MMDA to hold dry run for single ticketing system in first or second week of April 2023

The proposed single ticketing system for Metro Manila will be executed in the form of a dry run by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) during the first or second week of April 2023, according to a news article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is set to hold a dry run for the implementation of the single ticketing system in the first or second week of April.

MMDA acting chair Don Artes said Thursday seven local government units in Metro Manila have expressed their readiness for the dry run. These are the cities of San Juan, Muntinlupa, Quezon City, Valenzuela, Parañaque, Manila, and Caloocan.

The single ticketing system across Metro Manila is nearing full implementation. There is a need to conduct a dry run to increase public awareness,” Artes said during the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting at the MMDA’s new head office in Pasig City.

To recall, Metro Manila local chief executives adopted the single ticketing system through the approval of the Metro Manila Traffic Code of 2023, which provides for a system of interconnectivity among government instrumentalities involved in the transport and traffic management in the metropolis with harmonized fines and penalties.

Artes added that the Land Transportation Office drafted a memorandum of agreement (MOA) regarding interconnectivity with LGUs and data privacy agreement.

“LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Jay Art Tugade has committed to submit the MOA tomorrow,” he added.

MMC president and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora emphasized the importance of a single ticketing system.

The implementation of the single ticketing system will highly benefit our motorists because they have the option to pay through online channels for their violations,” Zamora said.

Under the single ticketing system, it will be easier for traffic violators in the National Capital Region to settle their penalties through Bayad Centers all over the country or through mobile apps.

Present during the meeting were Mayors Vico Sotto of Pasig, Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa, Weslie Gatchalian of Valenzuela, Emi Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay, Jeannie Sandoval of Malabon, and Miguel Ponce III of Pateros.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? Do you think the single ticketing system will prove to be effective and helpful? If you were apprehended for a traffic violation and get slapped with a penalty, do you prefer to settle the penalty by paying through mobile apps and Bayad Centers?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. 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

Metro Manila Council (MMC) to inspect NCR markets to ensure sellers are following DTI-issued suggested retail prices

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) – a special governing body composed of incumbent mayors of cities of Metropolitan Manila – will soon be inspecting markets within the National Capital Region (NCR) to see if the suggested retail prices (SRP) are being followed by the vendors, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. No less than new MMC president and incumbent San Juan mayor Francis Zamora said so.

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

San Juan City Mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) President Francis Zamora vowed to inspect other markets in the National Capital Region (NCR) to ensure that all sellers and vendors are following the suggested retail price (SRP) issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Iikot kami ni Chairman (Romando) Artes sa iba’t ibang market para mag-inspect as the MMC Chairman. So far, all the mayors are supportive that all markets will follow the SRP (Chairman Artes and I will visit other markets in my capacity as the MMC Chairman. So far, all the mayors are supportive that all markets will follow the SRP),” Zamora said.

Zamora made the statement following the MMC’s inspection at the Agora Market in San Juan City on Feb. 21. The inspection was spearheaded by Zamora, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Romando Artes, DTI Asec. Ann Claire Cabochan, and representatives from the Bantay Presyo of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Aside from checking the SRPs, the DTI also inspected the weighing scales being used by the vendors and were pleased to know that the scales carry the precise weight.

“Ginawa natin ito dahil ang gusto natin ay siguraduhin na tama ang presyo ng bilihin dito sapagkat kawawa ang mga mamamayan natin kung mataas ang presyo ng bilihin kaysa sa SRP (We are doing this because we want to ensure that the price of commodities being sold are correct and also to protect the consumers from those who are selling their produce well above the SRP),” he added.

During their inspection at the Agora Market, two vendors were found violating the SRP bulletin of the DTI.

Zamora said vendors found selling overpriced commodities will be penalized under City Ordinance 32, Series of 2008 or the Ordinance Creating the Local Price Control Coordinating Council. First-time violators will be fined P2,000, 2nd-time offenders will be fined P3,000, 3rd-time offenders will be fined P5,000 and their permits will be revoked.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this development? Are you concerned that vendors in your local markets could have been violating SRP? Does this news development make you feel that you are being protected by the MMC?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. 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

Metro Manila Council (MMC) approves traffic code paving way for single ticketing system in NCR to start this April

Following the recent developments regarding traffic in the metropolis, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) gave its approval on the Metro Manila Traffic Code of 2023 which paves the way for the implementation of the single ticketing system in the National Capital Region (NCR) this coming April, according to a GMA Network news report.

