COVID-19 Crisis: Panic and the closing of borders related to the Omicron variant

As a growing number of nations closed their borders to foreign travelers due to the fear over the Omicron variant (coronavirus variant B.1.1.529) magnified by secular and liberal news media organizations, CBN News published a related news report highlighting the statement of the head of the South African Medical Association that Western nations are panicking unnecessarily over the said new variant.

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

The World Health Organization calls Omicron “a variant of concern,” but admits more needs to be learned about it. 

Initial reports describe it as having very mild symptoms.

But the virus may also be highly transmissible. Two new cases have just been confirmed in Canada, the first known to have reached North America. 

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said preliminary evidence shows that it is more transmissible. “We don’t know for sure. We really have no data on severity, whether it’s more severe, milder, or more significant,” Jha said.

The United States has decided to ban travelers from South Africa and seven other countries in the region.

Israel has closed its borders to noncitizens for two weeks and has authorized cell phone surveillance of anyone confirmed to be carrying the variant. 

Japan also suspended entry to foreign visitors.

But the head of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, said Western nations are panicking unnecessarily

There’s body aches and pain with a bit of a headache, not really sore throat, more of a scratchy type of description and no cough and no loss of smell or taste. And that’s what I call ‘mild symptoms.‘”

South Africa’s Health Minister, Joe Phaala, slammed what he called the ‘draconian’ travel bans.

“The reaction of some of the countries in terms of imposing travel bans and such measures are completely against the norms and standards as guided by the World Health Organization.” 

Here in the Philippines, the Omicron variant news reports sparked calls for ramping up COVID-19 vaccination just as the 3-day nationwide vaccination drive resulted 2.5 million shots administered on the first day. Omicron also brought local stocks down by a little over 1% on November 29 and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the required wearing of face shields (which are unpopular and are really inconvenient to use as they distort vision and make verbal communication more problematic). These local developments show how much of a negative impact Omicron has made through the news and also shows how concerned or panicky people could get.

Anyone who follows Jesus as Lord and Savior should know that no matter what the situation and no matter how much fear and negativity the global new media spreads, they should NOT panic at all and should maintain unwavering faith in Him for protection and lifting.

To all the faithful as well as all others who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior reading this…the Lord will not abandon us nor forsake us. Trust in the Lord wholeheartedly and eternally. Submit to the Lord and be led by the Holy Spirit. Learn from the following scriptures below…

Do not yield to fear, for I am always near.
    Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God.
    I will infuse you with my strength
    and help you in every situation.
    I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.’
“All who rage against you will be ashamed and disgraced.
    All who contend with you will perish and disappear.
 You will look for your enemies in vain;
    those who war against you will vanish without a trace!

Isaiah 41:10-12 (TPT)

Fear and intimidation is a trap that holds you back.
    But when you place your confidence in the Lord,
    you will be seated in the high place.

Proverbs 29:25 (TPT)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:6-9 (NKJV)

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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: Face shields no longer mandatory in areas under Alert Levels 1 to 3

It took a long time to happen but it finally happened at last and will surely provide people relief from the so-called protective but inconvenient face shields. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommended lifting of the mandatory use of face shields specifically in areas under Alert Level 1, 2 and 3, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report. The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommended the lifting in response to the much-improved situations (note: low daily counts of new COVID-19 infections and the continued rise of people getting vaccinated) of the nation under the pandemic. Be reminded that prior to this new development, there was a collective push to make face shields non-mandatory in Metro Manila.

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

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to lift the mandatory use of face shields in areas under Alert Level 1 to 3.

“Ang decision ko is okay, tanggalin nyo na yung [face] shields. Pwede na ninyong (My decision is okay, you can remove face shields. You can), you dispense with the shields but not the (face) mask,” Duterte said in his prerecorded “Talk to the People”.

Duterte said face mask would remain part of the day-to-day safety measure “kasi matagal pa itong virus na nasa hangin lang (because the virus which is airborne will be here for a long time).”

