COVID-19 Crisis: MECQ in effect in Metro Manila until August 31, 2021

Finally, the surprise enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for Metro Manila has ended as the national government announced late Thursday night that the new level of restriction for the metropolis is the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) which is now in effect and will last until August 31, 2021. For the newcomers reading this, MECQ is supposed to be lighter than ECQ when it comes to restrictions.

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

The quarantine classification in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Laguna and Bataan has been downgraded from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to modified ECQ (MECQ), Malacañang announced Thursday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EUD), approved the latest quarantine status in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“These latest classifications are without prejudice to the strict implementation of granular lockdowns,” said Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, in a press statement.

Roque said Metro Manila will be placed under MECQ from Aug. 21 to 31.

Bataan, on the other hand, will be under MECQ from Aug. 23 to 31, he added.

Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan were initially placed under ECQ, the strictest form of community quarantine, due to the spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

Roque stressed that despite the deescalation of quarantine level, religious gatherings should remain “virtual” in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan.

He added that indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, as well as personal care services such as beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas should remain prohibited.

Roque said local government units in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan are likewise directed to improve the vaccination rates within their localities, as well as intensify the “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategies to control the spread of Covid-19.

And here is a related news video to watch…

In an article by the Manila Bulletin, curfew hours in Metro Manila still remain and quarantine passes (QPs) are not required. MECQ also means no cash aid (ayuda) will be released by the national government. There are also other MECQ-related guidelines to follow in another article by the Manila Bulletin. As for the unpopular ban on outdoor exercise approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC), that one has ended and therefore the freedom to exercise outside our homes has been restored but to a certain extent.

As seen in the details regarding MECQ, there is no real ease nor positive change for several businesses and churches. Restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores that have tables and chairs are still prohibited from having customers dining inside and on the immediate space outside their joints. In a business sense, this is bad because take-out and delivery services are not good enough for food/beverage sellers to make their ends meet. People of faith, meanwhile, are still literally blocked from worshiping the Lord physically at the venues of their faith communities or ministries. As such, the online form of worship in Metro Manila is still the way but I can tell you from my experience that onsite, physical presence worship of the Lord is the better and more preferable way to worship Him. Online worship has its limits and it lacks the immersion that on-site, physical worship has.

That being said, I encourage you all reading this to pray to God to enlighten all the public officials (from the barangay up to the national level) to look up to Him and come back to Him for His guidance which they really need when it comes to managing the people and their communities as everyone still struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic. The public officials need prayers for the Lord to guide them, strengthen them and prevent them from getting lost.

It should be noted that just days ago, the Metro Manila Council left the decision on community control to national government. Just think about that! Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Benhur Abalos and the mayors met and that was all they could come up with – letting someone else decide for the many millions of people living and struggling in the National Capital Region (NCR).

As such, praying to the Lord to help the public officials is very much needed. It is a fact that each local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila is struggling not only with their respective COVID-19 vaccine operations but also with all other functions.

Also pray to the Lord that the national government will be more accommodating to the businesses and churches that got negatively affected by these community quarantine levels. Pray to the Lord that the employees, the business owners, the people of faith, the pastors and ministries will be assisted and accommodated better.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about the shift to MECQ for Metro Manila? If you are a manager or owner of a restaurant or coffee shop, how did the recent ECQ affect you and your employees?

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

+++++

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: Muntinlupa ramps up vaccine rollout, PNP inspects 2,337 PUVs and apprehends 277 violators

The City Government of Muntinlupa ramps up its vaccine rollout by adding additional vaccination sites across the city while the local PNP implements stricter inspection during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

“Siyam na bagong vaccination sites ang bubuksan sa buong lungsod sa mga susunod na araw. Karagdagan ito sa existing seven sites na kasalukuyan nang operational. Ngayong may karagdagang vaccination sites ay madadagdagan pa ang ating mabibigyang proteksyon kontra COVID-19. Idi-distribute po sa lahat ng sites ang pag-iischedule,” the Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) announced on its Facebook page.