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

The implementation of the single ticketing system in the National Capital Region (NCR) will start within April, Metro Manila Council (MMC) head and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said Wednesday.

Within April, realistic ‘yan. Like what I’ve mentioned earlier, after today, it has been approved already. Aandar na ‘yung proseso natin (The process will start),” Zamora said at a press briefing shortly after the meeting of the MMC.

The MMC has approved the Metro Manila Traffic Code that will be used for the single ticketing system in NCR.

Concerned LGUs have to amend their respective ordinances in connection with traffic policies before March 15, according to Zamora.

The Metro Manila Traffic Code of 2023, which will serve as the guideline for the system, includes 20 most common traffic violation penalties that will be imposed uniformly in NCR:

  • Disregarding traffic signs
  • Illegal parking (attended and unattended)
  • Number coding UVVRP
  • Truck ban
  • Light truck ban
  • Reckless Driving
  • Unregistered motor vehicle
  • Driving without license
  • Tricycle ban
  • Obstruction
  • Dress code for motorcycle
  • Overloading
  • Defective motorcycle accessories
  • Unauthorized modification
  • Arrogance/Discourteous conduct (driver)
  • Loading and Unloading in Prohibited Zones
  • Illegal counterflow
  • Overspeeding
  • Special laws:
  • Seat Belts Use Act of 1999
  • Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act
  • Mandatory Use of Motorcycle Helmet Act
  • Children’s Safety on Motorcycle Act
  • Anti-Distracted Driving Act
  • Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act

Asked for the list of fines for the violations, the MMDA said this is still subject for amendment.

The single ticketing system aims to establish a uniform policy on traffic violations and penalty system in Metro Manila.

It would cover Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and Pateros.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this new development? What is the one thing about the newly approved Metro Manila Traffic Code that concerns you the most right now?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. 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

Metro Manila Council head Francis Zamora: Metro Manila traffic code for single ticketing system approved by technical work group

The proposal for a single ticketing system related to traffic matters within Metro Manila was approved by a technical work group (TWG), Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairperson San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora announced recently, according to a GMA Network news report. This means that the proposal will be formally discussed with the MMC members and they will determine the final form of the system.

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

The technical working group (TWG) has approved the Metro Manila traffic code that will be used for the single ticketing system, Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairperson San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said Friday.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Zamora said the final TWG meeting in connection with the single ticketing system was conducted in San Juan City on Thursday.

“Kaya ang gagawin ko po ngayon ay mag-schedule ng meeting ng MMC upang pag-usapan na ang pinal na porma nga ng ating magiging Metro Manila traffic code na prinisenta na rin kahapon at inaprubahan ng mga representatives na nandoon at kasama na po ako doon,” he said.

(So, I will schedule a meeting in MMC to discuss the final form of the Metro Manila traffic code, which was already presented yesterday and approved by the representatives including me.)

“I just want to clarify na ang aprubado dito ay sa level pa lang ng TWG. So ito ay ii-elevate na natin sa mismong MMC at kung wala naman pong pagtutol ng mga mayors dito, dyan  po magsisimula ang aktwal na proseso ng pag-implementa,” he added.

(I just want to clarify that it is approved only at the level of the TWG. So it will be elevated to the MMC and if there is no objection from the mayors, the process of implementation will start.)

According to Zamora, 20 common traffic violations with corresponding fines have been identified.

In San Juan, he said the fine for disobedience of traffic signs will be lower with the implementation of the single ticketing system. From 2,000 up to 4,000, the fine will be 1,000 only.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will shoulder the expenses for the equipment needed for the new system, according to Zamora.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do you think a single ticketing system is needed?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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

Metro Manila Council (MMC) to release official guidelines on firecracker use

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) – a special governing body composed of incumbent mayors of cities of Metropolitan Manila – now has a new leader and as the Christmas holidays are nearing, they will soon release official guidelines regarding the use of firecrackers, the Manila Bulletin reported.

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

San Juan City Mayor and Metro Manila Council (MMC) President Francis Zamora said the MMC is set to release guidelines on the firecracker ban to be implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) as part of its efforts to minimize the number of injuries caused by the misuse of firecrackers during the new year revelry.