He urged the public to make sure that the Covid-19 positivity rate in the country will continue to go down by following the health and safety protocols.

“You have to obey what the government will tell you to do because it’s for the good of the country and for you. Sumunod lang kayo (Just obey),” he said.

On Monday, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum detailing the voluntary use of face shields in places with a relatively low Covid-19 alert level.

According to the memorandum, the use of face shields in community settings shall remain mandatory in areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns.

For places under Alert Level 4, local government units and private establishments are given the discretion to maintain or remove the wearing of face shields policy.

People residing in places under alert levels 3, 2, and 1 can voluntarily use the face shields as their added protection.

“The above protocols are without prejudice to the continuing mandatory use of face shields in medical and quarantine facility settings, and the required use thereof by healthcare workers in healthcare settings,” the order read.

The IATF-EID on Dec. 14, 2020 issued Resolution 88, requiring all persons to wear full-coverage face shields on top of face masks in all public places to control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Based on the above details, for as long as an area is under Alert Level 3 and lower, face shields are no longer mandatory. Just optional. While a lot of face shields believers out there expressed that the said items are highly protective and prevent COVID-19 from entering people’s eyes, face shields are always inconvenient as they obscure people’s visions and make verbal communication even harder. Try talking to someone while you are wearing both a face mask (which itself muffles your speaking) and a face shield.

As long as COVID-19 infections are low and as long as people practice caution, walking around and doing your objectives without face shields can be done in areas under Alert Level 1-3. With the recent change, I encourage you to pay close attention to your own locality and also observe how the Metro Manila mayors and the MMDA will act and think now that face shields are no longer required in areas under Alert Level 1-3.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you relieved that face shields are no longer mandatory in areas under Alert Level 1-3? How much money did you spend on face shields since the start of the pandemic? How many face shields do you have right now?

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

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. 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: Muntinlupa City Council enacts ordinance scrapping the mandatory use of face shields within city limits

The collective push on making face shields non-mandatory in Metro Manila gained strength lately as City Council of Muntinlupa enacted an ordinance scrapping the mandatory use of the said things within the city’s jurisdiction, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

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

The Muntinlupa City Council has enacted an ordinance scrapping the mandatory use of face shields in the city.

Majority Floor Leader Raul Corro told Manila Bulletin that the City Council enacted the ordinance on Nov. 8. The ordinance, he said, lifted the mandatory use of face shields except in hospitals and clinics.

The approval of the ordinance came ahead of the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the use of face shields.

Interior Sec. Eduardo Año defended the issuance of executive orders (EOs) by Manila and Davao scrapping the use of face shields, saying mayors and local government units have the power to issue executive orders and ordinances under Republic Act 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991.

He cited Section 16 of the code, which states that “every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied there from, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.

Año was reacting to the comment by presidential spokesman Harry Roque who said the EOs are “null and void” for violating an executive order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Personally, I give the Muntinlupa City Council’s enactment my approval. Face shields should no longer be required not simply because they are inconvenient to use but because they are less relevant given the much-improved situations in Metro Manila related to the pandemic. The daily national count of new COVID-19 infections are much lower now, more people in Metro Manila have practiced caution and followed local health protocols, more people have gotten vaccinated and fully vaccinated (29.8 million as of November 9, 2021), etc.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what can you say about this latest local development? Do you think the City Councilors made the right move? Have you personally encountered someone who strongly believes that using face shields should remain a requirement all over the country?

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: Wearing of face shields outdoors is no longer required

It is all over the news right now…the wearing of face shields outdoors is no longer required as President Rodrigo Duterte stated recently.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report. Some parts in boldface…

Filipinos are no longer required to wear face shields outdoors, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Wednesday.

Duterte made the pronouncement, as he approved the recommendation of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to limit the use of face shields to the so-called “3Cs,” which refers to “closed and crowded” spaces, and activities that “promote close contact.”

