COVID-19 Crisis: NCR cases growth rate spikes

As the Philippines recently registered its highest single-day number of new cases of COVID-19 in months, OCTA Research announced that it found the one-week growth rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) spiked to 71%, according to a GMA Network news report.

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

The National Capital Region’s COVID-19 cases one-week growth rate climbed to 71%, independent group OCTA Research said Saturday.

The group said NCR’s “7-day average increased from 103 to 176 (as of June 11 to 17), a 71% increase.

This translates to an ADAR (average daily attack rate) of 1.24,” it added. ADAR pertains to the incidence showing the average number of new cases in a period per 100,000 people.

The NCR reported 282 new cases on June 17, 2022, based on DOH data. With the exception of April 3 (when there was a high number due to possible backlog), this is the highest number of new cases since February 26, 2022,” OCTA said.

The coronavirus reproduction number meanwhile also went up to 1.80 in NCR as of June 14, an increase over the 1.40 as of June 7. The reproduction rate refers to the number of people infected by one case. A reproduction number that is below 1 indicates that the transmission of the virus is slowing down.

Also climbing up is the positivity rate in the region, now at 3.7%. This refers to the percentage of people who were found positive for COVID-19 among the total number of individuals tested.

OCTA however noted that despite the rise in these metrics in NCR, the hospital bed utilization and ICU utilization rates are still low at 22% and 17%, respectively.

“So far, the numbers we are seeing have been in line with our projections: a weak surge and no escalation of alert levels or restrictions because we expect our healthcare system will be able to manage the relatively low number of hospitalizations,” the group said.

OCTA then reminded the public to be responsible, follow health protocols and get COVID-19 booster shots to prevent infection.

As seen above, the COVID-19 situation in Metro Manila is getting worse in terms of infections but not with hospital bed utilization and ICU utilization which have registered low rates respectively. There’s no need yet to move the alert level system up. Such upward adjustments will depend on the metrics of the IATF. As we have seen before, more restrictions mean serious economic damage.

Key solutions to preventing a surge of new COVID-19 infections include getting vaccinated/boosted, wearing face masks and following health protocols properly. Along the way, I urge you to never let the anti-vaccine fanatics around you to fool you with their propaganda and misinformation tactics. Those anti-vaccine fanatics are loud and they don’t really offer any solutions on dealing with COVID-19.

Ignore those anti-vaccine fanatics and get vaccinated or boosted whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Call your local vaccination site or the local authorities now to find if you are eligible for a vaccine shot or a booster shot. When traveling around, wear your mask and follow local health protocols to avoid infection. The national authorities, meanwhile, should move quickly to allow comorbid patients access to 2nd booster shots and make adjustments to improve access to vaccines and vaccination hubs.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Does the recent spike of COVID-19 infections in the NCR scare you? Could it be possible that some of those who recently got infected were victims of the misinformation tactics of the anti-vaccine fanatics in our country? If have been boosted already for COVID-19, have you made moves to find out if you are eligible for the 2nd booster 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/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/

COVID-19 Crisis: National Task Force (NTF) aims to fully vaccinate over 70 million people by June 30, 2022

Have you been harassed by anti-vaccine fanatics lately? You better not pay attention to them because the Philippines still needs all the public’s understanding and cooperation to overcome COVID-19’s varied effects (in terms of health, economics and society) and push forward with the national recovery efforts. As part of those efforts, the National Task Force (NTF) announced that it is aiming to have more than 70,000,000 people nationwide fully vaccinated (two shots of most COVID-19 vaccines) by June 30, 2022, according to a GMA Network news report. Take note that this is not to be confused with either the 1st booster shot nor the 2nd booster shot.

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

The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 is eyeing to get at least 70 million Filipinos fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the Duterte administration ends on June 30.

During outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People aired on Monday night, NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said their target was based on the data gathered by the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC).

NVOC’s figures showed that the country’s average four-week jab rate for the first dose was at 321,083, while 242,606 second doses were administered on average over the same period.

