1,212 schools nationwide turned over as vaccination, isolation sites — DepEd

Marje Pelayo   •   April 14, 2021   •   328

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 1,212 schools nationwide have been utilized as vaccination and temporary isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients, Education Secretary Leonor Briones confirmed on Tuesday, April 13.

Aside from classrooms and gymnasiums, school grounds are also converted into quarantine areas.

Ito ay ni-review ng DepEd , local government and DOH. Dapat papasa sa requirements ng DOH, dahil ayaw natin ma-expose kung sino mang andiyan sa eskwelahan at this time (The DepEd , local government and the DOH have reviewed these facilities. The areas should pass the requirements of DOH because we do not want to expose anyone present at the school premises at this time),” Briones said.

As requested by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Metro Manila mayors, the DepEd has allowed the use of some school buildings for government health-related activities.

May schools kami na one room lang ang clinic, mayroon kaming schools na medyo may lugar talaga for isolation centers. Ayaw natin gamitin ang schools na walang tubig, malayo sa health facilities at nasa crowded (We have schools with only one room for a clinic and we have schools with a place to spare for isolation centers. We do not want to use schools that lack water supply; too far from health facilities and located in crowded areas),” Briones explained, giving responsibility to local government units to manage and monitor all concerned schools.

Of the 1,212 schools used as quarantine facilities, only four are located in Metro Manila; 422 in Eastern Visayas and 216 in Bicol.

Education Undersecretary for Administration Alain Pascua explained that while the surge of infection is higher in Metro Manila, only a few schools were turned over for medical purposes because the region already has a lot of hospitals and facilities.


‘Maskless holiday’ sa Disyembre, target ng pamahalaan — Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Tiwala ang Malakanyang na maaabot ng Pilipinas ang minimithing ‘maskless holiday’ ngayong Disyembre sa gitna ng nagpapatuloy na vaccination program ng pamahalaan kontra COVID-19.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, malaki ang kumpiyansa ng pamahalaan na makakamit ang target na ito gaya ng nararanasan na ngayon sa ilang bansa.

“Kaya po yan. kaya nga po we are aiming for population protection… Kasi alam na natin sa mga bansang nakamit na nila ang containment, hindi na sila nagmamaskara at least sa outdoors gaya po ng Israel at ilang lugar sa Amerika,” ani Roque.

Sa datos ng pamahalaan as of June 16, 5.51 milyon na ang nakatanggap ng first dose ng COVID-19 vaccine sa buong bansa.Nasa 2.012 milyon naman ang nakakumpleto na ng doses.

Una nang sinabi ng pamahalaan na target nitong mabakunahan ang nasa 70 milyong mamamayan ngayong taon.

Ayon naman sa biological sciences expert na si Nicanor Austriaco, achievable ang target na ito kung hindi magkakaroon ng problema sa pagdating ng supply ng bakuna sa bansa.

Kailangan ding umabot sa 250,000 doses ang mai-administer sa isang araw sa National Capital Region (NCR) Plus areas mula ngayong buwan ng Hunyo hanggang November 30, 2021 upang maabot ang containment sa greater manila area gayundin ang tinatatarget na herd immunity.

“I follow the number of vaccinations in the NCR Plus 8, we have the capacity as long as we have the supply. I am hopeful that the supplies are arriving based on the schedule that Sec. (Carlito) Galvez has published,” ani Austriaco.

Giit pa nito, dapat mauna ang herd immunity kontra COVID-19 sa NCR plus upang maiwasan ang nangyaring spill over ng coronavirus infections sa iba pang bahagi ng bansa.

Sinabi rin ni Austriaco na hindi ginagamit ang bakuna upang tugunan ang kasalukuyang mabilis na pagtaas ng COVID-19 cases sa ilang bahagi ng bansa kundi upang maiwasan ang future surge na karaniwang nag-uumpisa sa Greater Manila area. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

2019 Performance-Based Bonus to be released in next two months — DepEd

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The release of the 2019 Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for teachers and eligible non-teaching personnel is expected within the next two months, according to Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones.

Briones, in a statement on Wednesday (June 16), said DepEd is working closely with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fast-track the release of the 2019 PBB. She also said that the target release within two months will still be subjected to the approval of the DBM.

As of June 15, 2021, the DBM Organization, Position Classification and Compensation Bureau (OPCCB) has already transmitted the FY 2019 PBB of the elementary and secondary schools of 12 DepEd Regional Offices.

“We will continue to work with DBM in endorsing, processing, and eventually, releasing the PBB funds as part of our outstretched assistance to all DepEd employees,” she said.

PBB is an incentive given to government employees in accordance with their performance and contribution to the accomplishment of their agency’s overall targets and commitments.

The DepEd Central Office is now finalizing the performance ranking reports. Briones said that achieving PBB requirements is a commitment and shared responsibility of all concerned offices across the DepEd offices in the country.

In the coming years, let’s work together in order to comply with all the indicators and aim for 100% eligibility to provide quality basic education services for all,” she said. AAC

IATF to meet Thursday to discuss face shield policy – Nograles

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to meet on Thursday afternoon to discuss the government’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.

In a message, IATF co-chairperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said among the topics that will be tackled in the meeting is the use of face shields.

“May IATF kami mamaya. Pag-uusapan namin,” he said.

The policy on face shield wearing made headlines anew after Senate President Vicente Sotto III and other lawmakers shared with the public their conversation with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on Wednesday about the limited use of face shield.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque later confirmed the lawmakers’ statements that the president did say that face shields should only be worn in hospitals.

Roque said the president’s decision becomes a policy but there is a possibility that the IATF will appeal if the face shield rule will be loosened.

Nograles assured they will immediately announce if there are any changes in health protocols.

“If there is any announcement sa bagong protocol, ilalabas namin,” he said.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega earlier said that shields may be removed when outdoors.

Under existing protocols, face shields are required to be worn in the following areas:

  • Enclosed public spaces
  • Schools
  • Workplaces
  • Commercial establishments
  • Public transport and terminals
  • Places of worship

Face shields should also be worn in other areas where one-meter physical distancing is not possible and there is a gathering of more than 10 people at the same venue at the same time.

OCTA Research fellow and Biological Sciences Professor Nicanor Austriaco also said that face shields offer a certain degree of protection against COVID-19 especially in areas with high infection rate.

“Especially now in those areas undergoing surge, I recommend in high-risk areas whether there is surge, the 9% may be important. But here in Metro Manila, for example, when you are outside and there is no-one around you, I think it is reasonable to say that lowering the risk by 9% maybe something we’re able to tolerate in order to mitigate some of the burden that we have for the Filipino people,” he said.

The Department of Health earlier rejected proposals to drop the use of face shields, as the country’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage remains low.


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