“I was informed of the recommendation from the Technical Advisory Group and medical groups that the use of face shields, on top of face mask, may be limited to high-risk activities under the three Cs – closed, crowded pati (and) close contact,” Duterte said in his prerecorded Talk to the People.

Duterte also ordered that the implementation and guidelines on the latest policy on use of face shield be done “immediately.”

“Puwede na tanggalin sa labas (You no longer need to use that outside). No more face shields outside. Ang limitasyon, ang face shield gamitin mo [sa] three ‘Cs’ (The limitation is use face shield in three ‘Cs’),” he said. “Iyang tatlo na iyan, face shield is a must pa rin. Iyan ang recommendation (Face shield is still a must in three [‘Cs]. That’s the recommendation).”

On September 10, Duterte told the public that while wearing a face shield could not provide “complete” protection,” it could still control the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Dec. 14, 2020 issued Resolution 88, mandating all persons to wear full-coverage face shields on top of face masks in all public spaces to reduce Covid-19 transmission.

However, Duterte in June this year ordered the public to wear face shields only in hospitals.

Duterte later decided to keep the IATF-EID’s policy on the mandatory use of face shields in public spaces, given the presence of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? Do you truly believe that face shields do provide real protection from COVID-19 infection while being used outdoors? Were you able to understand the President’s mention of the three C’s? Do you feel relieved about this latest development at all?

Do you personally know someone who got apprehended for not wearing a face shield outdoors?

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: Vaccine czar Galvez favors vaccine booster shots for health workers and patients with comorbidities

Were you fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in your local community? If you were, you better make sure you keep your records and remember under what category you were counted in as a patient and what brand of vaccine you were injected with because recently Philippine vaccine czar and secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. announced that he favors vaccine booster shots for health workers and patients with comorbidities which GMA Network reported.

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

Philippine vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said he is in favor of giving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to healthcare workers and people with comorbidities.

“I don’t have any problem with it. Our healthcare workers must be given full protection,” he said in Filipino during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum, adding Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac is willing to donate 500,000 booster doses for medical workers.

Galvez, however, said the government is still waiting for the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the vaccine expert panel.

The Duterte administration has requested for standby authority from Congress to buy P45.367 billion worth of booster doses next year.

And posted below is the related GMA news video…

If ever the said booster shots will be approved and made available and legal for the Philippines, the government and the local government units (LGUs) better establish the health policies and clarify it to the constituents. This is because a certain person who got fully vaccinated in Mandaluyong City crossed over to another city to get injected with a third shot (the so-called booster) which caught the attention of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos who himself was mayor of Mandaluyong. In relation to that incident, Muntinlupa’s City Council approved a local ordinance against illegal vaccine booster shots.

That being said, it is important to look closely at how the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) behave, think, analyze and make decisions not only with the vaccine booster shots but also on the proposal to allow vaccinated patients to enter food-beverage joints as well as personal care service joints operating at 20% capacity during MECQ.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe vaccine czar Galvez knows what he is talking about? Do you agree with him favoring healthcare workers and comorbid patients as the first recipients of potential vaccine booster shots? If not, which type of patients should receive the vaccine booster shots first?

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: Online stockbroker predicts PSE index to reach 8,100 level by the end of 2021

With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) all set to take effect all over Metro Manila for two weeks starting August 6, a lot of people are disturbed about what lies ahead. For one thing, there is the highly infectious Delta variant spreading nationwide. There is also the potential economic damage and the effects ECQ will have on many workers.

And then there is the local stock exchange. While many investors are constantly looking on different directions and varied factors to decide what to do with their respective investments, the COL Financial Group recently revised its end-of-the-year estimate for the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) but their new prediction still points to a higher count than what the current index shows.

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

Online stockbroker COL Financial Group expects the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) to end the year at 8,100, slightly lower than previously projected, supported by optimism for faster economic recovery and earnings growth.

COL chief equity strategist April Lynn Tan said their forecast for PSEi has been reduced from 8,300 considering the lower earnings incurred by property companies as their mall operations are affected most by the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under the most restrictive ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20 to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

This, after the one implemented from May 17 to April 13, 2021 to stem the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) surge.

