COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City starts vaccinating seniors with Sinovac, completes inoculation of healthcare workers

Following the approval of the Food and Drugs and Administration on the vaccination of senior citizens with Sinovac, the City Government of Muntinlupa officially started its roll-out among seniors yesterday.

The Muntinlupa City Health Office announced the roll-out of CoronoVac (Sinovac) among senior citizens starting April 12 in 14 initial vaccine centers in the city.

A senior citizen gets vaccinated with Sinovac. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Vaccination sites in Muntinlupa for A2 members (senior citizens) include Tunasan Elementary School (ES), Victoria ES, Muntinlupa National High School – Annex, Muntinlupa National HS Main, Poblacion ES (SV3), Putatan ES, Soldiers Hills ES, Lakeview Integrated School, Bayanan ES Main, Pedro E. Diaz HS, Cupang ES, Cupang Health Center, Buli ES, and Sucat Covered Court. The City Government targets to inoculate at least 44,000 senior citizens in Muntinlupa.

As of April 10, Muntinlupa CHO has received 20,317 COVID-19 vaccines from the national government, of which 20,063 are Sinovac and 254 are AstraZeneca. There are only remaining 13,964 vials, of which 13,921 are Sinovac and 43 are AstraZeneca.

Further, the vaccination of healthcare workers from A1 priority group was completed with 5,123 (100%) medical frontliners who were inoculated, of which 2,145 received Sinovac and 2,978 were vaccinated with AstraZeneca. While 4,189 (77.6%) individuals received the vaccine from A3 priority group (persons with comorbidities), of which 4,100 were given Sinovac and 89 received AstraZeneca.

Recently, Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi received his first jab of COVID-19 vaccine after President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the inoculation of mayors in “high risk” cities and towns.

Fresnedi, who is also a senior citizen at 70 y/o, has been vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine together with other healthcare workers and persons with comorbidities from priority groups last April 8.

The local exec urges fellow senior citizens and qualified residents who are members of the priority groups to avail the vaccination services of the government for them to have an added protection against the adverse effects of COVID-19.

He also encouraged the public to pre-register in the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration through www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac and to still strictly observe health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing.

Further, Muntinlupa City started distributing the emergency subsidy from the national government to families affected by the enhanced community quarantine in NCR Plus. As of April 12, Muntinlupa City has 8,930 confirmed cases with 6,938 recoveries, 1,757 active cases, 235 reported deaths, 216 suspect cases, and 771 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts 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

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COVID-19 Crisis: National Capital Region (NCR) and 4 nearby provinces plus a few other places now under MECQ until April 30, 2021

After two whole weeks of being placed under the restrictive ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna (note: these form NCR Plus as called by the local authorities) are now under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) until April 30, 2021. Far away from NCR Plus are the City of Santiago, the Province of Quezon and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) which also have been placed under MECQ status.

The shift to MECQ was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in relation to the commitments made by more public and private hospitals to provide rooms and beds for patients suffering from COVID-19 (China Virus). The President urged PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) to expedite the payment of claims of hospitals. For more details on this, read the Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) article.

MECQ is supposed to be the less restrictive form of quarantine. For one thing, the hours of curfew in Metro Manila has been adjusted to 8PM to 5AM (versus 6PM to 5AM under ECQ). To put things in perspective, here is an excerpt from the PNA’s article…

According to amended omnibus guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) as of April 3, 2021, strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households under MECQ. Movement of persons shall be limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in permitted offices or establishments or such activities allowed.

Persons below 18 years old, those who are over 65 years old, those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity, or other health risks, and pregnant women shall be required to remain at home at all times except for obtaining essential goods and services or for work.

