Majority of Metro Manila Mayors support shift to MGCQ status by March 1, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte will have a big decision to make that will affect millions of residents and businesses in Metro Manila as a majority of the mayors voted to shift the metropolis from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status by March 1, 2021, as based on a news release on Philippine News Agency (PNA) that got published just last night.

Here’s an excerpt from the PNA report:

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of Metro Manila mayors and national government officials, has voted to support the proposed shift to the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila.

“Ang karamihan po ng alkalde ng kalakhang maynila ay bumoto na MGCQ na po ang magiging posisyon nila pagdating sa Metro Manila (Most of the mayors in Metro Manila voted for having MGCQ as their position in Metro Manila),” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said in a press conference on Thursday.

This, he said, will be sent to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and to President Rodrigo R. Duterte who will make the final decision on whether to implement eased quarantine restrictions by March 1.

He declined to provide the actual number of votes the proposal received but said that all Metro Manila mayors will support the decision.

Indeed, Abalos did not reveal the number of Yes and No votes but the Manila Bulletin reported that the score among Metro Manila mayors was 9-8 in favor of MGCQ.

To put things in perspective, Metro Manila still has yet to adjust to MGCQ status. Metro Manila is the hot spot of multiple cities where a lot of residents as well as business entities of varied sizes are located at. Right now, the nation needs a major boost to its economy even as there is still the need to be vigilant to avoid new COVID-19 infections. Lots of people in the metropolis remain unemployed and badly need income, and having Metro Manila shift to MGCQ status will help revive other businesses and pave the way for more people to get back to work.

It would be nice to see the Metro Manila Council research more and observe closely how other cities and provinces are doing while maintaining MGCQ statuses for months already.

On a grander scale, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the recommendation to have the entire nation placed under MGCQ status by March. The said recommendation was made by Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua in recent times. Below is an excerpt from the PNA report:

“It is about time we move to MGCQ after a year of lockdown,” Lopez told reporters in a Viber message Tuesday. “Lockdown was supposed to buy us time to prepare our health system and improve contact tracing and ‘Trace-Test-Treat’.”

Since June 2020, the National Capital Region (NCR) has not graduated from GCQ status, a stricter community quarantine measure than MGCQ.

It even went back to much stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4 to 18 last year as health care facilities in Metro Manila were overwhelmed due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases during that period.

“As the Philippines recovers, Metro Manila has a very weak recovery, worse in employment and hunger recovery, and that means more urban poor. The damages to malnutrition and other health and social issues will be irreversible,” Lopez said.

NCR accounted for around 40 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP).

But Lopez added the reopening of more economic activities should depend on the Covid-19 statistics.

As pointed out by Trade secretary Lopez, Metro Manila is lagging behind in terms of recovery from the pandemic. Apart from joblessness and lack of income, poverty in the National Capital Region is an important problem to solve. The more people fall under poverty, the more local government units (LGUs) need to exert and spend their limited resources to support them.

Right now, the Metro Manila Council’s approval of shifting to MGCQ status will soon be dealt with by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and President Duterte.

In ending this, here are some videos about combatting the China virus.

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Soft Opening of Skyway Stage 3 this December, Northbound Extension on track for Year-end Completion

Hey fellow South Metro Manila residents and motorists! Do you plan to go to other parts of Metro Manila and further north soon?

Be confident because Skyway Stage 3 (AKA Skyway 3) is set for a soft opening this December and as of this writing the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project is at 70% completed and it should reach 100% by the end of this year. This is not to be confused with Skyway Stage 3’s completion which was in reference to the linking of the northern and southern parts of Luzon. Right now, the people behind the project are working to finish the northbound section for the soft opening. The exact December date for the soft opening still has yet to be revealed.

A portion of the northbound extension of the Skyway within Muntinlupa City. (source – Ramon S. Ang Facebook page)

“We are on track to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway Extension project by December, and with this, motorists from the south can easily access Makati, Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, and the North Luzon Expressway,” said San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Ramon S. Ang in a press statement.

To put things in perspective, SMC fully funded the project with P10 billion and it is designed to extend the Skyway from Susana Heights on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to Sucat and back, and provide direct access to the elevated section of the Skyway. The South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) will get connected to the Skyway at Susana Heights which will bypass Alabang and should result seamless and shorter travel from south to north via the Skyway system.

“Under normal Metro Manila conditions, you will be lucky if you can get from SLEX to the North Luzon Expressway in under three hours. You would have to pass through traffic gridlocks in Alabang, Magallanes, practically the whole of EDSA, or various areas through Manila. With the Skyway Extension and the completed Skyway 3, you can get there in 30 minutes without stopping,” Ang further elaborated.

In addition, motorists coming from the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will be able to bypass Alabang which should also ease traffic in Muntinlupa as well as along Alabang-Zapote road.

At this point of time, things are really looking very good as far as Luzon highways and Metro Manila travel are concerned. Being able to travel from Alabang to north of Metro Manila and back with much faster speed and much less stress is something I have always dreamed of. That old dream will soon be realized! Keep an eye on the Skyway and the completion of the extension.

In ending this article, watch and enjoy this very recent Skyway update video.