We cut our earnings forecast and fair value estimates for the property companies given that they are part of a lot of the big holding companies that also dragged our fair value estimates. (But) an 8,100 target is still significantly higher from where we are today. That is why, we keep on saying that the negatives are priced in,” Tan said in a virtual press briefing Monday.

She said companies are “coping well” with the pandemic, adding that almost all sectors, except the property sector, reported higher year-on-year earnings.

“The reason why companies were able to deliver higher profits in the first quarter of this year compared to last year even though we are still in the pandemic is because they have adapted to the pandemic scenario by cutting cost and of course they also benefited from the lower tax rate, thanks to the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives) law,” Tan said.

President Rodrigo Duterte last March 26 signed into law the CREATE Act reducing the corporate income tax rate by 5 to 10 percent for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other corporations.

Moreover, Tan said they remain bullish of the stock market on the back of efficient vaccination efforts and inflation reaching its peak.

Predicting the future is very unpredictable no matter what category gets discussed. Remember when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) predicted a brighter post-Olympics future for the city of Rio de Janeiro in relation to hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games? What happened after Rio Olympics were lots of unfulfilled promises, deteriorating facilities and a lot of embarrassment.

Going back to Philippine stocks, the COL Financial Group showed lots of details in their explanations of their 8,100 index end-of-2021 prediction. They were right to point to the CREATE Law which itself was a factor in the spike of foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country last April. The CREATE Law effectively reduced the corporate income tax rates for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). From this point on, it is interesting to see how the CREATE Law will impact the national economy and the local stock exchange in the months to come.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are an investor, what can you say about COL Financial Group’s end-of-the-year prediction for the Philippine Stock Exchange? Are you confident that the economic stakeholders, the businesses and investors will emerge stronger starting with the end of the next ECQ period until the end of the year? Is the CREATE Law positively impacting your business and/or investments?

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: ECQ for Metro Manila announced (August 6 to August 20, 2021)

A lot of people were very surprised yesterday with the sudden announcement that Metro Manila will be placed under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status effective August 1 until August 20, 2021 supposedly in connection to the rising spread of the highly infectious Delta variant (Parañaque and Las Piñas each have one) and COVID-19 cases in general. It is surprising because very recently it was announced that the National Capital Region (which Metro Manila is clearly part of) would be placed under the strict form of general community quarantine (GCQ) from August 1 to 15, 2021.

Take note that the Metro Manila mayors favored ECQ and even set terms that include the national government will provide financial assistance to their respective constituents plus millions of vaccines.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article about the sudden ECQ announcement. Some parts in boldface…

Metro Manila will be placed under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20, Malacañang said on Friday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) recommendation to impose the strict quarantine classification in Metro Manila.

In an announcement aired over state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Metro Manila will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions” from July 30 to August 5 and will shift to ECQ from August 6 to 20.

“Hindi po naging madali ang desisyon na ito. Maraming oras ang ginugol para pagdebatehan ang bagay na ito (It is not an easy decision. We have spent so much time to debate on the proposal [to place Metro Manila under ECQ]),” Roque said.

Metro Manila is currently under GCQ with heightened restrictions. Its quarantine status was supposed to be extended until August 15.

However, Metro Manila mayors have urged the IATF-EID to implement a two-week ECQ in the country’s metropolis to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.

More restrictions

Roque said “additional restrictions” would be imposed in Metro Manila from July 30 to August 5.

The heightened restrictions for NCR are more stringent compared to the GCQ with heightened restrictions of other areas,” he said in a press statement.

Roque said indoor dine-in services and al fresco dining are prohibited and only take-out and delivery are allowed in Metro Manila.

“For people working in these establishments, operations are allowed to continue and finish within the day,” he said.

Personal care services like beauty salons, beauty parlors, barber shops and nail spas may operate up to 30 percent of venue or seating capacity, Roque said.

