The significance of the return of Megarahe Sale inside Alabang Hills Village

This past weekend, the annual Megarahe Sale of Alabang Hills Village resumed – fully titled as “Megarahe Sale & Kids Bazaar, Ukay-Okay!” – with the local community center as the venue. I visited the Megarahe Sale twice last weekend and I can confirm that it was a lively event as it attracted a lot of sellers who displayed a wide variety of items, and several buyers arrived and searched. There were also some really nice bargains on display. Take note that this is the first Megarahe Sale to be held in the last few years as the COVID-19 pandemic set everyone back.

A lot of sellers, customers and products during the Megarahe Sale in Alabang Hills this past weekend.
Some products on display.

For the newcomers reading this, the Megarahe Sale is Alabang Hills’ special community event held annually giving the local residents opportunities to sell goods to customers (including visitors who are able to enter the village with valid car stickers issued by the Alabang Hills Village Association) with a single, wide, and comfortable venue that can accommodate a lot of people.

As the name Megarahe shows, it is in concept a collective garage sale with the community in mind. More on the garage sale aspect, AHVA’s annual event spares local residents from having to go through all the trouble of organizing garage sales in their respective homes.

As I mentioned before, the return of Megarahe Sale is a very welcome development in line with the gradual normalization of life. Slowly but surely, people, communities, churches and businesses are recovering from the tremendous setback of COVID-19. At the same time, people nowadays are more educated about COVID-19, they got vaccinated or boosted for improved protection from COVID-19, and the national government already declared the optional use of face masks outdoors. Of course, lots of people have gotten sick and tired of spending so much time at home since the first COVID-19 lockdown started more than two years ago and this in turn fueled their desire to move out, go around and do their activities freely. In my opinion, the Megarahe Sale’s return is a blessing and the AHVA should be commended.

Customers checking out the items for sale.
Missing out on community events like this means missing out on bargains.

Megarahe Sale this year could inspire other residential communities and commercial joints in South Metro Manila to host or organize more community events as the Christmas season gets closer. I have fond memories attending in 2019 the BF HomeSarap food fair in BF Homes (specifically BF NorthWest), the Village Food Fair 2 at Madison Galeries, and Mardi Gras Bazaar 3 also at Madison Galeries. Also a few years ago, I attended a pre-Christmas bazaar inside Alabang Hills Village before the pandemic happened, and I wonder if the AHVA will be organizing a new one this year.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you were able to visit the Megarahe Sale in Alabang Hills this past weekend, what do you think about the event? Were you able to find and buy something? Did you take advantage of the bargains? Do you hope to see the Alabang Hills Village Association organize a pre-Christmas bazaar this November or December for your Christmas shopping needs?

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

For inquiries about Alabang Hills Village, visit https://alabanghillsvillage.com/ or call their association at 88508254. You can visit their office at 1 Don Jesus Boulevard inside Alabang Hills Village from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM. Always remember to follow their rules and speed limits whenever you are in the village. Be aware also of the recent in-village traffic adjustments.

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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 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: Philippines pandemic exit strategy coming

It has been over two years since the entire Philippines first got setback economically and socially by the COVID-19 crisis. Until now, people, private organizations and businesses are still struggling to fully recover from the varied effects that come with government-imposed restrictions, limitations on business-related activities, and the public’s complacency towards COVID-19. It is bad enough that the Philippines now has a core of anti-vaccine fanatics who are misinforming and scaring people while offering no real solutions to the problems.

Speaking of solutions, a pandemic exit strategy is brewing high up in the government and it should be sent to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., soon, according to a recent report by the Manila Bulletin.

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

A Cabinet member has committed that the proposed pandemic exit strategy crafted by a panel of medical experts will be endorsed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Former presidential adviser and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said that Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos will endorse the proposal which the government can adopt to help the country transition from pandemic to normalcy.

In a statement, Concepcion said “Abalos said he will endorse the presentation of the proposals to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

Abalos also said that he “will organize a meeting with the Department of Health (DOH) to initiate more vaccinations at the community level.”

Abalos also agreed on the importance of raising booster vaccination rates to 70 percent of the eligible population which is included in the pandemic exit proposal.

“Kailangan ng isa pa. Isa pa para sa mga pamilya, isa pa para sa komunidad (We need one more One more for our families, one more for our community),” Abalos said.

With this, Concepcion also renewed his call to push for one more massive effort for vaccination.