Under the IATF-EID guidelines, the following establishments, persons, or activities shall not be permitted to operate, work, or be undertaken during MECQ:

— Entertainment venues with live performers such as karaoke bars, bars, clubs, concert halls, theaters, and cinemas;

— Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, and similar venues;

— Amusement parks or theme parks, fairs/peryas, kid amusement industries such as playgrounds, playroom and kiddie rides;

— Outdoor sports courts or venues for contact sports, scrimmages, games, or activities;

— Indoor sports courts or venues, fitness studios, gyms, spas or other indoor leisure centers or facilities, and swimming pools;


— Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments except for the draws conducted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office;

— Indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits;

— Outdoor tourist attractions;

— Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions;

— Personal care services which include beauty salons, beauty parlors, medical esthetic clinics, cosmetic or derma clinics, make-up salons, nail spas, reflexology, aesthetics, wellness and holistic centers, and other similar establishments; acupuncture and electrocautery establishments, and massage therapy including sports therapy establishments. It also includes establishments providing tanning services, body piercings, tattooing and similar services. Home service for these activities is likewise not permitted; and

— Indoor dine-in services of food preparation establishments such as commissaries, restaurants, and eateries.

Now that the MECQ is in effect, we will find out soon enough how the many struggling businesses will perform, how many affected employees will be able to return to work, how vehicular traffic on the highways and major roads will turn out and how these changes will affect the daily count of new COVID-19 cases which has been averaging over 10,000 a day recently.

It has been over a year since the China Virus spread worldwide and negatively impacted the way people lived, brought down their earnings, made attending on-site worship harder (note: the authorities in California did Satan’s bidding and the United States Supreme Court struck down their abuse of power legally), and pushed varied authorities to adjust the way they manage their places and constituents. No matter how grim the situation is, I urge you my readers to never lose hope and always look up to Lord Jesus who is the true Savior for us all. I encourage you to grab a copy of the Holy Bible and read the full Chapter 91 of the Book of Psalms, believe in it and come to Lord Jesus.

God will make a way for those who are faithful to Him. You do not need religion. You do not need unbelief. You do not need to believe in this screwed-up world we live in. You do not need idols for they are unholy and idolatry itself is foolish. You need unwavering faith in Him for He is holy and only He deserves our worship, trust and honor.

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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 City mayor Fresnedi gets vaccinated with AstraZeneca

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi received his first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine after President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the inoculation of mayors in “high risk” cities and towns.

Fresnedi, who is also a senior citizen at 70-years-old, has been vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine together with other healthcare workers and persons with comorbidities from priority groups yesterday at Muntinlupa National High School – Tunasan Annex, Brgy. Tunasan.

Muntinlupa mayor Jaime Fresnedi receives his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

As of April 7, Muntinlupa City Health Office recorded a total of 5,333 individuals from A1 priority group (healthcare workers) who were inoculated, of which 2,383 received SinoVac and 2,950 inoculated with AstraZeneca. While 1,043 individuals received the vaccine from A3 priority group (persons with comorbidities), of which 977 were given SinoVac and 66 received AstraZeneca.

The local exec urges qualified residents who are members of the priority groups to avail the vaccination services of the government for them to have an added protection against the adverse effects of COVID-19.

He also encouraged the public to pre-register in the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration through www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac and to still strictly observe health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing.

Recently, the City Government of Muntinlupa has reduced the composition of its skeletal workforce including its operating hours following a surge of COVID-19 positive cases among staff.

Through Executive Order 13 s. 2021, the manpower reporting in the City Hall premises was reduced and operating hours were limited from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The City Health Office recorded a high attack rate of up to 211 cases per 1.000 population among employees from March 27 to April 2.

The reduction in the work force covers offices in the Main Building, Annex Building, and People’s Center starting April 5, 2021 to give way to intensive disinfection, testing, and quarantine measures.

On April 5, the City Health Office has conducted a mass antigen testing of staff who reported physically for work. The CHO is closely monitoring all positive and probable COVID-19 cases among the workforce and implements strict isolation protocols, including contact tracing.