“‘Yung atin pong best case scenario na bago po tayo matapos ang ating administrasyon, ang nakikita po namin ang pinaka-honest-to-goodness na aming assessment sa individuals with at least one dose, 75 million po tayo; and then ‘yung fully vaccinated po ay 70,087,920,” Galvez said.

(Our best case scenario based on our honest-to-goodness assessment is that 75 million people will get their first dose, while 70,087,920 will be fully vaccinated.)

As of June 6, a total 74,221,490 Filipinos have received their first dose, while 69,519,052 individuals were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The government earlier set a target of fully vaccinating 90 million by the end of Duterte’s term. However, NVOC chairperson Dr. Myrna Cabotaje said they would already be “happy” if they reach 77 million by then.

Galvez explained that the government originally aimed at vaccinating 70 million Filipinos based on the National Vaccination Plan. However, this figure was increased to 90 million due to the transmissions of new COVID-19 variants such as the Omicron sub variants BA.5, BA.2.12.1, and BA.4 which were recently detected in the country.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? If you have received your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, what was the brand and how long has it been since you got injected? Have you verified with your local community’s vaccination hubs or the local authorities if you are eligible for the 2nd vaccine shot? If there are already fully vaccinated people in your local community, did you notice if they already received their respective booster shots?

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 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

SCTEX toll rates increase

If you are planning to visit Subic Bay, Tarlac Province or Clark via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), you will have to set aside more money for traveling as the toll rates will be raised tomorrow already, according to details in a recent GMA Network news report. This is the result of the Toll Regulatory Board’s (TRB) approval of the toll rate adjustment for SCTEX.

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

Motorists plying the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) may need to brace themselves against higher fees after the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) approved the toll rate adjustment, operator North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation said Saturday.

In a statement, NLEX Corp. said the TRB authorized the implementation of an additional P0.78 per kilometer for motorists using the SCTEX.

The adjusted toll rates will take effect starting June 1, 2022.

Under the new toll matrix, motorists with Class 1 vehicles traveling between Mabalacat City to Tarlac will be charged an additional P31.00.

Those with Class 2 vehicles traveling on the same route will pay an additional P61.00 while motorists with Class 3 vehicles will pay an additional P92.00.

Meanwhile, an additional P49.00, P98.00, and P147.00 will be charged on motorists using Class 1, 2, and 3 vehicles, respectively, traveling between Mabalacat City and Tipo, Hermosa, Bataan which is near the Subic Freeport.

NLEX Corp. said the toll hike followed regulatory procedures and underwent thorough review. The increase also confirmed the periodic rate adjustments due in 2017.

To support the public utility buses (PUBs) cope with the adjustment, they will be provided toll subsidies and allow them to continue to enjoy the old rates for the next three months,” the company said.

The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority is the builder and owner of the four-lane 93.7 kilometer SCTEX. The construction was partly funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

SCTEX opened to the public in 2008 and the management, operations and maintenance was privatized and awarded to NLEX Corp. in 2015.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about the approved toll rate adjustment for SCTEX? Does this discourage you from using the SCTEX to visit Subic Bay or Clark or other places connected to the said expressway?

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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For Subic Bay related articles, read my Gourmet Garage Subic feature, my Xtremely Xpresso feature and articles about the 2022 Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) here, here and here.

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/

Suspects behind Las Piñas City abduction attempt arrested

Last week in the city of Las Piñas, an attempted abduction of a lady happened which was captured on CCTV. Fortunately for the lady who was actually grabbed by a male to enter the vehicle driven by a partner, the abduction attempt failed as her screams for help caught of the attention of some people, including motorcyclists. The lady was let free and the suspects’ car went away. Subsequently, the two individuals involved in the abduction attempt were arrested by the local police by means of a follow-up operation, according to a GMA Network news report.

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

A woman successfully fended off a man who tried to drag her into a vehicle in Las Piñas City on Wednesday evening.

CCTV footage shows the man standing by the open door of a vehicle, then grabbing the woman as she is walking past and trying to shove her into the car.

According to Jun Veneracion’s report on “24 Oras” on Thursday, the woman was able to pull herself away, while her screams alerted nearby diners and motorcycle riders.