In total, there will be 16 vaccination sites in Muntinlupa which can accommodate up to 10,000 residents every day, subject to the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccination sites in Muntinlupa are the following: Cluster 1 – Mega Site: SM Center Muntinlupa,   Satellite Sites: Tunasan – Victoria Health Center, Tunasan Pavillion (Arandia St.), Tunasan National High School, Centennial Ave. (formerly MNHS Tunasan Annex), and Poblacion – Muntinlupa National High School – Main, Biazon Covered Court, NHA – Southville 3; Cluster 2 – Mega Site: Ayala Malls South Park, Satellite Sites: Putatan – Soldier’s Hills Covered Court, and Bayanan – Bayanan ES Unit 1 (Baywalk); Cluster 3 – Mega Site: Festival Upper Ground Floor Parking; Cluster 4 – Satellite Sites: De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, Alabang Town Center (for A4 non-residents); Cluster 5 – Satellite Site: New Cupang Health Center; Cluster 6 – Satellite Sites: Sucat Covered Court, Buli Elementary School, Colegio de Muntinlupa.

Earlier, MunCoVac announced that walk-ins will not be accommodated in the vaccination sites, except for senior citizens. The City Government urges those who do not have a confirmed vaccination schedule from MunCoVac to refrain from proceeding to the vaccination sites. City residents are encouraged to register online through the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration system via www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac to receive their schedule.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi encouraged the public to avail the vaccination service of the local government especially during the ECQ for them to have an added protection against the adverse effects of COVID-19.

As of August 6, there are 339,909 vaccines deployed in Muntinlupa, of which 199,236 are first dose (51.7% of the target) and 145,026 are second dose (37.6% of the target).

Further, members of the Muntinlupa City Police Station (MCPS) inspected at least 2,377 public utility vehicles (PUVs) and recorded 277 violations committed by authorized and unauthorized persons outside of residence.

In a report by MCPS chief Col. Melecio Buslig, the PUV inspections and violations were recorded from 5 a.m. of Aug. 8 to 5 a.m. of Aug. 9 at the Muntinlupa-San Pedro, Laguna boundary quarantine control point (QCP), Susana Heights Road QCP, Biazon Road law enforcement checkpoint (LEC), Alabang-Zapote Road LEC and Sucat-Taguig boundary.

As of August 8, Muntinlupa City has 945 active cases, with 14,229 recoveries, 15,569 confirmed cases, 395 reported deaths, 34 suspect cases, and 1,621 probable cases.

+++++

The above information was sourced from the official press release of the Muntinlupa PIO. Some parts were changed for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me 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

Muntinlupa PNP installs border controls ahead ECQ, urges public to avoid non-essential travel

Members of the Muntinlupa City Police Station have installed border controls in strategic areas in the city ahead of the imposition of the Enhanced Community Quarantine on August 6 and advised the public to avoid non-essential travels.

Muntinlupa Chief-of-Police (COP) PCol. Melencio Maddatu Buslig said that only Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) will be allowed to pass through the checkpoints while un-authorized person outside of residence (UPOR) will be asked to return to their homes.

Border quarantine control points are located at San Pedro-Tunasan Boundary, Susana Heights Exit, Sucat-Taguig Boundary, and Biazon Road – Alabang Boundary.

PCol Buslig noted that police officers inspect minimum health protocols such as wearing of face masks and face shield and observance of physical distancing for those passing the checkpoints, especially in public utility vehicles such as jeepneys, buses, and tricycles.

Essential workers residing in the province who work, or pass through, in Muntinlupa City may be allowed to pass the checkpoints provided that they present a Company ID or any document justifying that they are included in the APOR list. The local COP warned the public that starting August 6, the beginning of ECQ in Metro Manila, the local police will implement stricter inspection in border controls.

Earlier, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año directed the JTF COVID Shield to activate Quarantine Control Points along the borders of NCR Plus in Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal in compliance with IATF Resolution No. 130-A.

