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

NLEX toll rates hike in effect today (May 12, 2022)

If you are planning to travel along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) very soon, you better adjust your travel-related budget as toll rates on the said highway have been raised effective today – May 12, 2022 – according to the details of a recent report published by GMA Network news based on the recent statement issued by the NLEX Corp.

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

NLEX Corp., the operator of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), on Tuesday announced it will increase its toll rates starting Thursday, May 12, 2022.

In a statement, NLEX Corp. said the Toll Regulatory Board gave the company the green light to hike its toll by P2.00 in the open system and P0.34 per kilometer in the closed system.

Under the adjusted toll rates, motorists traveling anywhere within the open system will pay an additional P2.00 for Class 1 vehicles (regular cars and SUVs), P6.00 for Class 2 vehicles (buses and small trucks), and P8.00 for Class 3 vehicles.

NLEX Corp. said the open system is from Balintawak, Caloocan City to Marilao, Bulacan while the closed system covers the portion between Bocaue, Bulacan and Sta. Ines, Mabalacat City, Pampanga including Subic-Tipo.

Meanwhile, those traveling the NLEX end-to-end between Metro Manila and Mabalacat City will pay an additional P27.00 for Class 1, P69.00 for Class 2 and P82.00 for Class 3 vehicles.

“To help cushion the impact of the toll increase, public utility jeepneys (PUJs) under the NLEX Passada and Tsuper Card discount and rebate program will continue to enjoy the old rates,” the company said.

“Provincial buses will also be covered by a graduated rebate scheme for a period of three months,” it added.

NLEX Corp. said the adjustments followed regulatory procedures and underwent thorough review.

The toll adjustment is also part of the approved periodic adjustments of NLEX due in 2016 and the completion of the new Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX) in 2021.

Motorists have been enjoying safer and more comfortable journeys brought about by the new SFEX since it was partially opened in December 2020 and fully completed in February 2021. A total of 16.4 new lane kilometers, two new bridges in Jadjad and Argonaut, and a new tunnel were constructed for this infrastructure project,” the company said.

The tollway company said it spent P6.9 billion to complete several major projects and enhancements at NLEX-SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) since 2015 that “improved the region’s landscape, increased accessibility, enhanced safety and provided travel convenience to motorists.”

“To name a few, these include the expansion of San Fernando Interchange; the new toll lanes in Marilao, Bocaue, Tipo, Balintawak, Meycauayan, and Mindanao; the pavement upgrade at NLEX; the new exits in Meycauayan and Valenzuela and entry in Balagtas; the rehabilitation of bridges in Bigaa, Bocaue, and Meycauayan; and the improvement of drainages in Balintawak, Valenzuela, and Meycauayan; retrofitting of San Simon and Sta. Rita bridges,” it said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you often travel along the NLEX? When was the last time you experienced a heavily congested trip along the NLEX?

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: 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/

COVID-19 Crisis: DTI calls for gradual shift to Alert Level 1

Are you tired of living with restrictions and government overreach these past two years as a result of the COVID-19 crisis? A lot of people are not just tired of it but also frustrated as many of them saw their loss of income, losing their jobs, the closure of their businesses as well as an enormous negative impact on their lives. To manage the people living under the pandemic all around the Philippines, an Alert Level system was established months ago as part of quarantine in relation to the number of new and active COVID-19 cases. Currently Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2, however in the City of Parañaque the restrictions on the unvaccinated are still in effect. Parañaque is one of four Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) that still have not lifted the restrictions on unvaccinated people while Metro Manila is placed under Alert Level 2.

For economic recovery and the uplifting of the country, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) called for the gradual shift to the looser and more business-friendly Alert Level 1, according to a GMA Network news report. It should be noted that new cases of COVID-19 infections have declined recently.

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

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday backed the calls to downgrade the quarantine status of the country to Alert Level 1 to open more businesses and jobs amid the decreasing number of new COVID-19 infections.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said should the country (shift) to Alert Level 1, which is the lowest in the alert level system, it has to be done slowly as there is still the lingering threat of COVID-19.