Complacency is really the problem. There is no sense of urgency because people don’t see what might happen if our wall of immunity starts to weaken,” he said.

Concepcion explained that re-infections are quite possible, and that cases of long Covid have grave consequences on productivity, and ultimately, the economy.

He echoed Abalos’ statement that “we need to convince people that they need boosters.”

The DILG Chief recently met with Concepcion and members of the Advisory Council of Experts (ACE), a group of medical doctors, scientists and academics comprising the country’s foremost authorities on public health, molecular biology, disaster resilience, data insight and analysis, and economics.

The group’s proposal outlined parameters to ease the country into normalcy and encourage economic activity without risking the public’s health. It has been met with approval from the private sector, including several industry groups and businessmen.

Abalos further expressed optimism as the proposal was an initiative of the private sector, and that it puts emphasis on the importance of achieving high booster vaccination rates.

As you can see in the above news excerpt, national government officials, private sector members and other stakeholders have been brainstorming and discussing ways with the exit strategy in mind to truly lift the nation further from the COVID-19 crisis. Former presidential adviser Joey Concepcion is absolutely right when he pointed to complacency which is an enduring problem on the part of the public when it comes to how they perceived COVID-19, vaccination and health. I am certain that a lot of people got fooled by the anti-vaccine fanatics who keep on spreading misinformation and fear.

On the aspect of vaccination, I do agree that a major renewal of COVID-19 vaccination and booster shot rollouts should happen soon. I’m talking about reopening the closed vaccination sites, deploying a lot of health workers with lots of supplies of vaccines prepared, and making sure that each vaccination hub is well organized (note: we don’t want a repeat of the very embarrassing Parañaque Pfizer vaccine launch of May 2021). In addition, the national authorities should come up with ways to make economic recovery more achievable for businesses and employees. On the topic of new infections caused by Omicron and its subvariants, our nation should serious consider acquiring more Sputnik vaccines as those have proven to be very effective against Omicron. Whatever the details they are discussing, the pandemic exit strategy for the Philippines something that everyone should watch out for.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Do you think that the national authorities and other stakeholders will be able come up with a pandemic exit strategy that will work? Do you think that the anti-vaccine fanatics will ramp up their misinformation campaign and fearmongering now that they know a national pandemic exit strategy is being developed? Do you think President Marcos will spend sufficient time to review the pandemic exit strategy before issuing his response?

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 as well as 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 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: Senator Marcos says DOH should not dismiss parental consent with regards to the vaccination of children

If you are a parent, are you comfortable about the idea that the government will have authority over your kids so that they would be vaccinated for COVID-19? This is the hot issue that a lot of people have been thinking about as Philippine Senator Imee Marcos reacted to a memorandum issued by the Department of Health (DOH) that enables the government to dismiss parental consent related to the efforts of vaccinating minors, according to a Manila Bulletin report. It should be noted that the government just launched a new COVID-19 vaccination campaign aimed at kids aged 5 to 11-years-old.

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

Senator Imee Marcos on Sunday said she is outraged at the Department of Health (DOH) for releasing a memorandum that enables the government to dismiss parental consent if a child is willing to be vaccinated.

Marcos reminded the DOH that the government should not and can’t usurp parental authority.

Government cannot usurp parental authority. Parents have the right to decide on the health and safety of their children,” Marcos said in a statement.

Marcos is referring to the controversial memorandum issued last January 24 stating that the government can act as “parens patriae” – Latin for parent of the nation – when a child wants to be vaccinated but parental consent is denied.

Stated on Page 6 of the memorandum stated that: “In case the parent/guardian refuses to give consent to the vaccination despite the desire and willingness of the minor child to have himself/herself vaccinated, or there are no Persons that may legally exercise parental authority over the child, the State may act as parens patriae and give the necessary consent. Therefore, the proper officer representing the State as parens patriae may sign the consent form. In this regard, the DSWD or its city/municipal counterparts shall serve as the proper office who shall represent the State.”

“The DOH has a lot of explaining to do. This isn’t the first time it committed a gaffe of such magnitude,” Marcos pointed out.

Last December 2021, the government announced it had bought some 15 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate children 5 to 11 years old, but they were forced to move the start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for minors to Monday, due to logistical problems.

The senator said she hopes that the push to vaccinate children is “really for their sake and not for the sake of vaccine purchases already made.”