He added that indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions and specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT) may not operate, while outdoor tourist attractions, as may be defined by the DOT, will be allowed at 30 percent venue capacity.

Roque said only Authorized Persons Outside their Residences will be allowed to travel “into and out” of NCR Plus, which is composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

Only virtual religious gatherings shall be allowed. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than Covid-19 shall be allowed, provided they are limited to immediate family members, he said.

Avoid panic buying

Following the government’s decision to implement ECQ in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20, Roque reminded the public not to resort to panic buying.

“Meron naman tayong isang linggo para mag-prepara dito sa two weeks na ECQ. Wala pong dahilan para mag panic buying dahil maski ECQ po, bukas naman po ang ating mga groceries (We still have one week to prepare for the two-week implementation of ECQ. There’s no reason for panic buying because despite the ECQ implementation, groceries are still open),” he said.

Apart from Metro Manila, Iloilo province and its city, Cagayan de Oro City, and the City of Gingoog in Misamis Oriental have also been placed under ECQ from July 21 to August 7.

On Tuesday, Roque announced that individuals residing in Iloilo province and its city, as well as the cities of Cagayan de Oro City and Gingoog, will receive cash assistance worth PHP1,000 per individual or PHP4,000 per family.

When quizzed if Metro Manila residents would also be given financial aid, Roque said: “Most likely but will seek confirmation.”

And here are related news videos to watch…

Economic damage and losses very likely

While it is understandable that ECQ is a response to the Delta variant and COVID-19 problems, it is very clear that this will result more financial losses on businesses and damage the nation’s economy which itself has been struggling to stand up and grow. Take note that the more businesses lose money, it could lead to job losses and result in lower tax collection on the part of the national government and LGUs. For insight, posted below is an excerpt from another PNA article published before the ECQ announcement. Some parts in boldface…

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for approving the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to put Metro Manila and nearby provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

The economy cannot bear another massive lockdown. We lose around PHP30 billion for a two-week lockdown. Many lost their jobs, livelihood, most of them are micro (and) SMEs (small and medium enterprises),” Lopez said during the Laging Handa public briefing Thursday.

He said the recommendation of placing National Capital Region (NCR) Plus under GCQ with heightened restrictions is in accordance with the IATF’s consultations with reliable health experts.

“We really take a balance, a holistic approach,” he added.

Lopez underscored that the IATF enforces restrictions amid the threats of the more infectious Covid-19 Delta variant.

But the restrictions are focused on ‘super spreader’ activities like mass gatherings, while lockdowns will remain a granular lockdown approach, the DTI chief said.

He also called on businesses to create their own health and safety committee that will ensure minimum public health protocols are being monitored and maintained in their respective establishments.

COVID-19 vaccination operations will still continue

Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccination operations will still proceed during the ECQ period. Check out this excerpt from the GMA Network news report below…

Malacañang said the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program will proceed in Metro Manila even if the region will be under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20.

Yes, definitely [it will proceed]. Details will be provided in due course of the COVID-19 vaccination committee,” Roque said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you surprised about the sudden announcement of ECQ for Metro Manila? Do you believe that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) is correct that the national government should provide the financial aid and vaccines for their respective constituents?  Could it be possible that certain city governments or LGUs (local government units) of Metro Manila have ran out of funds and have no choice but to rely on the national government to provide for them?

If you are a business owner within Metro Manila, do you believe that August 6 is too early for the imposition of another ECQ? Do you think that the Metro Manila mayors spent enough time researching about the potential economic damage of the ECQ they pushed for?

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: Strict GCQ declared for NCR and bordering provinces effective August 1 until August 15, 2021

Even as more people in Metro Manila have gotten worried about the highly infectious Delta variant which has been detected already in Parañaque and Las Piñas, the general community quarantine (GCQ) for the National Capital Region (NCR) and bordering provinces has been declared which will take effect on August 1, 2021 and will last until August 15, 2021, as reported by the Philippine New Agency (PNA).