“Yung rider sumigaw ng ‘hoy!’ At saka ‘yung sigaw ng babae ang lakas din at tatlong beses yata nagsisigaw. Eh sakto, kumakain kami dito. Tinakbo namin,” said Michael Reyes, who was nearby.

(One of the riders shouted, ‘Hoy!’ And then the woman was also shouting loudly, around three times. Fortunately, we were just eating here, so we ran to her.)

“Namumutla siya sa… parang na-trauma dun sa nangyari,” Arwin Cadayday, another witness, said.

(She had turned pale… as if she was traumatized by what had happened.)

The Las Piñas City Police arrested two suspects after tracing the vehicle through its license plate. Inside, they found a gun, ammunition, and a grenade.

One of the suspects, Leonard Alfaro, claimed their only motive was to rob the woman of her cellphone and some money.

The other suspect, George Caragdag Jr., claimed not to have known what Alfaro was going to do.

“Hindi ko naman alam na ganoon ang gagawin niya—mang-hold-up, maghahanap ng bata,” he said.

(He said he was just looking for money, so I let him in the car. I didn’t know he would do that—do a hold-up, look for a child.)

However, Las Piñas City Police chief Police Colonel Jaime does not believe the alibi of the suspects.

“Bakit mo i-abduct kung kukunin mo ang pera?” Jaime stated.

(Why would you try to abduct the woman if you were only going to take her money?)

The above report ended stating that based on police records, the two suspects were previously arrested and detained for a different case. The said suspects will be charged for attempted abduction.

Posted below is the Tagalog-language news video of GMA Network.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Las Piñas City resident, how do you feel about this recent development? Do you believe the alibi of one of the arrested suspects that his only motive on abducting the lady was to get her money and mobile phone? Do you believe the other suspect who claimed that he was not aware what his partner was going to do?

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/

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

Foreign nationals arrested in Parañaque City for illegal possession of a gun with live ammunition

Recently in the City of Parañaque, two foreign nationals – one Chinese and one Malaysian – were apprehended by the local police at the Okada Resorts & Casino as a gun inside a bag was found by x-ray, according to a report by GMA Network. An escape attempt by the suspects also happened.

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

Two foreign nationals were arrested after a pistol was found in their bag while passing through an x-ray machine at a hotel entrance in Parañaque City on May 10, according to the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

Suspects Andrew Too Teck Wee, 34, a Malaysian and resident of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, and Zheng Yi, 29, a Chinese from Makati City, were nabbed by Parañaque Police around 10:53 p.m. at the VIP lobby entrance of Okada Resorts and Casino.

Based on a police report, the security x-ray operators saw a gun inside one of the bags allegedly owned by Yi through the monitor.

The security personnel then called for police assistance from the Tambo Sub-Station 2.

Wee and Yi also tried to escape but they were cornered by security personnel and were brought to the hotel’s office for investigation.

During the interrogation, the suspects failed to show the necessary documents authorizing them to carry a .40 pistol loaded with live ammunition.

Seized from the suspects were one Taurus caliber .40 pistol model PT 24/7 Pro with serial number SCP38509 and five pieces caliber .40 live ammunition.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest news development? Do you believe Parañaque will remain a hot spot of crime involving foreigners?

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/

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: Rollout of 2nd booster shots for immunocompromised patients of Metro Manila is ongoing

For the residents of Metro Manila who need another booster shot for COVID-19, the national government and strategic partners have officially launched the rollout of the 2nd booster shots specifically for the immunocompromised patients, GMA News reported. Take note that last week, multiple brands of COVID-19 vaccines were approved as 2nd booster shots.

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

The administration of second COVID-19 booster shot for the immunocompromised population is set to begin in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Monday, April 25, 2022.

In a message to reporters, the Department of Health (DOH) said the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), Tala Hospital, Valenzuela Medical Center, and the city government of Makati are scheduled to begin the rollout of the second booster shot within the day.

More vaccination sites will start administering second boosters as the days progress, the DOH added.

The National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said on Saturday that it is expecting around 7,000 to 13,000 immunocompromised individuals to take their second booster doses during the first day of its rollout.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted the emergency use authorization for the second booster shot for senior citizens, the immunocompromised, and frontline health workers.

