritize the unvaccinated individuals, but the DOH has yet to decide if the boosters will be included in this inoculation drive from November 29 to December 1.

“Kaya natin ito ginagawa para maitaas pa ho natin ang fully vaccinated sa ating bansa bago man lang mag-Pasko, bago mag-holiday season. So, that’s our real target–those who are not yet vaccinated,” she said.

(We are doing this to increase the number of fully vaccinated individuals in our country before the Christmas season. Our real target is those who are not yet vaccinated.)

“Ito po ang pinaguusapan sa ngayon ano, if we are going to also have booster shots during this National Vaccination Day. Magbibigay po tayo ng anunsyo kung itutuloy po natin itong booster vaccination during these three days po.”

(We are still discussing if we would include the booster shots during the National Vaccination Day, and if so, we will announce it soon.)

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? If you are a fully vaccinated person, are you anticipating already the eventual booster shot/3rd shot?

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/

COVID-19 Crisis: Fully vaccinated frontline health workers getting boosted (booster shots)

And there they go with a new round of vaccinating lots of people! Yesterday marked the start of the national authorities to inoculate several fully vaccinated healthcare workers with the booster shots (AKA 3rd shots) for COVID-19, as reported by GMA News. In relation to this development, the Philippines has over one hundred twenty-four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, all booster brands recommended by the government were declared safe by the national authorities and there was confidence that surpassing 1.5 million doses per day in terms of inoculation can be achieved.

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

The Philippines on Wednesday began the inoculation of fully-vaccinated healthcare workers with booster shots against COVID-19.

According to Allan Gatus’ report on Super Radyo dzBB, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III led the ceremonial vaccination of medical frontliners at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Undersecretary Antipordo Vega also attended the ceremonial vaccination.

Health care workers in San Juan City have also begun receiving their booster doses, according to dzBB reporter Mark Makalalad.

The National Vaccination Operations Center earlier released the guidelines for the vaccination of medical frontliners with booster dose.

Also, the NVOC said Filipinos who were vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, Gamaleya, and AstraZeneca for their primary dose series must wait at least six months before getting a booster shot.

Meanwhile, those who were vaccinated with the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for their primary dose series must wait until three months.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has said the country may start inoculating fully-vaccinated senior citizens and persons with comorbidities with additional doses by next week.

Posted below is a related news video by GMA…

For the newcomers reading this, the 3rd shot or booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine is need to ensure prolonged immunity to the coronavirus. That being said, if you are fully vaccinated health worker, you should remember how long has it been since you got your 2nd dose. As for the rest of the general population, you have to wait first for the authorities to formally declare booster shots for everyone else as it is not legal yet for any person to just avail of a 3rd shot. Right now, the health workers go first.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do you personally know someone who works as a health worker dealing with COVID-19 matters?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beware of the “laglag-plaka” gang as they victimized motorists in Parañaque and Muntinlupa

Wherever you park your vehicles, be defensive and avoid people knocking on your window as two motorists in different cities here in South Metro Manila were victimized by a gang of thieves who executed what is referred to as the “laglag-plaka” (dropped plate) modus, according to a recent news report by GMA Network.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Tagalog GMA Network news report which was translated into English using Google Translate. Some parts in boldface…

Two drivers fell victim to the plaque-dropped modus operandi of thieves in Muntinlupa and Parañaque, Jonathan Andal reported in Unang Balita on Friday.

CCTV footage shows a man standing in the back of an SUV parked in front of a fast food chain in Parañaque. Three women with umbrellas followed him.

Although (it) could not (be seen on) the CCTV, the man knocked on the driver of the SUV and said that his license plate had fallen on the back.

While the driver was not yet leaving, a man was waiting in the back of a vehicle (parked beside) and when he saw the driver coming out, he quickly opened the passenger door.

The driver’s bag was stolen and handed over to a female colleague. The group quickly speared while the driver was left in the back of the vehicle and checked to see if his license plate had really fallen.

The group seized an expensive bag, wallet and 20,000 pesos, according to the report.

According to Parañaque Police, this modus operandi is called “laglag plaka”. The group allegedly was timing the vehicles and told the driver that something had fallen in the back of the vehicle.

 Seven individuals were found conspiring in the modus and they use umbrellas to hide from people what they are doing.

After the incident in Parañaque, CCTV also captured the group in the parking lot of a building in Muntinlupa where they stole the victim’s gym bag and expensive earphones.

According to the victims, when they got out of the vehicle there were coins. They think they put them in to confuse and hold them back while removing the drivers ’valuables.

For added insight, watch this related news video below…

So there you have it! The “laglag-plaka” thieves work together as a group using strategic moves like distraction, careful timing, and taking advantage of unlocked vehicle doors to open and steal the valuables while the distracted driver checks the rear of the vehicle to see if the plate was indeed loose or had fallen off. It should be noted that the other gang members use umbrellas standing next to each other near the victim’s vehicle to conceal their act.

From a visual standpoint, I would find it suspicious to see at least three individuals each using an umbrella at the parking lot while it is not even raining. As for the parking area itself, if a person approaches your vehicle and he or she is not even a legitimate worker of the local administration assigned to the parking, better be defensive and watch not only your back but also the sides of your vehicle.  

For your own safety, be mindful of people who approach you and knock on your vehicle’s window shortly after parking. Better not let these thieves distract you no matter what they do and always LOCK YOUR VEHICLE’S DOORS as soon you get off.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you a victim of the “laglag-plaka” gang?

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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