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

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the recommendation to extend the general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions in Metro Manila until August 15, Malacañang announced on Wednesday.

The stricter GCQ has been retained in Metro Manila, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) observed an increase in the daily attack rate, two-week average attack rate, and health care utilization rate in the country’s metropolis, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a pre-recorded Talk to the People.

“The Chief Executive extended the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions classification of the National Capital Region beginning August 1, 2021 until August 15, 2021,” Roque said in a press statement.

Apart from Metro Manila, four of its nearby provinces – Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – will also be placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions from August 1 to 15, Roque said.

And here is a related news video by GMA Network…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Are you surprised about the strict GCQ for Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal? Do you believe that the highly infectious Delta variant can be contained? Are you ready for another lockdown? Have you been vaccinated already?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: GCQ in NCR and 4 provinces stricter until July 31

You must have heard the news this past weekend. In case you missed the news, the general community quarantine (GCQ) status in the National Capital Region (NCR) plus four provinces has gotten stricter since July 23 and this new adjustment will last until the end of this month. At the same time, children are to keep staying indoors. The national authorities confirmed it.

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

The quarantine status in Metro Manila and four other provinces has been upgraded to stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions,” Malacañang announced on Friday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) recommendation to place Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte under a more restrictive GCQ from July 23 to 31.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said Metro Manila must follow the health and quarantine protocols for areas under GCQ “with heightened restrictions.

“The same IATF rules would be observed when NCR was previously under GCQ with heightened restrictions,” Roque said in a press statement.

Metro Manila, which was placed under GCQ “with some restrictions” from July 1 to 15, was initially put under regular GCQ from July 16 to 31.

On the other hand, Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte were originally under a more restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), while Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur were supposed to be under modified GCQ (MGCQ) until the end of July.

Duterte, meantime, agreed to downgrade the quarantine classification in Davao del Sur to GCQ from MECQ, Roque said.

“Davao del Sur, which is previously MECQ, is placed under GCQ starting July 23, 2021 until July 31, 2021,” he said.

No outdoor activities for kids

Now that Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte are under GCQ “with heightened restrictions,” children aged five and above can no longer stay outdoors, Roque said.

“As these areas will be placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions, children five years old and above will not be allowed to go to outdoor areas, as provided for under IATF Resolution No. 125,” he said.

Under IATF-EID Resolution 125 issued on July 8, children as young as five years old can go outdoors despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, so long as they are residing in areas placed under GCQ and MGCQ.

Children can only go to outdoor spaces like parks, playgrounds, beaches, biking, and hiking trails, outdoor tourist sites, and attractions as may be defined by the Department of Tourism, including on outdoor non-contact sports courts and venues, and al-fresco dining establishments, according to the resolution.

Apart from the stricter GCQ, there is also an adjustment on the Metro Manila curfew hours which has taken effect already. The new curfew hours are now 10PM to 4AM.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this news? Do you believe that the spreading Delta variant here in the Philippines is a factor behind the move to a stricter GCQ?

If you are a parent, what do you think about the national authorities’ decision to keep children indoors?

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: GCQ with some restrictions in Metro Manila in effect

Effective today, Metro Manila is officially under general community quarantine (GCQ) status and the additional restrictions that were previously in place have been lifted. This in turn makes it a more relaxed GCQ in the metropolis in relation to what was previously declared.

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

The additional restrictions in Metro Manila amid the general community quarantine (GCQ) status have been lifted, Malacañang announced on Thursday.

This developed after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), in a meeting held Wednesday, decided to recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the further easing of restrictions in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila will be placed under the more relaxed GCQ starting July 16, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who also serves as IATF-EID spokesperson, said in a video message.

Metro Manila was initially placed under GCQ “with some restrictions” from July 1 to 15.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Metro Manila resident or if you own a business within Metro Manila, do you feel more confident about the so-called more relaxed GCQ status? Do you think that the current number of vaccinated Metro Manila residents was a factor with the lasted decision?

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