Año reminded the PNP to allow the free movement of cargo/delivery vehicles, especially those bringing food across all quarantine control points because these are important to the economy.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi urges the public to continue observing health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing, especially with the rising COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

The mayor encourages city residents to avail the vaccination service of the City Government for them to have an added protection against the adverse effects of COVID-19. Muntinlupa City residents may register in the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration through www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac

The City Government awaits the final guidelines from the IATF on the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila from August 6 to August 20.

+++++

The above information was sourced from the official press release of the Muntinlupa PIO. Some parts were changed for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me 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: 6.5 million vaccine doses for NCR and certain provinces confirmed

By now, most people should be aware that Metro Manila will effectively shift back to the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to August 20, 2021. Already it has been confirmed that even during the upcoming ECQ, COVID-19 vaccination operations per city in the National Capital Region (NCR) will continue as planned. In relation to that, the national government confirmed that it will supply 4 million doses of vaccines for Metro Manila plus 2.5 million for certain provinces, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The national government will deliver 6.5 million doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) jabs to local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus to intensify mass vaccination.

National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 deputy chief Secretary Vince Dizon said NCR mayors asked for more supplies during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20.

“Plus” provinces Rizal, Laguna Cavite, and Bulacan will also be supplied an additional 2.5 million doses.

“Humingi ang NCR ng four million doses. ‘Yan ay ibibigay na ng national government. Ipinangako na ni (NTF chief) Sec. (Carlito) Galvez ang four million doses ng ibat-ibang bakuna nitong mga susunod na linggo. Magbibigay din ng 2.5 million sa ibat ibang probinsya sa Plus (NCR asked for four million doses. That will be given by the national government. Sec. Galvez promised four million doses of different vaccines for NCR these coming weeks. Also, 2.5 million for those in the Plus areas),” Dizon said in an interview on Saturday during the launch of the Covid-19 drive-thru vaccination site in Manila at the Quirino Grandstand.

He said NCR mayors committed to finishing administering all four million doses, a combination of first and second doses, while under ECQ.

Dizon said the NCR accounts for 30 percent of the over eight million who are fully inoculated.

As you can see in the above details, the mayors of Metro Manila requested the additional 4 million vaccine doses which in reality is one of the two conditions they made in relation to supporting the return to ECQ according to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the said report. Pay close attention to the details below…

At a press briefing on Thursday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief Benhur Abalos said the mayors had an emergency meeting on Wednesday to come up with a game plan against the highly infectious Delta variant.

“We will not wait for hospitals to get filled. Our suggestion is to have more heightened restrictions,” Abalos said.

But under Metro Manila Council Resolution No. 21-15 series of 2021, the mayors listed two conditions that needed to be met before placing Metro Manila under ECQ again: the availability of financial assistance for the poor and an additional supply of vaccines for an aggressive inoculation program.

Abalos said the mayors agreed that an ECQ could not be implemented without financially helping the families that would once again lose income for two weeks.

They also wanted an allocation of at least 4 million vaccines for the NCR that they committed to administer during the two-week period.

As of this writing, the Delta variant has been detected not only in Metro Manila but also in other parts of the country. That variant is much more contagious and could lead to even more new COVID-19 infections. In the City of Bacoor in Cavite Province, two entire buildings of a housing project had to be locked down temporarily due to the detection of a new Delta variant case there. Meanwhile, the Province of Laguna has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status because of the threat of the Delta variant.

For people to survive and be protected, getting vaccinated is crucial (note: the unvaccinated are at risk) and looking up to the Lord and being faithful to Him is essential. For your faith in the Lord and for His divine protection, go read the entire Psalm 91 in the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe the national authorities and the local government units (LGUs) are doing enough to get more people here in the Philippines vaccinated? Are there still people in your local community who continue to be defiant and completely avoid getting vaccinated? Do you think that the LGUs of Metro Manila ran out of money which made them come to the national government for new supplies of vaccines for their respective constituents? Is your local government doing enough to contain the Delta variant?