Further, Muntinlupa City started distributing the emergency subsidy from the national government to families affected by the enhanced community quarantine in NCR Plus. An initial pay-out for 1,322 beneficiaries was conducted at Tiosejo Covered Court, Brgy. Tunasan and Sucat Elementary School, Brgy. Sucat last April 8.

The priority beneficiaries for the financial assistance include SAP beneficiaries, SAP wait-listed, those belonging to vulnerable groups, and low-income individuals, among others. The City Government has distributed the assistance in cash amounting to 1,000 pesos per individual with a maximum amount of 4,000 pesos per family.

As of April 8, Muntinlupa City has 8,483 confirmed cases with 6,724 recoveries, 1,434 active cases, 225 reported deaths, 232 suspect cases, and 632 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts 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

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

S-PaSS now essential for those who need to travel far and pass through police checkpoints

Moving around the Philippines, specifically in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby provinces, has gotten tougher as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shift into ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) for the said places. ECQ is a more restricted status that will last from March 29 to April 4, 2021. Again, this is the national government’s response to the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases which are very disturbing.

To put things in context, here is an excerpt about ECQ from Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) report…

An ECQ status mandates all households to observe strict home quarantine. Movements will be limited to Authorized Persons Outside Residence, those accessing essential goods and services, and workers in establishments allowed to operate.

Mass gatherings (more than 10 persons outside and non-household members indoors) and face-to-face classes are also prohibited in ECQ zones. Mass transportation is allowed at limited capacity.

With regards to local travel during this time of ECQ, the S-PaSS  (Safe, Swift & Smart Passage) online travel management system is more essential and it has an app that can be downloaded for free. This is the same S-PaSS that the City Government of Las Piñas promoted recently.

For those who have not been familiar nor started using it, the S-PaSS was designed to facilitate a safe, swift and smart coordination of travels to destination LGUs (local government units). The traveler may check if the destination LGU has a restricted or unrestricted travel policy. If the LGU is restricted, the traveler must use the S-PaSS to apply for a TCP or Travel Coordination Permit. Travelers are free to visit any unrestricted destination LGU, however it is recommended to generate a TPP or Travel Pass-Through Permit if they will be passing through LGUs with restricted statuses.

The S-PaSS is now the subject of a new article published yesterday at Philippine News Agency (PNA) and below is an excerpt…

The new paperless app S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage) recently launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) offers a convenient and safe way to process travel authority online for local travelers, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas on Saturday said.

Sinas said S-PaSS will boost the PNP’s imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the quarantine control points (QCPs) that have been set up in different local government units (LGUs).

“It will continue to help and benefit LGUs in recording and monitoring in real time, traveler’s information, such as those who are going in and out of their respective localities,” Sinas said in a statement.

He said the implementation of S-PaSS by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) promises to be a one-stop-shop app for the local stranded individuals (LSIs), returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), emergency travelers (ETs) and other essential travelers during the pandemic.

“The PNP welcomes the development of this local mobility feature as a tool which integrates the processing system for the issuance of Travel Pass-Through Permit or TPP and Travel Coordination Permit or PCP, Travel Authorities and QR codes which quickly generates real-time reports needed,” he added.

Despite the use of the mobile S-PaSS app, Sinas said police deployment will continue to ensure strict public adherence to the implementation of minimum public health and safety protocols.

Last Friday, the DOST and partner government agencies officially launched the S-PaSS, a one-stop online communication and coordination platform for LGUs.

As you can see in the above information, the S-PaSS is crucial for those who need to travel far distances and reach their respective destinations (notably local government units). Apart from helping motorists, other travelers such as returning overseas Filipinos, the stranded people and the essential movers can avail of the system to move around. The Philippine National Police (PNP) recognizes S-PaSS officially.

To learn more about S-PaSS, https://www.facebook.com/spassph or visit their official website at https://s-pass.ph/

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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

Filipino caregivers and students get free vaccine in Israel

I am a Christian and I strongly believe in the strengthening of ties between the Philippines and Israel. This past February, Israel opened an honorary consulate in Davao City. Most recently there was a relevant news report that got published about the Philippines and Israel that I really loved reading.