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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 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 FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Comic Quest announces closure!

Comic Quest, a notable retailer of comic books and geek stuff (including premium products like action figures) here in the Philippines, announced yesterday that it will be closing its 35-year-old business due to the tremendous economic difficulties related to, unsurprisingly, the ongoing pandemic and also the disrupted state of the international distribution of comic books. Before the end comes, however, a Farewell Sale at their SM Megamall branch in Mandaluyong City has launched and will last until sometime in October. The said sale will have all items discounted at least 50%.

In my experience of the past decade, as a resident of Alabang, Muntinlupa, I often bought new comic books (especially Wonder Woman) at the Festival Mall Alabang branch of Comic Quest. It was also at the same store located a short walk away from the cinemas where I also ordered and received hardback editions of EC Comics Archives. Comic Quest Alabang was a favorite weekend destination of mine for many years. Even before I became a collector of comic books (specifically superhero comics), I first heard about Comic Quest way back in 1990 in the classroom where I had a few classmates who bought comic books from them. Back in the 1990s, Comic Quest had a branch in Makati and it was there where I bought Web of Spider-Man #100 in 1993.

As time passed by, my personal interest in comic books waned and I actually stopped buying comic books (both new and old) shortly before the lockdown here in the Philippines was implemented. The pandemic and related lockdown brought entire economies down worldwide and the Philippines was not spared. It is also depressing to learn that many people lost their jobs as well as their income. No disposable income, no more demand for entertainment products like comic books, theatrical showing of movies, shows and the like. The priority now of people living during the pandemic goes to the essentials.

Yesterday, hours after Comic Quest’s closure announcement, I took the opportunity to visit and see their Festival Mall branch in Alabang. It is gone!

The commercial space in the middle used to be occupied by Comic Quest inside Festival Mall. This picture was taken hours after the closure announcement.

Comic Quest’s decision to close down is understandable and acceptable. They did the best they could to survive and prevent their employees from becoming unemployed until the pandemic-related depression overwhelmed them (as well as the many other businesses of different types and sizes).

Just a few years ago, another comic book specialty retailer had to close down their Alabang Town Center branch. It’s clear that comic books as a business continues to fail especially now that people are often online and find their kind of stuff through digital services/retailers.

In closing this, posted below for your reference is the complete closure announcement of Comic Quest. The retailer will be missed!

This is a special announcement for all our valued customers. We hope you ‘re doing well and staying safe during this difficult time.

We just want to let you know that because of the combined pressure of the pandemic, as well as the disruption of the global distribution of comic books, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to begin the process of closing down Comic Quest. It is and has been an extremely challenging time for us, and we feel that this is our best option moving forward.

It has been a long and amazing road, from our earliest days in our first branch at BF Homes in Alabang, to Greenhills to Makati to multiple branches as far away as SM Cebu. But now the time has come to say goodbye, and let all of you know how much we appreciate being given the chance to be part of the comic book industry.

We want to thank each and every one of you for being one of our valuable loyal customers and a very important member of the Comic Quest family. We wouldn’t have reached 35 wonderful years in business without loyal customers like you. Our sincerest and most heartfelt thanks for being with us through all these years.

In line with our decision, we’re holding a special FAREWELL SALE from September 16th and into October, at our SM Megamall branch. During this time we will be selling ALL items from at least 50% off and up.

Please help us spread the word and share this message with other friends and collectors whom you think might be interested.

While our time in this wonderful industry comes to an end, we’re wishing you many more years of happy collecting! And in the words of the great Stan Lee- Excelsior!

Best wishes,

Comic Quest

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

In a Time of Crisis and Quarantine, Love-Love Tioseco Gives Food to the Frontline Personnel

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from Love-Love Tioseco by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

All photographs used in this article are properties of Love-Love Tioseco and were approved for publishing.

In a Time of Crisis and Quarantine, Love-Love Tioseco Gives Food to the Frontline Personnel

It’s really mind-boggling how microbes in the form of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) stopped much of the world. Not only have most economic activities stopped, people have been advised by their respective authorities to stay at home in order to avoid getting infected.

Here in Metro Manila in the Philippines, enhanced community quarantine and a 24-hour curfew (specifically in the cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Parañaque) have been implemented around which severely limited people from traveling out of their homes. Checkpoints have also been set up along national roads while businesses that were allowed to operate had to use thermal scanners and set up sanitizers for people to use.

To put things in perspective, the people who work for long hours each day at the checkpoints, at the village gates, on the roads, and inside the commercial joints still operating are referred to locally as the frontliners. At the frontline, they work not only to serve and guide people but also provide security in accordance to the guidelines of the declared quarantine. Such work is undoubtedly hard and tiring, even risky since any person infected with COVID-19 could approach them any time of the day. The frontliners definitely deserve support from anyone blessed who is generous to be a blessing to them.

Very recently, I saw my very dear college buddy Love-Love Tioseco share via social media images of her generous act of giving food to the frontliners. I was very touched by it so I immediately reached out to her and publish this exclusive article for you all.

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Love-Love Tioseco with the hard-boiled eggs provided by The Rustic Kitchen.