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

+++++

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: Strict GCQ declared for NCR and bordering provinces effective August 1 until August 15, 2021

Even as more people in Metro Manila have gotten worried about the highly infectious Delta variant which has been detected already in Parañaque and Las Piñas, the general community quarantine (GCQ) for the National Capital Region (NCR) and bordering provinces has been declared which will take effect on August 1, 2021 and will last until August 15, 2021, as reported by the Philippine New Agency (PNA).

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

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation to extend the general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions in Metro Manila until August 15, Malacañang announced on Wednesday.

The stricter GCQ has been retained in Metro Manila, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) observed an increase in the daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and health care utilization rate in the country’s metropolis, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a pre-recorded Talk to the People.

“The Chief Executive extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions classification of the National Capital Region beginning August 1, 2021 until August 15, 2021,” Roque said in a press statement.

Apart from Metro Manila, four of its nearby provinces – Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – will also be placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions from August 1 to 15, Roque said.

And here is a related news video by GMA Network…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you surprised about the strict GCQ for Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal? Do you believe that the highly infectious Delta variant can be contained? Are you ready for another lockdown? Have you been vaccinated already?

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

+++++

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: GCQ in NCR Plus continues until mid-July

Be informed that the general community quarantine (GCQ) for NCR Plus (National Capital Region plus the bordering provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan and Rizal will continue to be in effect until mid-July as President Rodrigo Duterte extended it very recently.

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

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) classification in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus with Laguna and Cavite still under “heightened restrictions” until July 15.

In his pre-recorded Talk to the People, Duterte said GCQ will also continue to be imposed in Metro Manila, Rizal, and Bulacan “with some restrictions” until July 15.

Aside from NCR Plus, Ifugao province, City of Santiago, Guimaras, Aklan, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Antique, Capiz, Zamboanga Sibugay, City of Zamboanga, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Sur will also be placed under GCQ in the next 15 days beginning July 1.

The GCQ will be imposed in Baguio City, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Batangas, Quezon, Ilagan City, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, South Cotabato, and Cotabato City until July 31.

Meanwhile, Duterte also placed Cagayan, Apayao, Bataan, Lucena City, Puerto Princesa, Naga City, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Zambaogan del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Butuan City, Dumagat Islands, and Surigao del Sur under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from July 1 to 31.

Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao del Norte are also under MECQ but only up to July 15.

The rest of the country will be placed under modified GCQ.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said gyms/fitness centers at 40 percent capacity and other indoor sports courts at 50 percent capacity will be allowed in Metro Manila, Rizal and Bulacan but not in other areas of NCR Plus like Laguna and Cavite.

He said 40 percent capacity for historical sites and museums will also be allowed in the NCR Plus areas except in Laguna and Cavite.

The non-contact sports are allowed in GCQ and MGCQ areas while individual outdoor exercises are allowed within the general areas of their residence in MECQ places.

Roque said outdoor dining (Al fresco) with 50 percent capacity will be allowed in GCQ and MGCQ but not in MECQ areas.

He added that indoor sports courts and venues as well as indoor tourist attractions can operate up to 50 percent capacity GCQ areas but should be closed in MECQ places as well as in Laguna and Cavite.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you find the extension of GCQ status for NCR Plus justified? Considering the so-called heightened restrictions, what do you think is the problem going on in the provinces of Laguna and Cavite?

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

+++++

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

COVID-19 Crisis: GCQ in NCR Plus until June 15, 2021

While it was announced really late in the evening of May 31, the general community quarantine (GCQ) remains in effect in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal from June 1 to June 15, 2021.

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

The general community quarantine (GCQ) quarantine classification in Metro Manila and other areas has been extended until June 15, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday night.

Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to extend the GCQ status in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal (NCR Plus) for 15 more days to prevent a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press statement, said some restrictions shall remain in place in NCR Plus limiting the capacities of certain industries.

The PNA article also includes key details such the OCTA Research Group recommending the GCQ status for NCR Plus to be retained so that people won’t become very complacent. When it comes to guidelines and restrictions, read the Manila Bulletin article.