The other day, the Israel Embassy in Manila announced that thousands of Filipino caregivers, students and diplomats availed of free COVID-19 vaccines in Israel. Below is an excerpt from the news report published by Philippine News Agency (PNA)

The free inoculation is part of the Israeli government’s vaccination drive to immunize all residents in the country, regardless of their citizenship status.

Around 5.2 million people have so far been administered with at least one dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Israel, 30,000 of whom are Filipino caregivers and 400 are exchange students.

Filipinos with expired working permits as well as the staff of the Philippine Embassy in Israel also received the free Pfizer shots.

Israel Ambassador to Manila Rafael Harpaz said this free access to vaccines is another way of expressing Israel’s gratitude to the overseas Filipino workers, particularly caregivers working in their country.

A Filipino getting vaccinated in Israel. (source – Israel in the Philippines Facebook page)

“Israel is thankful for the Filipino caregivers for helping the elderly and the disabled Israeli citizens during the Covid-19 outbreak. For many years, the Israeli government has been providing the Filipino caregivers with full access to the advanced medical services of our country,” he said.

Harpaz added that Israel has been taking “good care” of the Filipino caregivers while citing a 2018 agreement signed during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel.

Israel in recent months has also supported the Philippine government in its pandemic response by donating personal protective equipment to the front-liners of the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police, and equipment to assist the Department of Education in implementing distance learning.

To put things in perspective, the ties of the Philippines and Israel go a long way back. Many decades ago, then President Manuel Quezon (head of the Philippine Commonwealth Government) offered save haven to Jewish refugees who fled the Nazi regime. This act was never forgotten by the Israeli people. In 1947, the Philippines voted in favor of United Nations Resolution 81 which created the State of Israel. Philippines-Israel ties progressed further by establishing full diplomatic relationships in 1957 and the following year, a treaty of friendship was signed.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte visited Israel (Duterte is also the first Philippine President to visit there) which was groundbreaking. Watch the videos below…

In July 2019, I attended the Networking Night of the members of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) in Makati City. During that event, there were speeches delivered by Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Sagiv Massad, the Embassy of Israel’s Deputy Chief of Mission Yulia Rachinsky-Spivakov which gave me a clear view about the growing ties between the Philippines and Israel.

In ending this, praying for the Israelites and for the peace of Jerusalem is essential for all Christians. Here’s a video from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) for you to watch.

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

Muntinlupa City’s road clearing efforts earn positive remarks from DILG-NCR

Members of the regional validation team from the Department of the Interior and Local Government conducted a road clearing assessment in Muntinlupa and recognized the city’s efforts in maintaining cleared major and inner roads.

DILG-NCR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Analyn Baltazar-Cortez led the validation team with representatives from MMDA, DPWH, and NCRPO as they inspect ten (10) local roads yesterday.

ARD Cortez presented some major and minor obstructions observed by the team during their inspection and discussed recommendations for the local government’s consideration. She also lauded the visible effort to clear local roads and rehabilitate sidewalks in Muntinlupa.

“While we acknowledge that the maintenance of cleared roads is a challenging task, the efforts for road clearing is very noticeable. There is a roving vehicle for public announcement, traffic enforcers are highly visible on major intersections, and roads are generally clean and well maintained,” Cortez said.

The final rating will be released by the DILG upon completion of inspection visits in all Metro Manila local government units. Muntinlupa is the 13th LGU to be visited by the regional validation team.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi welcomed the recommendations from the DILG and ordered barangay chairmen to immediately resolve observed obstructions within their areas of jurisdiction. Fresnedi commits to continually support the National Government’s thrust in the clearing of all obstructions and rehabilitation of public roads.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (center) welcomes the DILG regional validation team led by DILG-NCR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Analyn Baltazar-Cortez (left of Fresnedi) during an exit conference yesterday. The validation team conducted an inspection to assess the local government’s road clearing efforts. ARD Cortez recognized the visible effort to clear local roads and rehabilitate sidewalks in Muntinlupa. The final rating will be released by the DILG upon completion of inspection visits in all Metro Manila local government units. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered clearing of obstructions on public roads and sidewalks, including the removal of illegal structures, illegally-parked vehicles, and illegal vending.