Senator Marcos pointed out that government cannot just usurp the authority of parents who themselves have rights to manage and decide on the health of their kids. Think about that carefully…government becoming the authority over the children and rolling over the parents? The government, which itself changes as a result of elections being held every few years, would be the parent or guardian of children on health matters?

Government on any level here in the Philippines is flawed, bureaucratic and cannot move efficiently. Governance itself could reflect the personality or mindset of the elected officials. Regardless, I should point out that no matter what kind of good intentions or grand plans elected officials have for the people, there will always be blunders that will cause inconvenience or even cause harm to the people. Look at the City of Parañaque where their Pfizer vaccine launch last May was so chaotic and heavily covered by the media. On the issue of dealing with their unvaccinated members of their constituents, Parañaque’s restrictions on the unvaccinated still remained in effect even though the quarantine level of control in Metro Manila was officially lowered into Alert Level 2.

On the issue of government rolling over the parents and having authority over their children, there already is resistance as a petition was filed at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) versus the COVID-19 vaccination of minors aged 5 to 11-years-old. The people who filed the petition are parents and their case challenged the constitutionality of the DOH’s Memorandum No. 2022-0041. Clearly the DOH and its top officials have explaining to do.  

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a parent with children aged 5 to 17, are you willing to let government take authority away from you as public officials have the intention of vaccinating minors for COVID-19? Are you concerned that the Philippines is slowly drifting towards tyranny? Do you support Senator Marcos’ stance towards the DOH? Do you think it is time for DOH’s top officials to resign even though the Duterte administration now has only a few months left before the end of its service? Who do you think wrote the DOH memorandum?

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@twitter.com 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: Denmark lifts most of its pandemic-related restrictions

If you are tired of the COVID-19 pandemic, face masks, vaccine passes/cards and face shields, and if you are looking for the normalization of life, you might want to pay close attention to the nation of Denmark as it lifted many pandemic-related restrictions, according to an Agence France Presse (AFP) news story picked up by GMA Network. Take note that this is the second time Denmark attempted a return to pre-pandemic life and as of this writing more than sixty percent of the Danish population have been boosted (three shots) with COVID-19 vaccines.

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

Denmark waved goodbye to facemasks and health passes Tuesday as it became the first European Union country to lift all of its domestic COVID-19 curbs despite record numbers of cases of the milder Omicron variant.

Only a few restrictions remain in place at the country’s borders, for unvaccinated travelers arriving from non-Schengen countries.

After a first attempt at lifting restrictions between September and November, the Scandinavian country once again ditched its COVID-19 checks and limited opening hours for bars and restaurants.

“For me, the best part is that we don’t need to wear masks anymore,” Natalia Chechetkina, a receptionist in Copenhagen, told AFP.

“At least now we have a choice — if we want to protect ourselves or we want to feel free.”

Marie Touflet, a 23-year-old French student in the capital, said it was “pretty strange to take the metro without a mask, compared to France”.

“It’s really nice to be able to see people’s faces and it feels like we’re living normally again,” she said.

The easing comes as Denmark registers around 40,000-50,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, or almost one percent of the country’s 5.8 million inhabitants.

Health officials believe those figures will soon start going down.

“There are strong indications that the infection has peaked in the areas where it has been most pronounced,” Tyra Krause of Denmark’s public health and research institution SSI told news agency Ritzau.

“So it’s super good timing for the restrictions to be eased.”

‘Shift of responsibility’

More than 60 percent of Danes have received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — one month ahead of health authorities’ schedule — compared to an EU average of just under 45 percent.

Including those who have recently had COVID-19, health authorities estimate that 80 percent of the population is protected against severe forms of the disease.

With Omicron not being a severe disease for the vaccinated, we believe it is reasonable to lift restrictions,” epidemiologist Lone Simonsen of the University of Roskilde told AFP.

Two years after the start of the pandemic, the Danish strategy enjoys broad support at home.

In a poll published Monday by daily Politiken, 64 percent of Danes surveyed said they had faith in the government’s COVID policy, while the lifting of restrictions also has widespread support in parliament.

Going forward, Danes are being urged to exercise personal responsibility.

Without a COVID pass there will be a shift of responsibility,” Simonsen said.

Danes have increasingly used home tests to detect infection, but these are now being phased out and instead, anyone with symptoms is advised to stay home.

The Danish Health Authority currently “recommends” those who test positive to isolate for four days, while contact cases no longer need to quarantine.

