COVID-19 Crisis: A4 patients vaccinated in Las Piñas City while newest vaccination site opens

The wave of vaccination of patients under the A4 category has reached Las Piñas City! According to a report by the Manila Bulletin, the City Government of Las Piñas received guidelines from the Department of Health (DOH) which paved the way to launch A4 vaccination locally. As with other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR), Las Piñas officially took part in the  launch event that took place on June 7. Not only that, a new COVID-19 vaccination has been established locally.

For the details, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin’s report. Some parts in boldface…

The Las Pinas City government has started the inoculation of the A4 priority group or economic frontliners with the addition of a new vaccination site that will cater to around 300 people per day.

Vice-Mayor April Aguilar said the new vaccination site is located at The Village Square located along Concha Cruz Drive corner Alabang-Zapote Road, Las Pinas City. This is the 16th vaccination center in the city.

Aguilar said four more vaccination sites will open in the city.

She said the latest and biggest vaccination site that opened on June 2 was The Tent, Vista Global South in C5 Extension, that can cater to around 650 to 1,000 people a day.

The vice-mayor said the city government already received the guidelines from the Department of Health (DOH) on the vaccination of persons under the A4 category.

Aguilar said the city government has started sending text messages to residents under the A4 category on their schedule of vaccination.

The above report ended with Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery mentioning that the local vaccination of residents who were already pre-listed under the A4 category officially started on June 8 (Tuesday).

Las Piñas City Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery (standing left) observes the vaccination of a patient at the newest vaccination site at The Village Square Alabang. (source – City of Las Piñas City Facebook page)
This June 9, 2021 notice confirms that patients under categories A1 to A4 are being called for vaccination.

Any Las Piñas resident who has yet to get registered for free COVID-19 vaccines can learn the ways (3 methods) by clicking here. Anyone who is ready and willing to register online can click bit.ly/LasPiñasVaccination

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: When you registered before, could you remember if you selected the A4 category? Does the incentive program of Las Piñas City Representative Camille Villar motivate you enough to get registered and vaccinated successfully? Does the opening of the newest vaccination site at The Village Square sound encouraging to you personally?

If you were successfully vaccinated in Las Piñas, how long did the whole process take you? Was the entire process comfortable enough?

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 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

Parañaque City Mayor Gus Tambunting?

Less than a year from now, the next elections for Philippine President, Vice President, Senators, House of Representative members, Governors, Vice-Governors, Provincial Board members, Mayors, Vice Mayors and City Councilors will happen. When exactly next year? May 9, 2022 to be precise as written in COMELEC’s Resolution Number 10695.

In relation to future elections, it has been reported through the Manila Standard, the Manila Times and Business Mirror that RP- Mission and Development Foundation Inc. released the results of a recent study titled “NCR Mayor: Pulso ng Bayan 2022” which is about the voters’ preference for mayor (of their locality) within the National Capital Region (NCR) in relation to the 2022 elections. According to the poll organizers, their study was conducted from May 20 to 30, 2021 with feedback from 5,000 respondents.

When it comes to cities here in South Metro Manila, their study on the City of Parañaque showed that 50% of respondents prefer former Congressman Gus Tambunting as the next Mayor, and he is way ahead of incumbent Congressman Eric Olivarez (the brother of incumbent Mayor Edwin Olivarez who is now serving his third and final term).

To be very specific and clear, below is an excerpt about Parañaque City as written in the study itself. Some parts in boldface…

While in Parañaque City, outgoing Mayor Edwin Olivarez’s brother Eric Olivarez who is currently Congressman will run as the next Mayor who achieved as 35-percentage result against former Congressman Gustavo “Gus” Tambunting who received a 50-percentage count.

For transparency, posted below are the two pages of the study sourced from RP- Mission and Development Foundation Inc.

Page 1
Page 2

Going back to the study, it’s hard to say if the results about Parañaque can be taken seriously even though it has been publicized through a number of national publications. Apart from listing only two candidates, there is no telling as to how many of the alleged 5,000 respondents were from Parañaque who supposedly participated.

The way it has been presented, it shows a 2-way fight for the mayoralty of Parañaque between Congressman Eric Olivarez and former Congressman Gus Tambunting. The latter leading by fifteen points.

To give the constituents of Parañaque a clearer view as to who they prefer to be the new Mayor in 2022, it would be helpful if the survey organizers would conduct another study and include more potential candidates and be more transparent with regards to respondents’ being from Parañaque. Imagine for example, as the deadline for the filing of candidacies at the COMELEC approaches, one of the barangay captains in the city decides to run for Mayor. Or what if former Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe decides to run again? The organizers of the survey should do more studies in the months to come so that voters of Parañaque can get a clearer look at the potential battle for the mayoralty.