DILG reiterated the continuation of Road Clearing Operations through the issuance of MC 2020-145 mandating LGUs to remove road and sidewalk obstructions, craft and implement displacement plans, rehabilitate and maintain cleared roads, and create a grievance mechanism.

Under the Memorandum Circular, LGUs were enjoined to conduct road clearing operations from November 16, 2020 to January 15, 2021. It was later extended to February 15, 2021. 

The degree of implementation varies depending on the community quarantine status raised in the respective locality. For Muntinlupa, partial implementation of the road clearing’s continuation is expected as the city is under the General Community Quarantine.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake 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

DTI issues new memorandum for the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas starting March 5, 2021

Do you miss watching movies in the cinemas? The COVID-19 pandemic really brought the movie theater industries around the world to a screeching halt which negatively impacted the way movies were distributed and led to the laying off of many employees who worked in the cinemas.

Here in the Philippines, movie theaters are only operating in cities or provinces which are under the state of MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine) which has lesser restrictions compared to GCQ (General Community Quarantine). The thing here is that Metro Manila (which is composed of multiple cities that each has its own government) is still under the GCQ level of control and as of this writing, movie theaters still have not reopened.

Just weeks ago, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced it will allow a variety of businesses to resume operations and among them are the cinemas. Unsurprisingly, the Metro Manila mayors reacted negatively.

That was back then. Even though President Rodrigo Duterte refused to shift the entire nation into MGCQ status, movie theater operators (and their employees) in Metro Manila and other areas still under GCQ status now have something to be happy with as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a new memorandum circular allowing movie theaters in GCQ zones to reopen starting March 5, 2021.

Below is an excerpt from the news article published the other night at Philippine News Agency’s website…

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 21-08 allowing movie houses in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) to reopen starting March 5.

The circular stipulates that cinemas in GCQ areas are only allowed to operate up to 25-percent capacity.

However, moviegoers are prohibited to eat and drink, while face masks shall be worn at all times inside the cinema.

A one-meter physical distance on all sides is also required.

“In the event of free seating, cinema staff shall usher customers to their seats to comply with the physical distancing and maximum operational capacity requirements,” the MC said.

On the other hand, cinemas in modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas are allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity.

As you can see in the details in the above excerpt, movie theaters in GCQ zones will be allowed to resume operations but with limitations such as 25% maximum capacity (with social distancing implemented) allowed and the prohibition on moviegoers from consuming food and beverages (this limitation will hurt the cinemas’ food and beverage business partners).

As for the requirement to wear face shields inside the cinema, it’s really a detriment because face shields obscure people’s visions and therefore moviegoers won’t be able to enjoy the visuals displayed on the big screen. 

Let’s be honest here…how many people would really want to watch films inside the movie theater without food and beverages, and having to view films with their vision negatively affected by face shields? I can only state that the DTI should reconsider these limitations soon.

It is understandable that safety measures and the health protection for the public are essential for the national authorities to do which explain the limitations for cinemas in GCQ areas. Take note from the excerpt below…

“Following the earlier agreement at the IATF (Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), DTI issued the circular that will guide the implementation of a safe and gradual reopening of more businesses and economic activities. This is part of our mandate to ensure that as more businesses reopen to provide more jobs and sources of income for our countrymen, the strict health protocols are enforced,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Lopez said while the government continues to reopen more economic and business activities, minimum health measures should be strictly implemented.

