No vaccine for COVID-19, no MGCQ for the Philippines

People here in Metro Manila who have gotten tired with the general community quarantine (GCQ) limitation during the COVID-19 pandemic will have to wait a bit longer as President Rodrigo Duterte refused to shift the entire nation to the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status because the vaccination for COVID-19 should be done first.

This was announced during the Cabinet meeting last night. Below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency report…

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave his directive to the Cabinet that the Philippines would not be placed under modified general community quarantine unless there is a rollout of vaccines,” he said in a statement.

While Duterte acknowledged the need to reopen the economy, Roque said the President refused to put people’s health and safety at risk.

“The Chief Executive recognizes the importance of reopening the economy and its impact on people’s livelihoods. However, the President gives higher premium to public health and safety,” he added.

The President made it clear that the vaccination roll-out should go first before shifting the entire nation into MGCQ control. While it is clear that reopening the economy is essential, Duterte prefers to take time to be cautious and reduce the risks of new infections. As far as he is concerned, vaccines should go first.

It has already been reported that vaccine shipments to the Philippines have been delayed. This is undoubtedly bad news for the entire nation as there are lots of people who lost their jobs and fell into poverty as restrictions severely brought the economy down. The more people fall down into poverty, the more expensive it becomes for local governments to serve them. Speaking of local governments, the City of Las Piñas made preparations for COVID-19 vaccination and already they are handling the applications of constituents who applied to register themselves. Over at Muntinlupa City, meetings and preparations for COVID-19 vaccines were done.

Going back to Metro Manila, a majority of mayors voted to have the metropolis shift to MGCQ status by March 1. As the President made the rejection and insisted vaccination should go first, business owners, their affected employees and the unemployed will have to wait longer before MGCQ will be declared not only for the National Capital Region (NCR) but for the entire nation. The MGCQ status for the Philippines is key to economic revival which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports.

For those of you reading this, do you think the President made the right decision? Would you insist on declaring an MGCQ status nationwide without the COVID-19 vaccines? Please answer by commenting below. Thank you.

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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

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

Wonder Woman 1984 opening in the Philippines TENTATIVELY set for January 8, 2021

I am a long-time Wonder Woman fan. I deeply love watching the 2017 movie that starred Gal Gadot. I saw that movie thrice in movie theaters here in the Philippines, the first screening of which was inside the local IMAX cinema.

Gal Gadot as the armored Wonder Woman.

Like anyone else, I am excited that the much-awaited sequel Wonder Woman 1984 has been scheduled for a Philippine release date of January 8, 2021 although I am cautious too. Why?

That’s because after experiencing the initial excitement of the international release dates published by Variety, I decided to verify with Warner Bros. Pictures directly via their official page on Facebook. In a November 26, 2020 FB post of theirs, I asked them directly (plus about IMAX) and they actually replied. Below is the screenshot.

As you can see above, Warner Bros. Pictures pointed to the Variety article (about the global release schedules) and with regards to the Philippines, the supposed launch of Wonder Woman 1984 in cinemas hangs in the balance because until now many cinemas – at least in the National Capital Region – remain closed even though restrictions (related to community quarantine) have been eased over the past several months as local authorities monitored the developments related to the current pandemic. This means that the Wonder Woman 1984 opening for the Philippines remains tentative at best. Warner Bros. did not say anything about IMAX.

For those who are based outside the Philippines, Metro Manila (with multiple cities and a high number of movie theaters combined) is under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status until December 31, 2020. Under GCQ, more people are allowed to report to work, more business are allowed to operate albeit less than 100% (depending on the business nature) and people are able to visit shopping malls but without minors (their children).

What the status for Metro Manila will be come January 1, 2021 remains unknown. Speaking of movie theaters, I have yet to find any signs or confirmation that local movie theater operators are lobbying/appealing to the authorities to allow them to resume operations.

Again, the Philippines opening date for Wonder Woman 1984 is tentative. Whether the Patty Jenkins-directed movie will open on January 8, 2021 or be delayed, I will make it a point to watch the movie on the big screen. I will not stream Wonder Woman 1984. As far as watching the movie at home later is concerned, I’d rather watch it on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray. Paying for streaming will help the service but NOT the people who made the newest Wonder Woman movie.

While waiting for solid updates about Wonder Woman 1984’s opening here in the Philippines, check out my review of the 2017 movie, my review of the literary classic Wonder Woman #1 (1987), my review of Wonder Woman #9 (1987) which is the essential read before watching the new movie, and my most recent review of Wonder Woman Gallery (1996).

In ending this, here are some Wonder Woman-related videos for your amusement.

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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

Muntinlupa City approves landmark Freedom of Information ordinance, 4th in NCR

The City Government of Muntinlupa approved the landmark Freedom of Information Ordinance of 2020, the 4th city in the National Capital Region (NCR) to localize the FOI bill, to ensure transparency in local governance.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed the Ordinance 2020-139 or known as the FOI Ordinance of 2020 On October 14, 2020 to give Muntinlupa as well as non-Muntinlupa residents access to information, officials’ records, public records and documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, among others.