Who is Gus Tambunting?

For the newcomers reading this as well as those who are not too familiar with former Congressman Gus Tambunting and the history of Parañaque, Tambunting is the grandson of the late classic actress Mila del Sol.

With regards to public service, Tambunting has an enduring track record of election victories and public service in the form of legislation and projects. When Parañaque was still a municipality (note: it became a city in early 1998), he ran in the 1988 local election (the first local contest after the People Power Revolution of 1986) and won a seat for Municipal Council.

After serving the people of Parañaque, Tambunting went on to get re-elected as Councilor in 1992, 1995, and then as City Councilor 2001 and 2004. In 2007, he went higher as he got elected as Vice Mayor of Parañaque and got re-elected in 2010.

In 2013, Tambunting went even higher after getting elected as the Representative of the 2nd District of Parañaque City in the House of Representatives. In 2016, he survived an election challenge by former Congressman Roilo Golez winning a 2nd term with a lead of a little over 3,000 votes.

In 2019, he stepped down which paved the way for his wife Joy Tambunting to run and win the 2nd District seat he previously occupied in representing the city in Congress.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are registered voter of Parañaque, would you be voting for Eric Olivarez or Gus Tambunting for Mayor if the 2022 local elections were held today? Do you find the Parañaque results of the study by RP- Mission and Development Foundation Inc. credible or interesting or pointless?

Other than Eric Olivarez and Gus Tambunting, who else in Parañaque City do you prefer to become the new Mayor?

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 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: Las Piñas City joined NCR 8+ Virtual Commitment Ceremony and Symbolic Vaccination of A4

Yesterday the City Government of Las Piñas joined the NCR 8+ Virtual Commitment Ceremony and Symbolic Vaccination of A4 and it was Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery who participated officially online.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt (note: translated from Tagalog) from the City Government’s official Facebook page post regarding the matter. Some parts in boldface…

Las Piñas City Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery closely monitoring the virtual commitment ceremony online. (source – City of Las Piñas Facebook page)

The Las Pinas City Government, led by Vice Mayor April Aguilar, joined today in the NCR 8+ Virtual Commitment Ceremony and Symbolic Vaccination of A4. Vice Mayor April and other Metro Manila Mayors swore in and attended via Zoom.

Also present at the scene were DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Secretary Carlito Galvez, Secretary Vince Dizon where they all gave messages. The Chair of Senate Committee on Health and Demography Sen. also delivered a special message. Bong Go as well as DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and the last is the message of Dear President Rodrigo R. Duterte for the people encouraging to get vaccinated and be safe.

Currently, the City Government is continuously conducting the master listing of A4 so that when the National Government issues guidelines, we will immediately vaccinate in the said category.

For clarification, A4 is the category pertaining to frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel according to the Department of Health (DOH). Previously, COVID-19 vaccination programs served patients categorized A1 (workers in frontline health services), A2 (all senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities).

More on the City of Las Piñas, it should be noted that the City Government, the barangays and other strategic partners have been working hard to have their constituents vaccinated for COVID-19 and help the unvaccinated citizens to come forward by registering for the free vaccines.

In recent times, the City Government launched a third way of helping people get registered, that over 80,000 residents have gotten vaccinated (first and second doses altogether), and those who got vaccinated can qualify to win prizes in a special raffle draw under the incentive program of Las Piñas City Representative Camille Villar. The City Government already announced that additional vaccination sites will be established.

More on the vaccination of patients under A4 category, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez stated that this development will boost the Philippines inoculation program as well as its economic recovery.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you categorized as an A4 patient for COVID-19 vaccination? Have you checked with the local authorities about this matter?

For those living in Las Piñas, does this development encourage you to get registered and join the line for the free COVID-19 vaccines?

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 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 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.

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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

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.

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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

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.

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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

COVID-19 Crisis: More than 30,000 people vaccinated in Las Piñas City

It’s been quite some time since the official numbers about Las Piñas City residents and frontliners getting vaccinated for COVID-19 was last revealed. Thanks to the Manila Bulletin with Mayor Imelda Aguilar being the primary source of information, we now know that over 30,000 people there got injected with COVID-19 vaccines. Take note that Las Piñas has ten vaccination sites and should have its newest isolation site open by now.