Facemasks and the COVID pass are also recommended for hospital visits.

Denmark lifted restrictions as the World Health Organization chief Tuesday warned it was too early for countries to either declare victory over COVID-19 or give up attempts to halt transmission.

For further understanding about the latest development in Denmark and what their Prime Minister stated, posted below is an excerpt from the January 28, 2022 news story by CBN News. Some parts in boldface…

Denmark’s government said Wednesday it will scrap most pandemic restrictions next week, even as neighboring Sweden extended its own measures for another fortnight.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that as of Feb. 1 Danes will enjoy free access to restaurants, cafes, museums and nightclubs, while mask use will cease to be mandatory.

We say goodbye to the restrictions and welcome the life we knew before” the pandemic, Frederiksen said. “As of Feb. 1, Denmark will be open.”

Denmark currently requires face masks on public transportation, in shops, for standing clients in restaurant indoor areas, and for people entering hospitals, health care facilities, and retirement homes. As of Feb. 1, the government will only recommend mask use in hospitals, health care facilities and homes for the elderly.

Frederiksen said that while the omicron variant is surging in Denmark, it is not placing a heavy burden on the health system and the country has a high vaccination rate.

It may seem strange that we want to remove restrictions given the high infection rates,” she said. “But fewer people become seriously ill.

Denmark has in recent weeks seen more than 46,000 daily cases on average, but only 40 people are currently in hospital intensive care units – down from 80 a few weeks ago – Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.

Heunicke urged Danes to get tested regularly. ”We continue with a strong epidemic surveillance. Then we … can react quickly if necessary.”

Frederiksen warned that Denmark could see a rise in infections in the coming weeks, adding that a fourth vaccination shot might prove necessary.

The restrictions being scrapped next week were originally introduced in July but were removed about ten weeks later after a successful vaccination drive. They were reintroduced when infections soared.

In 2020, Denmark became one of the first European countries to close schools because of the pandemic and sent home all public employees without critical functions.

No matter what happens around the world and no matter what the mainstream news media reports, never forget that it is only the Lord who can lift us all up from this COVID-19 crisis, restore us, protect us and prosper us. For continued protection from the Lord, read the entire Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him in the privacy of your room. Jesus is our Lord and Savior!

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about Denmark’s moves of attempting to normalize life by removing COVID-19-related restrictions? Do you believe that your local community or even your national government can learn something from the Danes when it comes to pandemic living? How do you think the Danish people would react to the approved restrictions on unvaccinated people and businesses as implemented by the City of Parañaque (additional reference here)? Do your local government officials believe that face shields are truly protective from coronavirus?

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: Around 13 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive this month

As the old saying goes – the more, the better! I’m referring to the supplies of vaccines of COVID-19 that the Philippines badly needs and here is an update for this new month.

In an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), around thirteen million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will arrive from overseas for the month of July. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. was the source of this information.

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

About 13 million doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines will be delivered to the Philippines in July, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. bared during the weekly situation briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

Galvez, the Chief Implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said expected for delivery are 5.5 million doses of Sinovac and 1.17 million doses of AstraZeneca within the first two weeks next month.

On July 12, a total of 250,800 doses of Moderna and 500,000 doses of Pfizer may also arrive.

The country may also receive next month between 2 and 4 million doses from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, 800,000 to 1 million doses donated by the United States government, and 1.1 million doses from the Japanese government.

Galvez said the US government’s donation will most likely be the single-dose jabs by Johnson & Johnson.

Take note that 13 million is an estimate and the actual delivery could be affected by such factors out of the Philippines’ control such as flight delays, production problems, etc.

Meanwhile, it has been reported in the news that some vaccination sites around Metro Manila have been closed due to a lack of supply of vaccines. Parañaque City is included. Watch this GMA Network news video.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does the latest news about the incoming COVID-19 vaccines encourage you a lot? Do you know people who deliberately avoid getting vaccinated?

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

Ayuda sa Atleta campaign launched

A special campaign to help raise funds and donations in-kind for national athletes, both regular and the differently abled ones, and dubbed AYUDA SA ATLETA, was launched recently as an initiative of the private sector to help them in these difficult times of the pandemic.