During the joint session of the MMC and the Regional Development Council (RDC) which he co-chairs, Zamora said that the Metro Manila mayors will convene to discuss the guidelines they will implement regarding the firecracker ban which was first imposed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.

Executive Order no. 28, “Providing For The Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers And Other Pyrotechnic Devices,” bans individuals from using firecrackers or setting up their own fireworks displays, a cultural tradition Filipinos are accustomed to during “events of personal, religious, cultural and national importance,” especially during New Year’s Eve or even the Chinese New Year.

“Magkakaroon ng designated firecracker areas. Ngunit depende din yan sa pagkakasunduan ng mayors kasi each city will have its own designated fireworks area para iwas syempre sa aksidente ngayong bagong taon (There will be designated firecracker areas, but these will depend on what the mayors of each city will agree upon because each city will have its own designated fireworks area to avoid accidents this new year),” Zamora said.

The EO sets forth the criteria that must be complied with before a display of fireworks can qualify such as: it must be conducted on the occasion or as part of a celebration, competition, or similar event held in a venue other than the residence; it is conducted under the supervision of Philippine National Police (PNP) – licensed and trained personnel; and, it has a municipal/city permit that states the date, time and area where the display will be conducted.

In December last year, the PNP released the names and brands of allowed and prohibited firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

In my experience, I often see sellers of firecrackers during the days leading to the New Year whenever I passed by BF Homes in Parañaque and along Tropical Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas. I wonder if they will make a comeback this year as the entire nation continues to recover socially and economically from COVID-19.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this development? Are you in favor of the use of firecrackers? Do you think the authorities are doing the right thing when it comes regulating or banning firecracker use? Do you think that the use of firecrackers pollutes the air too much during New Year’s Eve celebrations? If your household often buys firecrackers during the late stage of the year, how much money is spent each time?

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. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

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

COVID-19 Crisis: 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: 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

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippine economy expected to grow 6% to 7% this year

Even though there are lots of news reports and social media updates about the current COVID-19 surge here in the Philippines, there is still the expectation that the national economy will grow 6% to 7% this year, according to an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The Philippine economy is expected to return to its 6 to 7-percent growth trajectory in 2022 after nearly two years of grappling with the pandemic despite the threat of the Omicron variant, according to the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group.

First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC) said this year’s economic growth will be driven by sustained domestic demand, easing inflation, election expenditures, and accelerated government spending on infrastructure projects.

“Notwithstanding the ongoing pandemic, and Omicron sparking the third wave of infections, we are still optimistic that Philippine growth will further accelerate and get back on its trajectory of 6-7 percent in 2022,” FMIC president Jose Patricio Dumlao said in a virtual briefing Tuesday.

Dumlao said the economy registered a 4.9-percent growth in the first three quarters of 2021 and the growth momentum likely spilled over in the fourth quarter given further economic reopening and easing mobility restrictions.

He added business and consumer confidence are also cautiously positive given wider availability of vaccines and relaxation of lockdowns, quarantine measures, and mobility restrictions.

University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) economist Dr. Victor Abola said the 6 to 7 percent gross domestic product (GDP) projection this year will be led by the industry sector –both construction and manufacturing.

Abola said services will still be the lagging sector as the pandemic measures hit hotels and restaurants.

“The Philippine situation is that there is recovery but still on the way to reach the pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

The country’s GDP posted a -9.5 percent full-year growth rate in 2020 compared to its 5.9 percent pre-pandemic performance in 2019.

Abola said the business process outsourcing (BPO) is a major contributor to the resiliency of the economy amid the pandemic.

“And it’s not the same as usual call centers, etc. You can see there are new, emerging segments and that is what companies are focusing on,” he said, citing insurance, life sciences, healthcare, and data analytics, among others.

Aside from BPO revenues, FMIC chairman Francisco Sebastian said the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) remittances are boosting the economy.

It would be nice to see such economic expectations come true because the Philippines still has yet to recover the massive economic loss of 2020 (the first year of the pandemic). Apart from COVID-19 infections, there is also the factor of governance linked with declaring restrictions that can get in the way of economic recovery and make things harder for everyone. Do not forget the August 2021 sudden ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) declaration (additional reference here) and the ban on outdoor exercise within the national capital region that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are responsible for. There was also the national government’s flip-flop on declaring quarantine statuses of September 2021. Think about all the economic damage caused by those three developments!