Las Piñas City residents who have yet to get themselves registered to avail of free COVID-19 vaccines, can learn the ways right here. For everyone’s information, more COVID-19 vaccines from abroad will come in and the City Government already made its move to acquire 300,000 additional AstraZeneca vaccines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from Manila Bulletin’s report. Some parts in bold…

A total of 33, 578 individuals have been vaccinated in Las Piñas City, Mayor Imelda Aguilar said Wednesday.

Out of the total number of individuals vaccinated in the city, 5,057 were frontline workers, 16, 208 were senior citizens, and 12, 313 were persons with comorbidities.

The city has 10 vaccination sites that can vaccinate around 300 individuals per day, according to Aguilar.

Meanwhile, the city government of Las Piñas said it is expecting to receive around 11,700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

While Las Piñas was not one of the five National Capital Region (NCR) cities that received Sputnik V vaccines, it is a recipient of Pfizer vaccines. Pfizer happened to be one of the vaccines that Israel used.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you were vaccinated already, how organized was the vaccination program there in Las Piñas City? What was the vaccine you were injected with? How many people there in your local community are aware of the local vaccine registration program?

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 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 and Parañaque to receive Russian vaccines

It has been reported by GMA News that the initial batch of COVID-19 (China Virus) vaccines from Russia called Sputnik V has finally arrived and the South Metro Manila cities of Muntinlupa and Parañaque are among the five National Capital Region (NCR) to receive them. To be clear, the said vaccines are only 15,000 doses and the five NCR cities will get an equal share of three thousand doses each.

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

In an interview on “Dobol B TV,” Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the five cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) were chosen because they have “appropriate” cold storage facility for the Sputnik V  vaccine.

She said the five cities are Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Manila, and Parañaque, which will get 3,000 doses each of the vaccine.

“Mayroon silang (five chosen cities) cold-chain ready facility na mag fit (that is desirable),” said Cabotaje, adding that  Sputnik V needs to be stored in a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius.

Also, Cabotaje said simulations for the vaccines will be conducted by the Parañaque City government in partnership with the private sector.

Further, she said the Makati City LGU has partnered with Makati Medical Center to deploy the vaccines.

On the other hand, Cabotaje noted that Sputnik V can be administered to Filipinos ages 18 and above. She said there were no side effects reported from other countries, so far.

Sputnik V’s second dose must be given 21 days after the first shot was injected, Cabotaje added.

Asked when the remaining 485,000 Sputnik V doses will arrive, Cabotaje said: “It will depend on the vaccine availability and shipping logistics.”  The national government earlier said that it expects the remaining batches of Sputnik V to be delivered this May.

Moreover, Cabotaje said the ordered doses would be sent in batches to allow Russia to study the country’s vaccine deployment process.

“They sent small doses first because they want to know how we administer their vaccines so that the drugs won’t be wasted,” Cabotaje said in Filipino.

On Saturday, the plane carrying the trial-order doses of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute vaccine landed in Manila. Its arrival was delayed twice due to logistical concerns.

Meanwhile, Sputnik V’s importation has recently been flagged by a Brazilian health regulator’s technical staff over “critical issues” on its efficacy rate and safety.

But earlier, the Philippine FDA said Sputnik V has a 91% efficacy rate.

Those are very interesting details. The Russian vaccine had a high efficacy rate from the local Food and Drug Administration although the regulators of Brazil rejected it resulting a potential lawsuit. Brazil’s regulators defended their decision. The report published by Science Magazine states: A confusing and unusually nasty fight broke out this week over the safety of a Russian COVID-19 vaccine known as Sputnik V after a Brazilian health agency declined on Monday to authorize its import because of quality and safety concerns. The stakes escalated yesterday when the Twitter account officially associated with the vaccine said “Sputnik V is undertaking a legal defamation proceeding” against Brazil’s regulators.

In an online press conference several hours later, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) defended its decision, maintaining that documentation from some of the Russian facilities making Sputnik V shows that one of its two doses contains adenoviruses capable of replication, a potential danger to vaccine recipients. The vaccine uses two different adenoviruses, which cause the common cold, to deliver the gene for the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVD-19. Both are supposed to be stripped of a key gene that allows them to replicate.

The Monday announcement left many scientists and media outlets believing Anvisa had directly tested Sputnik V for replicating adenoviruses, which would be unusual for a regulatory agency. But Anvisa has since clarified—it had not and was relying on information provided by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the Moscow-based developer of the vaccine.

For more information, I encourage you to read the article in full. Lots of really technical information to read and understand.