Triathlon President and former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Tom Carrasco and veteran sports journalist and management consultant Lito Cinco, who wrote about the need for a community pantry of assistance to national athletes in his column The Bottom Line last April 21, co-lead the group. Joining them are sepak takraw President and POC official Karen Tanchanco Caballero, sports science figure and former national archer Nino Sinco, and sportsman/sports patron Alex Wang of Wang’s Ballclub.

The group is tasked to plan and manage the program, from raising funds all the way to distribution of the assistance to the recipients, initially with the differently-abled athletes who are more in need, “We know we cannot cover the total 1,500 number of national athletes and coaches, that is why decided to start off with the differently-abled ones and are in touch with PHILSPADA to get the complete roster,“ said Carrasco.

“We have categorized the assistance in the form of vitamins, sports drinks, energy bars, and personal hygiene items for those who would like to give in kind. Fortunately, Cebuana Lhuillier President/CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, himself a sports man and long-time supporter of Philippine sports has jumpstarted the program with a P250,000 donation. We hope other sports-loving companies and individuals will follow his lead, our national athletes who have brought us honor certainly deserve to be helped during this pandemic,“ added Carrasco, whose company, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines also donated P25,000 to the cause.

On his part, Cinco who has been long involved in projects for the needy, including current community pantries in Mandaluyong, said, “I was inspired by what I have seen about this community program that has grown all over and I thought, why not initiate one for athletes, and wrote about it . The following day after my column came out, I got a call from Cebuana Lhuillier pledging assistance. I was not really surprised about the help extended as I have known Jean Henri as sports patron for a long time.”

Solicitation letters will be sent to various companies and individuals for cash and in-kind donations, with the group promising transparency for all funds received and expenses made.

“Our target is to start the distribution to athletes by June to give us time to raise more donations so we can cover more athletes,“ concluded Carrasco.

For interested parties, contact persons for the program are Carrasco, 0917 8992999, Cinco, 0920 9241981 and lito_cinco@yahoo.com, Wang, 0943 0119811, and Tanchanco, dsgkarencaballero@olympic.ph

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Note: Some parts of the above press release were edited for this website.

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Millions more vaccines coming to the Philippines

For those who are scared about the Department of Health’s (DOH) daily count of new COVID-19 (China Virus) cases in the Philippines averaging 10,000, there is this recent news from the national government that could put some at ease – many millions more vaccines are coming into the country in the months ahead.

The press release published through Philippine News Agency (PNA) states that the national government is working hard to ensure that millions of COVID-19 vaccines from four manufacturers will arrive soon plus even more will come after April. The announcement was made by vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr.

For more, read the excerpt posted below. Some parts are in bold…

The government is working hard to ensure that the country can secure almost 14 million vaccine doses from four vaccine manufacturers within the second quarter, said vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19.

“The global supply is limited but the government is doing its best to ensure that the country will have a fair share of the vaccines. The instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte is for Filipinos to be vaccinated and save more lives as we collectively surmount the challenges brought about by the pandemic,” Galvez said.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Galvez said the delivery of 1.5 million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac is expected to be completed within April.

The government is expecting another 500,000 doses to be delivered on April 22, and another 500,000 doses on April 29.

Sinovac had shipped out 500,000 doses last April 11. These are on top of the 2 million doses that the Chinese vaccine maker had delivered to the country last February and March.

An initial 20,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V are also expected to arrive this week. The second tranche of 480,000 doses will be delivered before the end of April.

Galvez said the government is also expecting the shipment of 195,000 Pfizer vaccine doses by the end of April or early May.

He said there is also a possibility that AstraZeneca vaccines coming from the COVAX Facility will also arrive within the month.

For May, Galvez said the government expects at least 2 million doses of Sinovac vaccines to be delivered to the country, along with 1 to 2 million Sputnik V doses, and 194,000 Moderna doses.

He said the government is also working with the World Health Organization, GAVI, and UNICEF for the possible delivery of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines under the COVAX Facility.

Galvez said the government expects to receive 7 to 8 million vaccine doses in June. These include 4.5 million doses of CoronaVac, 2 million doses of Sputnik V, and 1.3 million doses of AstraZeneca.

“With the arrival of these vaccines, we will continue our aggressive vaccine roll-out in the county to protect the Filipino from Covid-19,” Galvez said.

As of April 18, a total of 1,477,757 vaccine doses have been administered in the country. Currently, only medical front-liners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities are being inoculated.

Starting mid-May or June, the government will allow the inoculation of other essential workers.