Introduction

Again, to put things in perspective, Love-Love and I were classmates at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the late 1990s. We both finished Communication Arts there. She was a member of the Philippine TaeKwonDo Team for 11 years and, along the way, she was a 3-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), a 3-time bronze medalist in the Asian Games and a 3-time 5th placer in the World Games.

Back in college, Love-Love was a working student in the media and the entertainment industry. After graduation, she worked as a bartender at Italianni’s restaurant for 3 years but still continued working for the media and the entertainment industry.

Love-Love went on to become an advocate of safety oriented driving. She also engaged in motorcycling and competed for a time which ultimately paved the way for the acceptance of women who ride and drive motorcycles. Love-Love also appeared on TV in some entertainment programs as well as motoring-related shows.

Today, she is in the business of selling batteries of Imarflex Battery and is the current Secretary of the Luzon Motorcyclists Federation, Inc. (LMFI). To this day, she is still active in the motoring industry and continues to emphasize the essence of driving safely and following traffic rules to make local travel safer for everyone. Below is a 2017 Alisto video which involved her as a guest traffic analyst. Love-Love starts appearing at 0:20 on the timer.

Being blessed and being a blessing to others

Going back to assisting the frontliners who have worked so hard and long during the quarantine, I asked Love-Love what inspired her to make a move.

“During this time of the quarantine period, I asked God how can I show my appreciation in my own little way to heroes or frontliners who have been on duty while risking their lives being exposed to the virus,” Love-Love said. “Then one of my scooter friends Micar Briones Santana of The Rustic Kitchen sent a message that she had hard-boiled eggs from her bakery up for donation but she needed someone who can help her give away those eggs, so I told her right away that I will do it and, yes, I did it.”

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Emergency personnel were pleasantly surprised with the eggs offered by Love-Love.

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A soldier grabs something to eat.

Clearly the God answered Love-Love’s question paving the way for the opportunity to help the frontliners. After getting supply of hard-boiled eggs, she organized things first. The hard-boiled eggs with broken shells were made into egg spread sandwiches (as energy food for the garbage collectors). With the help of a fellow LMFI club member named Willy Lopez (Takaz Boyz), she received onions which became a key ingredient of her egg spread recipe.

Subsequently, Love-Love went around the metro to feed the MMDA Patrol Team on both the northbound and southbound lanes of EDSA, feed the MMDA Rescue Team under the EDSA flyovers, feed the personnel at the Mandaluyong checkpoints, feed the Makati City police officers on patrol, feed the security guards at an Army Navy branch, feed the Transportify delivery drivers, the motorized drivers of Grab Food and Food Panda, feed the attendants at a Caltex fuel station, feed the manpower staff at Bel-Air Village, and feed a truck-full of Philippine Army soldiers.

I asked Love-Love how the frontliners reacted when she first approached them with the prepared food.

“At first, they thought I was selling eggs to them but when I told them the eggs were free, some of them got more than three eggs, and I did not have time to count how many people got free eggs because my mind was focusing on giving to the deserving ones,” she recalled.

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Frontline personnel outside an Army Navy were happy to receive free eggs from Love-Love.

Love-Love’s generous move is a clear example of her being blessed by the Lord as well as being a blessing to others. To put things in perspective, read the words of Lord Jesus in the following scripture from the Holy Bible.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5: 16 (NKJV)

Unsurprisingly, the frontliners thanked her for the eggs as it provided them some much needed relief from the stress they accumulated. To Love-Love’s surprise, there were delivery personnel who took selfie shots with her for them to post on Facebook.

What is even more astonishing was that no less than Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman General Danny Lim expressed his praise and gratitude to Love-Love for her valuable assistance.

In an April 3, 2020 Facebook page post, Lim stated: Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga sumusuporta sa serbisyo ng #MMDA, lalo na ngayong panahon ng #COVID19! Salamat kina Ms. Micar Briones Santana ng The Rustic Kitchen at Ms. Love-Love Tengsico Tioseco para sa malasakit na binibigay niyo. Kahit sa simpleng paraan man, laking tulong ito sa pag-boost ng morale ng ating mga kawani. Makakaasa kayong paiigtingin pa natin ang ating frontline at emergency services. Patuloy ang pagtutulungan natin laban sa krisis na ito.

I asked Love-Love if she will repeat her moves of generous assistance to the frontliners.

“Yes, of course. I hope there will be more generous sponsors soon for me to distribute their donations again,” she said.

CONCLUSION

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MMDA personnel worked so hard, Love-Love’s giving of eggs proved to be a major relief for them. They were very thankful to her.

Love-Love’s special message to those who could help

“Spread the love, action speaks louder than words especially with helping others, and share the simple joys of life.”

Love-Love’s special message to those who are affected by the quarantine

“Please be a prayer warrior and pray that the virus will be gone already instead of being paranoid or being a basher, which is no help at all with the crisis we are all experiencing now.”

In closing this, here is a video of the Hillsong performance of Thank You, Lord (my Christian Music Appreciation of it right here) that will remind you to be thankful to the Lord who is the source of opportunities, happiness, protection, prosperity, provision and so much more. God is the source! Enjoy!


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