“Kung mag Alert Level 1 tayo, na gusto din ni (DTI) Sec. Mon (Lopez) na mangyari pero dahan-dahan lang, nandiyan pa rin ‘yung virus. So, kailangan pa rin nating sundin lahat ng health protocols,” she said.

(If we shift to Alert Level 1, which Sec. Mon wants to happen, it should be done slowly because the virus is still there. So, we still need to follow all the health protocols.)

Currently, the National Capital Region (NCR) and several provinces are under Alert Level 2 from February 1 to 15.

Under Alert Level 2, certain establishments and activities are allowed at 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated adults and minors, and 70% capacity outdoors, even if unvaccinated.

Meanwhile, under Alert Level 1, all establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it follows minimum health standards. This, however, excludes areas under granular lockdown.

Castelo said about 1.5 million businesses in the country can operate at full capacity if the quarantine restrictions are further eased, thus allowing more people to return to work.

“Pagka nag-100% na, full capacity na lahat ng negosyo, lahat nung nagtatrabaho before COVID, ‘yun na din ang makakabalik ngayon,” she said.

(If the businesses are at 100% or at full capacity, all employees working before the pandemic could go back to work now.)

When several areas in the country, including the NCR, moved from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, the DTI estimated that around 100,000 to 200,000 employees got back to work. That is an addition of almost 16,000 workers weekly, Castelo said.

It would be nice to see the shift to Alert Level 1 actually happen as it means better economic recovery, more employment and a healthier society. I personally want the government-imposed restrictions on businesses and on people removed. Remember the sudden ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in Metro Manila that happened last August followed by the ban on outdoor exercise? A lot of people got frustrated with those two Metro Manila unfortunate developments months ago. Observe closely how the Metro Manila mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) behave and make decisions. Oh yes, Benhur Abalos is no longer MMDA chairman.

Meanwhile, vaccination programs and COVID-19 testing are being organized most of the time and the more people get vaccinated, the better for the nation and its economic recovery. It would be great for the Philippines to acquire more Sputnik Light and Sputnik V vaccines as they have proven to be effective in protecting people from the infectious Omicron variant. Very recently, Sputnik Light has been approved for use in India and that is something the national government’s officials should seriously consider for acquiring more vaccines for the entire Philippines.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about the DTI’s call for the gradual adjustment into the looser Alert Level 1? Do you think the national government as well as local government units (LGUs) have gotten too far with governing and managing us people? Do you think that the more people get vaccinated, the more our country will overcome this pandemic?

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: Senator Marcos says DOH should not dismiss parental consent with regards to the vaccination of children

If you are a parent, are you comfortable about the idea that the government will have authority over your kids so that they would be vaccinated for COVID-19? This is the hot issue that a lot of people have been thinking about as Philippine Senator Imee Marcos reacted to a memorandum issued by the Department of Health (DOH) that enables the government to dismiss parental consent related to the efforts of vaccinating minors, according to a Manila Bulletin report. It should be noted that the government just launched a new COVID-19 vaccination campaign aimed at kids aged 5 to 11-years-old.

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

Senator Imee Marcos on Sunday said she is outraged at the Department of Health (DOH) for releasing a memorandum that enables the government to dismiss parental consent if a child is willing to be vaccinated.

Marcos reminded the DOH that the government should not and can’t usurp parental authority.

Government cannot usurp parental authority. Parents have the right to decide on the health and safety of their children,” Marcos said in a statement.

Marcos is referring to the controversial memorandum issued last January 24 stating that the government can act as “parens patriae” – Latin for parent of the nation – when a child wants to be vaccinated but parental consent is denied.

Stated on Page 6 of the memorandum stated that: “In case the parent/guardian refuses to give consent to the vaccination despite the desire and willingness of the minor child to have himself/herself vaccinated, or there are no Persons that may legally exercise parental authority over the child, the State may act as parens patriae and give the necessary consent. Therefore, the proper officer representing the State as parens patriae may sign the consent form. In this regard, the DSWD or its city/municipal counterparts shall serve as the proper office who shall represent the State.”

“The DOH has a lot of explaining to do. This isn’t the first time it committed a gaffe of such magnitude,” Marcos pointed out.