The article ended stating that the DOH said that the 2nd booster shot will be given at least 4 months (120 days) after the administration of the first booster shot.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? If you have been boosted for COVID-19 already, how long has it been since you got boosted? Were you able to keep your vaccination records that include the first booster shot? Has your local government informed you about the 2nd booster shot? Do you wish that the national and local authorities will soon start administering 2nd booster shots for other patients like the senior citizens, the frontline workers and the rest of the population? Are you worried that officials of your local government unit (LGU) are so occupied with election campaigning, they won’t be able to direct the local vaccination teams to properly release 2nd booster shots?

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 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: Infectious disease expert says 2nd booster shot only recommended for senior citizens and immunocompromised patients for now

If you are a resident of Metro Manila, have you been enjoying the additional freedom of movement and spending more time inside commercial establishments under the Alert Level 1 status that has been in effect since March 1, 2022? Whatever you do, do not forget to follow health protocols. Equally important, you must remember your current status of vaccination and if you are due for a 2nd booster shot (or the 4th shot if you have already received three doses of COVID-19 vaccines).

Even as the Philippines has a little over 10 million people who got their booster shots (3rd shot), the 2nd booster shot (meant for those who received three doses previously) is already being talked about according to recent GMA Network news report.

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

Infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante on Monday said the second booster shot is only recommended for senior citizens and immunocompromised for now, and not yet for the younger or general population.

“For the more vulnerable population, the 60 years old and above, and immunocompromised, ito ‘yung ina-ano natin ngayon na sana mabigyan ng pangalawang booster para talaga ang protection dito is against the severe form of COVID,” Solante said in a radio interview.

[We are pushing for a second booster shot for the more vulnerable population like the 60 years old and above and the immunocompromised, so they could get protected against the severe form of COVID-19.]

Solante then explained that the health experts’ advice remains for those who have completed their primary vaccine series to get one booster shot after three to six months.

“For the younger population, ‘yung tinatawag nating immunocompetent, I don’t think we need additional booster. With the ability of this vaccine to protect us against severe infection, alam naman talaga natin na pwede rin tayong mahawahan pero ang importante nito, hindi tayo mag-severe [we know that we can still be infected but the important thing is that it’s not severe],” he said.

“So I think, the first booster for the younger population may be enough. Wala pa tayong [we don’t have yet] recommendation for a second booster,” he added.

Health Undersecretary and National Vaccination Operations Center chairperson Dr. Myrna Cabotaje said on Saturday that vaccinations at local government units nationwide slowed down the past week, with some people losing the sense of urgency when it comes to booster shots.

This is why the priority for the fourth wave of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” national vaccination drive will be senior citizens who have not yet completed their primary dose series and those set for booster shots.

“Napaka-importante especially with the vulnerable population na sana pupunta kayo sa vaccination centers. ‘Yung hindi pa nagpa-booster, magpa-booster na kayo. ‘Yung hindi pa nagpabakuna, ito na ‘yung panahon na talagang kailangan na tayong magpabakuna,” Solante added.

[It is very important especially for the vulnerable population to go to vaccination centers. Those who have not received their booster shots yet, get it now. Those who have not been vaccinated, this is the time when we really need to be vaccinated.]

Currently, the Philippine government is administering third doses to senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals, while booster shots are given to those who completed the primary doses–single for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, double for the other bands.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? If you have been boosted already, how long has it been since that happened? Do you remember the specific brands of vaccines of your first two doses and the booster dose?

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/

3 Chinese nationals killed, 2 others rescued in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City

It seems that Parañaque City is still a hot spot for criminal activities that involve Chinese nationals as something happened in Barangay BF Homes that saw the deaths of three Chinese nationals as crime suspects and two others as kidnap victims who got rescued, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

Three Chinese nationals, who allegedly kidnapped two fellow citizens, were killed during a police rescue operation in Parañaque City on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 27.

Brig. Gen. Jimili Macaraeg, Southern Police District (SPD) director, said the suspects were killed in a shootout with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group, Pasay and Paranaque police at about 5:50 p.m. on Vicente Recto St. at Barangay BF Homes, Paranaque City.