Fresnedi said the City Government recognizes the importance of the people’s right to government information by providing a local mechanism to ensure that these rights are respected and upheld.

City Ordinance 2020-139 is an adoption of Executive Order No.2 s. 2016 upholding the right of people to information on matters of public concern. Muntinlupa City is the 4th LGU in NCR to enact an FOI ordinance following Pasig, Valenzuela, and Quezon City.

Under the local ordinance, departments in Muntinlupa LGU are required to make public records available such as contracts, transactions and any information requested by a member of the public, except for sensitive information and matters affecting national security.

Any person who request access to information may consult the local FOI Focal Person for the processing of a request or may go directly to the concerned office that has the information being requested.

If the retrieved information has been approved for release, the FOI Receiving Officer shall immediately notify the requestor of the decision and release the information within fifteen (15) working days upon receipt of request.

Failure of any government officer to comply with the provisions of the ordinance shall be ground for reprimand for first offense, suspension of one (1) to thirty days for second offense, or dismissal from the service for third offense.

Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the City Government supports the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s thrust on continuing proactive information disclosure efforts in the spirit of openness and transparency.

She noted that the IRR is still underway but the public can now coordinate with the Public Information Office being designated as the FOI concerned office.

For more information, visit Muntinlupa City’s website at www.muntinlupacity.gov.ph or contact the Public Information Office located at 2F Annex Building, Muntinlupa City Hall with tel. no. (02) 8886-7091 and email address lingkodbayan.muntinlupa@gmail.com.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake newsNO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiaristsNOT to distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, engagements, commerce and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Muntinlupa City is among 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees

Muntinlupa City is among 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees

Today the City Government of Muntinlupa announced that they have been feted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as one of the 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) awardees for its excellent delivery of public service. This latest development continues to show why Muntinlupa is a standout city among South Metro Manila’s cities.

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DILG Sec. Eduardo Año turns-over the 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance award to Mayor Jaime Fresnedi during an awarding ceremony at Manila Hotel last November 4. SGLG is the DILG’s progressive assessment and reward system that gives LGUs distinction for their remarkable performance across various assessment areas in governance. Also attending the program were Muntinlupa City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela and DILG Muntinlupa Field Office chief Bernadette Ferino. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The prestigious SGLG award was received by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi from DILG Sec. Eduardo Año during the awarding ceremony held at the Manila Hotel yesterday. With the mayor were City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela and DILG Muntinlupa Field Office chief Bernadette Ferino.

Despite having a more stringent assessment criteria for the award, the City of Muntinlupa has passed “all-in” seven assessment areas in governance namely: Financial Administration; Disaster Preparedness; Social Protection; Peace and Order; Business Friendliness and Competitiveness; Environmental Protection; and Tourism Culture and the Arts.

To put things in perspective, Muntinlupa City was among the three hundred and eighty local government units (LGU) in the country conferred with the coveted award in governance. In the National Capital Region or NCR, only eight LGUs received this year’s Seal including the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Navotas, Pasay, Quezon City, and San Juan.

Fresnedi thanked the DILG for its recognition of Muntinlupa’s commitment in improving local administration and service delivery for Muntinlupeños.

“We are honored to receive this award as it validates our efforts towards local governance reforms and development. This recognition is an outcome of the collective efforts of dedicated city officials and employees who tirelessly worked in facilitating a transparent, caring, and accountable government for the people,” the mayor said.

As an incentive, 2019 SGLG recipients are set to receive Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) to finance local development projects and capacity development assistance from the DILG.

To be clear, SGLG is the DILG’s progressive assessment and reward system that gives LGUs distinction for their remarkable performance across various pillars. This year’s award is the second SGLG award conferred to Muntinlupa City after receiving the same recognition in 2015.

Furthermore, Muntinlupa City was also awarded with three major awards from the Department of Health (DOH) last November 4 at the Metro Manila Center for Health Development’s “Gabi ng Parangal” held in Crowne Plaza Manila.

The DOH conferred the City Government with Best in Rabies Prevention and Control Program, Best in National Voluntary Blood Services Program, and Plaque of Appreciation for the implementation of the Universal Health Care.

Previously, Muntinlupa became the only South Metro Manila city to make the Top 10 of the Most Competitive Highly Urbanized Cities when the results of the 2019 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI) were revealed.

Parañaque City Government officials silent

More about the NCR city governments and the DILG’s organizing of the 2019 Seal of Good Local Governance awards, I reached out to my contacts at the City Government of Parañaque and asked what was their reaction about their city NOT receiving the prestigious SGLG award. They did not reply at all today.

Those same Parañaque City officials did not reply to my previous inquiry regarding their city’s failure to make the Top 10 of the Most Competitive Highly Urbanized Cities of the entire Philippines as per the results of the 2019 CMCI.

I guess it’s more comfortable for them to remain silent than answering tough questions about competition with other city governments. Now I’ve got to check with one other South Metro Manila city regarding the SGLG awards.