BSP clarifies grace period for loan payments in NCR Plus

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2021   •   581

MANILA, Philippines—The 30-day grace period on loan payments will not be extended as Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite were put under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

In a statement, the BSP clarified the 30-day grace period on loan payments was only effective on June 1, 2020, and will not be extended as the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble goes under ECQ until April 4.

“The Omnibus Guidelines (with Amendments as of March 28, 2021) issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases does not operate to extend the 30-day grace period provided for under Republic Act No. 11469,” the statement reads.

With this, the BSP encourages BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) to continue to provide relief measures to its clients by renewing, restructuring, or extending the terms of the loans based on their continuing assessment of their cash flows.

“The BSP has granted prudential relief measures to BSFIs to enable them to continue to provide financial services and support households and businesses amid the crisis,” the BSP added. AAC


5 cities in NCR begin vaccination rollout after receiving Sputnik V vaccines

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Five cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) have conducted their vaccination rollout after receiving the supply of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III and other members of the National Task Force against COVID-19 led the rollout on Tuesday (May 4).

Vaccination rollouts were conducted in Manila, Makati, Muntinlupa, Taguig, and Parañaque City. Each city received 3,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez reported 1,500 from groups A1, A2, and A3 were able to receive the Russian-made vaccine. The mayor also allowed walk-ins.

Nag-accept po tayo ng walk-in as quick substitution list. Kasi hindi po dapat masayang ang ating vaccine (We accepted walk-ins as quick substitution list because the vaccines cannot be wasted),” he said.

Dr. Jennifer Lou de Guzman from Taguig City Health Office said they did not change any protocols in their vaccination rollout. They have also vaccinated several of the personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Ang mga empleyado ng PNP ay nakasama even though they are not in the medical field, they are our frontliners. Sila ay kasama sa team na nagsasagawa ng contact tracing (PNP personnel were also included even though they are not in the medical field. They are our frontliners. They are included in the contact tracing team),” she said.

Makati City aims to vaccinate 800 individuals belonging to A1-A3 priority list of the DOH while Muntinlupa City is still conducting surveys for those who wish to get vaccinated with Sputnik V.

Meanwhile, Duque said an additional 485,000 doses of Sputnik V are set to arrive in the country before the end of May.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said he did not expect the public’s warm reception of Sputnik V.

“This is already an initial success. First, nakita natin ang acceptance (we saw the acceptance)We saw the enormous acceptance ng ating mga kababayan (of our fellowmen). They are eager to take it,he said. AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

P8.4-billion aid distributed to qualified beneficiaries in NCR — DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) have now distributed a total of P8.41-billion or 75.28 percent of financial assistance to qualified low-income beneficiaries, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año commended the NCR LGUs for the “systematic and orderly” distribution of the assistance to beneficiaries despite the challenges of distribution during a pandemic.

“Given that 75% of the ayuda has been distributed, I am confident that the NCR LGUs will be able to complete the distribution by May 15. In fact, some are now close to finishing the distribution of the financial assistance,” he said.

“They have really been putting up the work at hindi rin naman po ito biro sa gitna nang maraming hamon na ating kinakaharap ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he added.

Año said that together with the P8.41-billion financial aid distributed in NCR, a grand total of P16.29-billion financial aid has now been given to beneficiaries in the NCR Plus, which includes the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.

He said that from April 6-29, 2021, a total of 8,410,659 actual beneficiaries have received their assistance in the NCR with Caloocan City leading at a 96.31 percent distribution rate amounting to more than P1.29-billion.

As of April 29, 2021, Caloocan City tops the NCR LGUs in the aid distribution followed by Quezon City with 94.96 percent or P2.36-billion; Mandaluyong City with 92.51 percent corresponding to P337-million; and, Navotas City with 90.68 percent or P181-million worth of financial aid.

Meanwhile, the City of Manila (88.39 percent), the Municipality of Pateros (87.69 percent), and the City of San Juan (80.40%) were also among the top LGUs that have distributed the most financial assistance to their constituents and are all beyond the 80% distribution percentage.

LGUs from Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite were also able to tally a high distribution percentage of 67.11 percent and are more than halfway through the dissemination of cash aids in their jurisdictions.

Laguna leads with 81.29 percent or P2.2-billion worth of financial assistance distributed as of April 29, 2021 followed by Bulacan with 67.22 percent or P1.99-billion; Rizal with 64.61 percent or P1.69-billion; and, Cavite with 57.82 percent or P1.99-billion, the DILG said.

“With the extended deadline and the proactive stance of our LGUs, most of which have registered high compliance rate in their ayuda distribution, we can see that all financial aid will be distributed before the deadline we set,” Año said.

IATF OKs 10% dine-in capacity; barbershops, parlors at 30% in MECQ areas

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Dine-in operations at restaurants will now be allowed at 10 percent capacity, while barbershops and parlors may resume operations at 30 percent in modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) areas, Malacañang announced.

In a statement on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force has approved the recommendation to “allow restaurants, eateries, commissaries, and other food preparation establishments to resume their indoor dine-in services in areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) at an initial 10% venue or seating capacity.”

“These food preparation establishments, however, may operate their indoor dine-in services beyond this limitation, provided that they comply with Joint Memorandum Circular No. 21-01 (s. 2021) or the Safety Seal Certification Program,” Roque said.

The Palace official also said that the IATF has likewise allowed the resumption of operations of beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops, and nail spas at an initial 30% venue or seating capacity in MECQ areas.

“Moreover, these establishments shall only provide services that can accommodate the wearing of face masks at all times by clients and service providers,” he added.

These personal care establishments may operate beyond the 30 percent limitation, provided that they comply with Joint Memorandum Circular No. 21-01 (s.2021) or the Safety Seal Certification Program.

“Personal care establishments and services not mentioned above shall not be allowed to operate,” Roque said.

President Rodrigo earlier placed the National Capital Region and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna under extended MECQ until May 14.

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