Macaraeg said that prior to the encounter, a suspect identified as Lorriel Lozano, 22, admitted his involvement in the kidnapping-for-ransom of one Ling Qang Chang, 43, in Pasay City.

The SPD chief said the joint team launched a rescue operation after learning that two foreigners identified as Zhou Xiang Kin, 42, and Li Ci You, 33, were also kidnapped and being detained inside a dog cage on the second floor of the suspects’ house.

Macaraeg said the operatives were fired upon by the suspects upon arrival in the area. The cops retaliated, wounding the three Chinese kidnappers.

The police rushed the suspects to the Medical Center Paranaque, but they were declared dead on arrival.

The SPD chief said they could not yet release the names of the slain suspects because the PNP is still conducting investigation on the kidnapping incidents involving Chinese nationals.

Macaraeg said the operatives recovered at the crime scene a 12-gauge shotgun, a .45-caliber pistol, one .9mm Uzi, a .9mm pistol, one black Toyota Innova, a white Kymco motorcycle, assorted military and police uniforms, ammunitions, cartridge cases, bullet vests, and gun parts.

For added insight, watch the related ABS-CBN and GMA Network news videos below…

The above news story that took place within Barangay BF Homes is pretty disturbing not just because it took place within a residential area, but also because the suspects accumulated deadly weapons and lots of military and police uniforms. It seems the suspects are working for some powerful people who have yet to be identified. Having that much guns, ammunition and clothing resembling local authorities is very disturbing to say the least. We can only hope that the police will be able to find out who the superiors and financiers of the suspects are.

The kidnapping of Chinese nationals committed by their fellow citizens here in the Philippines is not unusual. More on Parañaque itself, there was a gang composed of almost all Chinese nationals that got arrested for attempting to kidnap another Chinese citizen. With regards to foreigners causing disturbance within Parañaque with other forms of criminal activities, there was even an illegal online gaming operation involving several Chinese and Filipino citizens in Barangay Tambo. As for the cyber sex den in Parañaque that got stopped by the NBI, that illegal operation also involved a Chinese citizen.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are living in Parañaque City, do you believe that Chinese nationals are causing trouble in your local community? Are you concerned that a house in your local community occupied by Chinese nationals could be used for illegal activities like kidnapping, hacking, cybersex, prostitution, torture, smuggling, and imprisonment of other people?

If ever you spot an act of kidnapping happening, are you willing to report the incident to the local police?

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

San Miguel Corporation’s P14-billion SLEX Elevated Extension Project Inaugurated

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is back in the news again as its ambitious South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Elevated Extension Project was inaugurated recently by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, GMA Network reported.

For the newcomers reading this, SMC under the leadership of CEO and President Ramon S. Ang is the same corporation behind the improvements made to the Metro Manila Skyway which ultimately benefited many travelers with improved accessibility and reduced travel times. Ang was present during the inauguration of the SLEX Elevated Extension Project which is worth P14 billion and is almost 4 kilometers long.

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

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday led the inauguration of the newly completed South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Elevated Extension Project, which is seen to ease traffic and boost economic growth in Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces.

In his remarks during the inauguration ceremony at Alabang Northbound Entry in Muntinlupa City, Duterte lauded the formal opening of the SLEX Elevated Extension Project “at a time when our economy is slowly opening up and recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I am personally excited of this expansion projection which is expected to promote greater mobility, help ease traffic, and redound to the economic growth and productivity in Metro Manila and its surrounding areas,” the President said.

For his part, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and CEO Ramon Ang said the northbound and southbound lanes of the P14-billion SLEX Elevated Extension project can accommodate 200,000 cars per day.

The four-kilometer project connects Skyway in Sucat, Parañaque to SLEX at Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa, bypassing the Alabang viaduct and providing motorists a direct access to Skyway 1, 2, and 3.

“With this, travel time between Muntinlupa and Balintawak will now be reduced from two hours to just 30 minutes. This will go a long way in addressing traffic congestion,” Ang said.