The thing which we should observe here in the Philippines is how the local government leaders of GCQ areas will react to DTI’s memorandum circular. Be aware that Metro Manila alone is home to lots of movie theaters, including those with 4D and IMAX technologies. These cinemas, many of which are part of shopping malls, have not operated for almost a year now and they badly need to resume their business not just to serve paying customers but also to take care of their employees such as security guards, ushers, ticket booth operators, film projector operators, etc. Do not forget about the businesses that partnered with cinemas to sell popcorn, snacks and beverages. Right now, economic recovery and job creation are of the utmost importance during this time of pandemic.

Now that you have read this, let me ask you what do you think about this news? Is the DTI right to issue the new memorandum? If you are living in a Metro Manila city, how has your local government leaders reacted to the news? When was the last time you watched a movie inside the cinema? Have you contacted your local cinema operator?

Watch out for further updates right here.

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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

Step-by-step MGCQ for the Philippines?

By now, it has been made clear that the Philippines won’t shift to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) because President Rodrigo Duterte wants vaccination for COVID-19 to happen first. To put it short, health and personal safety are being prioritized although this means more waiting on the part of many people who are still unemployed and struggling without the needed income.

Yesterday, a new report published by Philippine News Agency (PNA) states that Duterte is taking a “step-by-step” approaching to the planned shift to MGCQ for the nation according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

Here is an excerpt from the report…

“For him (Duterte), it’s a step-by-step approach. Itong step muna before we go to the next step (We have to take this step first before we go to the next step), Nograles said in an online press briefing.

Nograles said it was “difficult” for Duterte to turn down the proposed shift to MGCQ.

However, Duterte wants to make sure that people’s health and safety would not be compromised, Nograles said.

“Again, the President and the government recognize the urgency of reopening the economy so we can resume the pre-pandemic upward trajectory and sustained growth of the economy. This, however, should be done side-by-side with measures that will ensure that we do not compromise efforts to contain Covid-19,” he said.

As seen above, the national leadership is aware of the need for economic recovery so that people suffering can be assisted by means economic opportunities. They are balancing economics with health as they are trying to find solutions and decide when to execute solutions. Shifting the whole nation to MGCQ can be done but with caution so that the risk of new infections won’t be too great.

Here is another excerpt…

The government was supposed to start its free vaccination program this month. However, there was a delay in the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines due to indemnification requirements.

Nograles said the IATF-EID would stick to the “month-to-month” assessment even if the government starts its mass immunization drive.

“If we go by the procedure, every end of the month, that is when we discuss ano ‘yung magiging recommendations namin kay Pangulo (what our recommendations to the President would be) for that succeeding month. So siguro (perhaps), in terms of timeline, perhaps that might be the same procedure that we follow,” he said.

The delayed arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines is indeed painful. Of course, people need to realize that while they can be helpful, the vaccines may not be the greatest solution to take during this pandemic. Even if a person gets vaccinated, caution must still be practiced when moving around in public.

More on the issue of shifting the entire nation to MGCQ status, I hope that the Metro Manila mayors as well as their advisers and experts would start researching how local governments and community leaders in other cities and provinces are doing under the declared MGCQ statuses in their respective areas. With Duterte’s refusal to move the nation into MGCQ, Metro Manila leaders have time to do such research.

Going back to Duterte and his cabinet, a new executive order (EO) is being prepared to institutionalize the 2021-2022 National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) with the goal of bringing back jobs in the labor market. Here’s an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency report…

In a virtual presser, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the NERS was discussed and approved during the 52nd Cabinet meeting presided over by President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañan Palace on Monday night.

“Another initiative that was discussed yesterday (Monday) was the 2021-2022 National Employment Recovery Strategy or NERS…An executive order (EO) is now being readied to institutionalize the NERS task force in order to oversee all of these efforts,” he said.

Nograles said the NERS is meant to help create a policy environment that encourages the generation of more employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

It is also expected to improve the employability and productivity of workers as it provides support to existing and emerging businesses.

“The strategic framework of the NERS is based on the following pillars — stimulating the economy and employment; supporting enterprises, jobs, and income; protecting workers in the workplace, and trusting social dialogue to encourage innovative solutions,” he said.