The Philippines ranks third among countries in Asean in the number of citizens that have been vaccinated, while the country has placed 41st out of 173 countries worldwide in the same category and 14th among 47 Asian nations.

At present, the government has signed contracts with five vaccine manufacturers, which include Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novovax and Gamaleya. Contracts with Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are being finalized.

Galvez said the country expects a steady supply of about 10 million to 15 million vaccine doses per month in the third and fourth quarters of this year. 

In response, Duterte lauded the government’s vaccination rollout, saying it is “more than an acceptable performance in the matter of the fight against Covid as far as the Philippines is concerned.”

“Maganda ang record natin (We have a good record) despite unfounded criticism…The Philippines was able to get the upper berth of the countries that are inoculated. Maganda ang record na ‘yan (That’s a good record) and to think people were almost in a quandary where to get the next vaccination,” the President said.

“Nakita mo naman hindi pala tayo ang pinakamahina at mataas ‘yung atin (We are not the weakest) and it goes to show that we are really working very hard especially Sec. Galvez to get the vaccines here in the Philippines on time,” he added.

Wow. That’s a lot of COVID-19 vaccines coming into the Philippines in the months to come. Achieving herd immunity for the Filipino people is the goal here and it is crucial not only for people’s lives but also for the economy. This China virus pandemic negatively impacted everyone and it even prevented people from heavily attending and worshiping the Lord together at churches. In the private sector, cinemas are still closed which took its toll on the 300,000 cinema industry workers.

While waiting for vaccines to arrive, residents of the cities of Muntinlupa and Las Las Piñas are encouraged to get themselves registered.

For Muntinlupa City, get the details here.

For Las Piñas City, get the details here.

Nationally, a total of 1,353,107 people have been vaccinated with a total of 1,562,563 COVID-19 vaccines as of April 20, 2021. Among those who got vaccinated were 989,703 healthcare workers.

If you have something to say about the current situation of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, or within your city or local community, you may contact me directly online or comment below.

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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

COVID-19 Crisis: Stricter quarantine outside of NCR Plus ruled out

Are you feeling tired of the restrictions that come with the quarantine for the past month? Moving from GCQ (general community quarantine) to ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and recently MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) made life in the so-called NCR Plus region (the National Capital Region plus the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal) a bit more complicated. Not only were people told to stay at home, there were several businesses that negatively got affected too.

As for those living outside the NCR Plus region, there has been fear brewing that they will find themselves living under a stricter quarantine soon. Those fears can be put to rest as Malacañang officially ruled out the possibility of a restrictive quarantine in communities and places outside of NCR Plus.

The brewing fear was the result of recent reports of the Department of Health (DOH) showing an increase of COVID-19 cases in five regions other than the National Capital Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the article published through Philippine News Agency (PNA).

In an online press briefing, Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there was an upward trend of Covid-19 infections in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region.

While the government is monitoring the situation in areas outside NCR Plus, it does not see the need to impose stricter quarantine rules in the entire Luzon, Roque said.

“Sa ngayon po, binabantayan naman po natin ang datos at wala pa naman pong ganoong conclusion ang nakikita natin. Ang talagang paglobo po ng mga kaso ay nandito sa NCR Plus. At kaya nga po ang response natin dito muna sa NCR Plus (As of now, we are monitoring the data and we have not arrived at a conclusion [to implement stricter quarantine measures in Luzon]. Rise in Covid-19 cases is seen in NCR Plus. So our response is focused on NCR Plus),” Roque said.

Roque added that the Covid-19 surge in other areas is not that “bad” unlike in NCR Plus.

“As I said, binabantayan din natin ang kaso sa iba’t ibang lugar ng Pilipinas pero so far po (we are monitoring the cases in different parts of the Philippines but so far), nothing as bad as what we are seeing in the NCR Plus,” he said.

Two weeks after being under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are now under the less stringent modified ECQ (MECQ) until April 30.

Apart from NCR Plus, the City of Santiago in Isabela, Quirino province, and Abra are also under MECQ.

A more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) is imposed in Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, Lanao del Sur, and Quezon.

The rest of the country remains under modified GCQ.

So there you have it. The above news and details should remind you that it is essential to follow health protocols by means of sanitizing yourself frequently, wearing face masks and face shields, and practicing social distancing.

Please share this article to others so that they will know that no stricter quarantine is planned outside of NCR Plus.

Now if only more vaccines could be made available locally so that this China virus pandemic will stop…

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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