“Since we soft-opened the southbound SLEX Extension last December 10, 2021 motorists in the south have seen a major improvement in the traffic situation. It has provided relief to thousands of motorists who go home every day to Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas. With both the southbound and northbound section of the SLEX Extension now fully operational, travel to and from the south is easier and faster than ever,” the SMC chief said.

Originally, the project was set for completion by December 2020, a little over a year since it began.

However, this was pushed back when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the Philippines in March 2020, necessitating quarantine restrictions which slowed work progress.

And here is the related video about the inauguration…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you often travel on the Skyway Elevated Extension? How was your travel experience on the Skyway and the elevated extension going north or south? Do you hope to see San Miguel Corporation keep funding and improving major infrastructure projects in the years to come?

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

Over 40 employees of online lending applications arrested over alleged harassment of clients and contact persons

Here in the Philippines, have you been harassed or threatened by people who are working for online lending applications where you borrowed money from? I had to ask that question because it was revealed that more than forty online lending app employees (including a foreigner from China) were arrested for allegedly harassing and threatening clients who could not pay back their loans in time, according to a GMA Network news report.

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

Over 45 workers of online lending applications, including a Chinese national, were arrested for supposedly harassing and threatening clients unable to pay their loans within the prescribed period.

According to Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group Public Information Officer Police Lieutenant Michelle Sabino, the division had received several harassment complaints against lending apps that were being run by the Cashtree Lending Corp.

The terms and conditions of the applications allegedly contained a clause that granted the firm access to clients’ contacts – a requirement for taking out a loan. Once approved by the borrower, the firm is then said to save the contacts into its database.

“Hina-harass nila ‘yung mga relatives, kasi nga stated eh, ‘di ba nga like ‘yung contact numbers mo nandon… so if you do not pay out, ‘ire-rape namin ’to, papatayin namin,’ and all other threats na posible, ‘yun ang ginagawa nila,” she said in a report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

(They harass the relatives, as there was a clause regarding contacts… So if you do not pay, they threaten to rape, kill, and all other possible threats. That is what they do.)

The application targets mainly low-income households and those unemployed, even if it was found to have no certificate of authority or permit to operate.

The company’s loans were also said to have high interest rates, and they get in touch with the borrower’s contacts once payment is not made within eight days.

Collecting agents have also been reported to encourage borrowers to make other loans with different loan applications for them to make a repayment.

“Minsan merong mga dumadating sa kanila na sasabihin ng collecting agent na ‘Okay, para makasambot ka, para makabayad ka, magdownload ka ng itong loan app nito, would also offer, so para maka-payoff ka dito sa isa, mag-uutang ka na naman which in turn nabaon na nang nabaon si victim,” she said.

(Sometimes the collecting agents would tell the borrower that for them to be able to pay, they should download another loan app. So for them to pay off their debt in one application, they would borrow again leaving them buried in debt.)

For his part, one of the suspects, Shihai Dao, said the firm did not encourage any harassment.

“Never do anything illegal in Philippines, so I’m confused… Never allowed to employ to harass the client to pay the money back. Just reminding them and tell them to pay (sic),” he said in the same report.

The firm would face charges for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2021.

“Do not download ‘tong mga lending apps na ‘to, ‘tong mga loan apps. May tendency na ma-threaten pa ‘yung life mo or i-harass, at ang problema, hindi lang ikaw, lahat ng contact mo,” Sabino said.

(Do not download these lending and loan apps. There is a tendency that your life will be threatened or be harassed. The problem is it will not be just you but all your contacts.)

Authorities from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) earlier warned firms against unfair debt collection practices.

Such practices included sending violent threats, using harsh words, disclosing the name and other personal information of the borrower in public, and messaging or calling the people on the contact list of the borrower without his/her consent.

The above report ended stating that lending firms who are guilty of doing the above-mentioned practices may be fined between P25,000 to as much as P1,000,000 and also have their certificate of authority to operate revoked.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this recent news report? Do you know anyone who got harassed or threatened by people because they are unable to pay back their loans in due time? Have you been seriously considering borrowing money through these online lending apps? Does this recent news development discourage you from taking loans through online lending apps? Do you believe that the immigration officials should do something about foreign workers of online lending apps who got involved with the harassment of clients?

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/