With the May 2022 national and local elections coming, we can only hope that those in government – especially the Metro Manila local government units – will set aside their egos and make decisions wisely. The nation’s economy cannot afford another massive lockdown as well!

With regards to the Omicron variant that was believed to be a factor behind the current COVID-19 surge around the country, the authorities should seriously consider acquiring a lot more Sputnik vaccines (for more on Sputnik vaccines effectiveness against Omicron variant, click here and here).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the Philippine economy will grow 6% to 7% this year even though there is a COVID-19 surge of new infections happening? Do you believe that government officials will do better in making hard decisions related to the current surge?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you worried that the high COVID-19 infections of the nation will result another lockdown and the return of multiple restrictions? Are you willing to accept the mandatory use of face shields?

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Metro Manila mayors approve resolution restricting unvaccinated people

The new year of 2022 is already challenging for the Philippines with the daily count of new COVID-19 infections averaging in the thousands the past few days. For the people who still remain unvaccinated, their movements within Metro Manila will be restricted as the mayors of the metropolis approved a new resolution and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed it, 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…

Metro Manila (mayors) have agreed to implement a lockdown on all the unvaccinated individuals in the metropolis as part of the measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the rising number of cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the past days.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said this was agreed in principle by all the 17 mayors of Metro Manila during the meeting help on Sunday and was embodied on the resolution approved by the Metro Manila Council.

The move is also aimed at protecting unvaccinated individuals, what with the report from the Department of Health that more or less 85 percent of severe cases of COVID it monitored in various hospitals are those who have not been inoculated against the deadly virus.

“This was what they agreed (during the meeting). Those unvaccinated, they shall remain at their residence at all times,” said Abalos in a press briefing on Monday morning, Jan. 3.

He said unvaccinated individuals would only be allowed to go out of their houses if they would buy essential goods like food, water or medicine or avail of essential services that are mostly relating to medical services, energy and work.

While unvaccinated individuals would not be deprived to do exercises, Abalos said their movement would be limited in areas near their homes like inside the subdivision, puroks or even within the barangay.

Abalos also emphasized that unvaccinated (individuals) will not be allowed to travel and even do leisure activities like going to the malls, tourist spots and other popular leisure areas and would be even allowed to dine both inside and outside any restaurants and other dining establishments.

“This is like implementing ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine which is the highest lockdown measures) but only for the unvaccinated. This is also for their own protection,” said Abalos.

How about unvaxxed workers?

Abalos explained that work-related activities are exempted from the restrictions that were approved by the Metro Manila mayors for the unvaccinated individuals.

The catch, however, is that unvaccinated workers have to undergo RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction which is the most accurate test for COVID-19) every two weeks and that they have to present them to their work places as a matter of policy that was ordered by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Another problem for unvaccinated workers on this policy is that they are the ones who would shoulder the cost of the RT-PCR which costs ranges from P2,500 to P4,000 per test.

In the event that the RT-PCR result is not readily available as it takes time before the result is obtained, Abalos said unvaccinated workers must undergo antigen test, also at their expense.

Vax card as ‘passport’

During the briefing Abalos emphasized the importance of the vaccination card for those who want to move around Metro Manila and for those who want to enter the National Capital Region.

He said the vaccination cards served as the passports to all establishments–in compliance with the IATF order.

“So you need to carry vaccination cards at all times. And aside from vaccination card, the bearer should also have an identification to verify that he or she is indeed the person in the vaccination card,” said Abalos.

He, however, warned against availing fake vaccination cards, saying they would be punished by existing laws.

The same warning was given to establishment owners that would fail to implement the need to present vaccination cards for their clients and customers.

“We are expecting the malls and other establishments to adjust the protocols… So I appeal to the public to follow these rules as a way of cooperating with the government in the fight against COVID-19,” said Abalos.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? If you are unvaccinated until now, does this latest news compel you to finally go out and join the line for the free vaccines? Do you think the Metro Manila mayors made the right decision with the reported resolution dealing with the unvaccinated? If you are indeed unvaccinated, do you feel oppressed by the Metro Manila mayors’ approved resolution? Do you trust MMDA chairman Abalos at all?

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/

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