I want to add here that vaccination registration and processes are being done by the many local government units around the nation. Millions more new vaccines will arrive this month. That being said, I encourage you – those who have not yet registered for free COVID-19 vaccines – to get registered and wait for the local authorities to contact you. I just received my 2nd dose of vaccine from Russia here in Muntinlupa City. In my two appointments for vaccination, the local organizing of the processes, verification and health check were done efficiently and smoothly. Even if one gets fully vaccinated (2 doses), there is still a need to follow health protocols.

Las Piñas City residents can learn the ways to get registered vaccines right here, while those in Muntinlupa can learn about online registration here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a business owner, what are the biggest problems you experienced during GCQ? How many more business restrictions related to GCQ do you want to see get loosened or removed? If you have not yet registered for the free COVID-19 vaccines in your locality, what is your main reason for not registering?

Is the local vaccination organizer efficient and friendly to those who arrived for inoculation?

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

+++++

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Over 90% of ECQ aid distributed to beneficiaries in NCR Plus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+++++

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: So-called stricter GCQ in NCR Plus begins today

Starting today until the 31st of May, the level of quarantine and restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal – these form NCR Plus – has been lowered to the softer general community quarantine (GCQ). The period of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for NCR Plus (note: specific places outside of NCR Plus are still under MECQ) is over at last and the shift to GCQ was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

However, the GCQ this time around will have some more restrictions of its own. To put things in perspective, read the details from this excerpt from the Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) article. Some parts in bold…

Duterte decided to ease quarantine protocols in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, also known as “NCR Plus,” upon the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Presidential Spokesperson Roque, who was present during a meeting with Duterte at Malacañan Palace, said NCR Plus will be placed under GCQ “with heightened restrictions” from May 15 to 31.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, May 13, 2021, approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to 31, 2021,” Roque said in a statement.

Apart from NCR Plus, the quarantine classification in Abra was also downgraded from MECQ to GCQ.

Areas of concern

The MECQ status was, however, retained in the City of Santiago in Isabela, Zamboanga City, Quirino, and Ifugao.

Duterte said the four areas would remain under MECQ until end of May following local governments’ concerns over the spike in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) within their localities.

GCQ is imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, and Puerto Princesa City until May 31.

The rest of the country remains under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ) for the whole month of May.

Implementation of stricter GCQ

Once GCQ with heightened restrictions is implemented in NCR, only “essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus” will be allowed, Roque said.

Roque said interzonal travel from NCR Plus areas, except those conducted by Authorized Persons Outside Residence, will remain prohibited in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.

“Public transportation shall remain operational at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation guidelines while the use of active transportation shall be promoted,” he said.

Roque said only individuals aged 18 to 65 can leave their homes while NCR Plus is under stricter GCQ.

Entertainment venues like bars, concert halls, and theaters; recreational venues, such as internet cafes, billiards halls, and arcades; amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides; indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions; and venues for meetings, conferences, exhibitions will not be allowed in NCR Plus, Roque said.

Roque said religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than Covid-19 in NCR Plus will be allowed up to 10 percent of the venue capacity.

He added that indoor and outdoor dine-in services would be allowed in Metro Manila and its four neighboring provinces.

Also, indoor dine-in services in NCR Plus shall be at 20 percent venue or seating capacity while outdoor or al fresco dining shall be at 50 percent venue or seating capacity,” he said.

Roque said outdoor tourist attractions in NCR Plus may be opened at 30 percent, with “strict” adherence to minimum public health standards.

“Also continued to be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions are non-contact sports, games, scrimmages held outdoors; and personal care services that allow for services not requiring mask removal, such as salons, parlors, [and] beauty clinics, at 30 percent capacity,” he said.

While the GCQ is stricter than its previous form, it does allow more breathing room for businesses because they are essential on providing customers the products and services needed (or wanted), and it is the businesses who provide jobs for the unemployed. Businesses, not socialists, can lift people up from poverty and prevent their employees from falling into poverty. As I mentioned previously, the more Filipinos fall into poverty due to restricted economic activities (that result job losses), the more expensive it becomes for any government unit to provide relief to the constituents.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your impression about the so-called stricter GCQ for NCR Plus? Are the restrictions of the new GCQ disturbing to you? Does the new GCQ affect your plan to travel to the provinces?