In closing this, let me ask you readers from Muntinlupa and Parañaque…if you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 yet, are you willing to get injected with Sputnik V vaccine when your turn happens? Why?

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 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).

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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

I Love Israel: Israel’s success in dealing with the pandemic acknowledged

Yesterday, there was this article published in the Philippine Star (online version here) with a title that caught my attention…O Israel!

The said article was written by long-time columnist Boo Chanco (who cited the Washington Post, Capital Economics and Deutsche Welle for context) and to put things in perspective, below are notable excerpts for your reading. Some parts in bold…

Excerpt 1

According to The Washington Post, Israel is now partying like it’s 2019.

“With most adults now vaccinated against the coronavirus and restrictions falling away – including the lifting this week of outdoor mask requirements – Israelis are joyously resuming routines that were disrupted more than a year ago and providing a glimpse of what the future could hold for other countries.”

Oh, Israel! How did you guys do it? We are still in limbo. The best guess for us puts two more years of aimless wandering in the COVID desert.

Excerpt 2

According to The Washington Post, “the rate of new infections has plummeted – from a peak of almost 10,000 a day to about 140 – and the number of serious coronavirus cases in many hospitals is down to single digits.

The emergency COVID-19 ward at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv resumed duty as a parking garage, and waiting rooms are suddenly flooded with non-COVID patients coming for long-deferred treatments.”

But Israeli health officials are quick to note that the pandemic is not over. They are worried about the variants. There is also the possibility of outbreaks in schools, where most students are too young to be vaccinated.

Still, Israel is showing what other nations can expect if they can keep on vaccinating.

“With almost 90 percent of the most vulnerable cohort – those 50 and older – fully inoculated, experts say hospital ICU units are now shielded from being overwhelmed, as almost happened earlier in the pandemic.”

Just two months ago, the spread of the disease stubbornly refused to slow. Vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine is making the difference for Israel.

Dr. Tony Leachon, who once advised IATF, however observed rightly that while “vaccines save lives, the success of Israel is anchored on leadership and governance, and agility in execution.”

According to Deutsche Welle, Israel was able to secure large quantities of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine because Israel agreed to pay double the price for each dose.

Excerpt 3

Israeli officials explained they agreed to pay extra per dose because they figured that in pure economic numbers, the total amount they overpaid was a miniscule fraction of what it costs to lockdown the country. This is not counting the extra medical costs of COVID and the incalculable price of losing a loved one.

Poor Filipinos. We don’t have leaders who think as clearly as the Israelis. We have red tape loving bureaucrats. So, we didn’t have enough vaccines early enough, and it seems we have the wrong one.

A successful vaccination rollout would be our country’s economic game changer. But as Capital Economics said, progress has been disappointing as only one percent of the population has been inoculated almost two months since the start of the program.

Israel launched one of the fastest rollouts in the world. According to The Washington Post, Israel delivered just under 10 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine regimen, reaching 4.98 million people or about 55 percent of its total population. An additional 400,000 Israelis have received one shot.

“If those who have been infected and then recovered are added, more than 60 percent of Israeli residents now have some level of protective antibodies. The virus is running short of vulnerable bodies to infect.”

Can you imagine if we were able to do that for Metro Manila? NCR’s population is comparable in number to Israel’s.

Wow! Those are very notable details. It is very clear that Israel went all-out and paid heavily to protect their people and set the stage for social and economic comebacks. I admire Israel for their focus, their efforts and management of the COVID-19 crisis (China Virus) there. To put things in perspective, watch these related YouTube videos below…

By comparison, the efforts here in the Philippines are nowhere as efficient and nowhere as successful. It should be noted that yesterday, the Philippines’ total number of COVID-19 cases has passed the 1,000,000 mark. Regardless, I encourage you all to read Boo Chanco’s article in full at https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/04/26/2093707/oh-israel

Going back to Israel, they already announced that they will open their borders to foreign visitors who have already been vaccinated for COVID-19.

In ending this piece, let me ask you readers the following questions:

  1. What is your opinion about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program and the way they managed their economy and society?
  2. Here in the Philippines, what is your opinion about the COVID-19 crisis-related efforts of the national government as well as the local government units (LGUs)?
  3. Also here in the Philippines, as local citizens, do you believe your respective mayors are diligently working to serve you and protect your from COVID-19? Do you find your mayors more focused with their egos instead of performing public service?
  4. Still here in the Philippines, if you are a local business owner or manager, has your local government been helpful or harmful?

If you are willing to answer, please do so in the comments section below. If you want more privacy, please contact me directly 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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com