Watch out for more national developments here.

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CREATE bill to boost Philippine economy by cutting corporate income tax and implementing incentives

Yesterday, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez announced that the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act is aimed to reduce the corporate income tax which should lead to creating more jobs as well as attracting investments.

Given the dramatic fall of the Philippine economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CREATE bill could be the big solution to boost the economy and pave the way for recovery. For almost a year now, the said pandemic caused a lot of people to lose their jobs and much of their income. A lot of businesses closed down as well.

For your reference, here is a long excerpt of the news release about the said bill published via Philippine News Agency (PNA). Key words are highlighted in bold:

The recent bicameral approval of the game-changing CREATE Act can also provide a big boost to the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force chaired by the DTI and co-chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), which was signed last Feb. 5 by several agencies.  

“The landmark tax and incentives reform bill that we expect to be signed by the President is expected to bring in (a) massive inflow of investments that will create more jobs, especially as we focus efforts in the National Employment Recovery during this period of the pandemic and beyond. The passing of CREATE will firm up the tax and incentive reforms that will make the investment climate significantly more attractive than the current tax and incentive regime,” Lopez said in a statement.

He said the bill will certainly encourage more investments with the lowering of the corporate income taxes rate from 30 percent to 20 percent for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and 25 percent for large corporations.

“Modernizing the incentives system likewise makes the incentives such as income tax holiday (ITH), special corporate income tax rates (SCIT) or enhanced deductions (ED), available to industries considered strategic, critical or export oriented,” he added.

The Trade chief said the length of incentives, such as four to seven years of ITH plus five or 10 years of SCIT or ED, will depend on the nature of industry, export or domestic oriented, degree of technology and value adding, and geographical location, with additional years outside the Metro Manila and urban centers.

“There is also (a) longer transition period for those currently granted incentives. Thus, incentives are now made more performance-based, focused and timebound,” Lopez said.

CREATE is a bill certified urgent by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte upon the recommendation of the economic team led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

Lopez also thanked the legislators at the Senate and the House of Representatives, with Sen. Pia Cayetano and Rep. Joey Salceda, respectively, as principal authors, for the hard work of the committee members in bringing the CREATE bill to fruition.

“The passing of CREATE will unleash the growth potential of investments by removing uncertainties during the period that the bill was under deliberation,” Lopez said. “Based on our estimate and those from Cong. Joey Salceda, CREATE can bring in over PHP200 billion of new investments that can generate 1.4 (million) to 2 million incremental jobs.”

CREATE will help boost investments in the Philippines, which would support the 2021 target of the Board of Investments (BOI) of PHP1.25-trillion investment approvals.

A report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had also estimated that the Philippines bucked the trend in Southeast Asia, and had increased its foreign direct investments (FDIs) during the pandemic by 29 percent last year.

Meanwhile, the NERS 2021-2023 is a medium-term plan anchored on the updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and ReCharge PH by expanding the Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan initiative and improving access and security of employment.

The strategy also takes into consideration the changes in the labor market brought about by the pandemic and the fast adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) technologies.

“NERS shall also consolidate all measures, programs, and institutions that influence the demand and supply of labor, as well as the functioning of labor markets,” Lopez said.

Members of NERS Oversight Committee include the Departments of Transportation (DOTr), Tourism (DOT), Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Science and Technology (DOST), Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Agriculture (DA), Agrarian Reform (DAR), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Information and Communications Technology (DICT),  Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and National Security Council (NSC), as well as the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS), Departments of Finance (DOF) and Budget and Management (DBM), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said: “This JMC (joint memorandum circular) will fortify our collective undertaking as a Task Force working to develop a policy environment that encourages the generation of more employment opportunities, improves employability and productivity of workers, and supports existing and emerging businesses.”

Lopez further stressed the importance of continuing with the calibrated and safe reopening of the economy to allow the country to regain the growth momentum that it had before the pandemic. 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this post 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