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

+++++

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: MECQ for NCR Plus extended until May 14, 2021

After weeks of anticipation by the public, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the other night the extension of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, 2021 for the National Capital Region (NCR) plus the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. In connection to this, Duterte apologized.

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

“Modified enhanced community quarantine. Modified ito so medyo strict. NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal (Modified enhanced community quarantine – modified, meaning somehow strict – will be imposed in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal),” Duterte said in his talk to the people.

MECQ will be implemented in NCR Plus, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, MECQ until May 14, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a separate press statement.

Quirino and Abra provinces, as well as the City of Santiago in Isabela, will also stay under MECQ for the whole month of May, Duterte said.

On the other hand, the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will be imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur from May 1 to 31.

The rest of the country will remain under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Roque said the latest quarantine status is still “subject to the appeals of local government units.”

The government is targeting to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates to ease the quarantine protocols in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In recent times, the daily count of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines fell below 10,000. It was reported the other day that the new COVID-19 cases was at 6,895 nationwide. Still the nation has over 1,000,000 COVID-19 cases grand total (including recoveries) and the secured vaccines cannot arrive fast enough from overseas. Also, it will take a lot of time before the local production of vaccines will become a reality in the nation.

Apart from public health, more attention should be paid on the economy which has been set back a lot since the latest ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). The current MECQ meanwhile resulted 13% of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to stay closed specifically in the NCR Plus zone.

More on the economy, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is pushing to help the economy by recommending a flexible MECQ in NCR Plus with gradual reopening of labor-intensive sectors in mind.

For perspective, posted below is an excerpt for the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in bold…

In a radio interview Thursday, Lopez said the agency is eyeing to reopen personal care services with a limited capacity of 20 to 30 percent as well as dine-in services in food establishments by 10 to 20 percent.

“Ni-recommend ho kasi naming ‘yong MECQ with flexibility. We are just after sa pagbabalik ng trabaho, pero yung higpit naman ng mobility ay nandoon pa rin. Ang importante lang ay itong trabaho. We’re talking about opening the sectors na sarado pa rin (We recommended the MECQ with flexibility. We are just after bringing back jobs, but the strict mobility will still be there. What’s important is the jobs. We’re talking about opening the sectors that are still closed),” he said.

He added that the gradual reopening of the personal care and dine-in services was “partially discussed” with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“Iko-confirm na lang mamaya sa IATF kung ilang porsyento [The IATF will confirm later the percentage (of capacity)],” Lopez said.

An estimated 200,000 workers in personal care services and 1 million fast-food and restaurant crews were affected during the stricter community quarantine measures in National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal and about PHP60 billion worth of wages were lost during the two-week MECQ, Lopez said.

The current MECQ also shed PHP120 billion in gross domestic product, on top of the PHP180-billion economic losses during the two-week ECQ.

While it is essential for people and organizations to follow health protocols and avoid COVID-19 infections, the same goes with the economy. So many have been suffering from the lack of jobs, the loss of income and, in the case of businesses, the loss of customers and clients. Being in the private sector myself, I definitely want more businesses of any size to reopen, make money, hire the unemployed and contribute to the development of local society. I want to see the personal care services to resume operations, as well as the return of indoor dining for restaurants and cafes. I also want to see more of my fellow Filipinos to stay above poverty and rise higher. That being said, I say that capitalism is the way to go and the real way to restore prosperity for the Philippines even as we face varied challenges daily during this COVID-19 (China Virus) crisis.

From this point on, I encourage you to keep observing the moves of not only the national authorities but also those in your local government, your barangay and other organizations serving you. Pray that the public servants and community leaders will look up to the Lord and acknowledge His authority over them. Pray for the leaders to look up to God. Finally, no matter how good or bad your situation is, keep having strong faith in our Lord. If you are hurting and you need healing, come to Lord Jesus (read Mark 5:25-34 in the Holy Bible).

+++++

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