Last December 2021, the government announced it had bought some 15 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate children 5 to 11 years old, but they were forced to move the start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for minors to Monday, due to logistical problems.

The senator said she hopes that the push to vaccinate children is “really for their sake and not for the sake of vaccine purchases already made.”

Senator Marcos pointed out that government cannot just usurp the authority of parents who themselves have rights to manage and decide on the health of their kids. Think about that carefully…government becoming the authority over the children and rolling over the parents? The government, which itself changes as a result of elections being held every few years, would be the parent or guardian of children on health matters?

Government on any level here in the Philippines is flawed, bureaucratic and cannot move efficiently. Governance itself could reflect the personality or mindset of the elected officials. Regardless, I should point out that no matter what kind of good intentions or grand plans elected officials have for the people, there will always be blunders that will cause inconvenience or even cause harm to the people. Look at the City of Parañaque where their Pfizer vaccine launch last May was so chaotic and heavily covered by the media. On the issue of dealing with their unvaccinated members of their constituents, Parañaque’s restrictions on the unvaccinated still remained in effect even though the quarantine level of control in Metro Manila was officially lowered into Alert Level 2.

On the issue of government rolling over the parents and having authority over their children, there already is resistance as a petition was filed at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) versus the COVID-19 vaccination of minors aged 5 to 11-years-old. The people who filed the petition are parents and their case challenged the constitutionality of the DOH’s Memorandum No. 2022-0041. Clearly the DOH and its top officials have explaining to do.  

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a parent with children aged 5 to 17, are you willing to let government take authority away from you as public officials have the intention of vaccinating minors for COVID-19? Are you concerned that the Philippines is slowly drifting towards tyranny? Do you support Senator Marcos’ stance towards the DOH? Do you think it is time for DOH’s top officials to resign even though the Duterte administration now has only a few months left before the end of its service? Who do you think wrote the DOH memorandum?

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@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Unvaccinated people are still restricted in Parañaque City under Alert Level 2

People who remain unvaccinated are still restricted in Parañaque City, according to the news report by the Manila Bulletin. It seems that the recent shift of control of Metro Manila into Alert Level 2 does not matter to the said city.

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

The Paranaque City government will continue to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals despite the de-escalation of Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 quarantine status, Mayor Edwin Olivarez said on Wednesday, Feb. 2.

The mayor said unvaccinated individuals must always stay at home unless there is a need to buy essential goods and in need of medical services.

Olivarez said residents ages 18 years old and above are allowed to go out of their residences while the 17-year olds and below are only permitted outside if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated relatives.

(He) said for transportation, the city government allows tricycles to carry three passengers while buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 70% capacity.

The mayor said for businesses, the city government advised the establishments to apply for a safety seal so they can be allowed 10% additional operational and venue capacity.

As far as Manila Bulletin’s reporting above goes, things look really blunt in Parañaque City which itself is one of four cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) that have no automatic lifting of restrictions against unvaccinated in relation to the shift to Alert Level 2. This was confirmed by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benhur Abalos himself in a separate news report. Legally speaking, Parañaque’s restrictions on unvaccinated people (for references, click here and here) remain because the approved city ordinance allegedly has no automatic lifting clause (refer to the same GMA news report with Abalos involved).

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

In a press conference, Abalos said the ordinances of Parañaque, Pasay, Quezon City, and Pateros have no automatic lifting clause for the restrictions against unvaccinated people.

Four LGUs don’t have automatic lifting clause but three LGUs will be issuing a new executive order. These are Parañaque, Pasay, and Quezon City,” he said.

“Only Pateros will be left as they will still discuss the issue tomorrow,” he added.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of the 17 mayors in the region, earlier agreed to restrict the mobility of unvaccinated people in the NCR under the Alert Level 3. These LGUs issued their respective ordinances on the matter.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Parañaque City and you are unvaccinated, do you feel betrayed by your current City Government? Are the local restrictions on unvaccinated persons and businesses affecting you personally and professionally? Do the current restrictions make you think twice about voting in the next local elections? Do you feel like reaching out to anti-vaccine fanatics and SJWs (social justice warriors) from around the country and overseas to come to Parañaque and organize massive protest rallies to compel the City Government to act?

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