DA service boat carrying COVID-19 vaccines capsizes in Quezon
MANILA, Philippines — A service boat carrying boxes of COVID-19 vaccines capsized in waters off Quezon Province on Thursday.
According to a report, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) responded to the maritime incident involving the service boat of the Department of Agriculture that capsized at approximately 100 meters away from the shoreline of Barangay Ungos, Real, Quezon at around 7:55 a.m. on May 13, 2021.
On board the said boat were two boxes of COVID-19 vaccines; two Department of Health (DOH) personnel; two police officers of the Municipal Police Station (MPS) Polillo, as well as the boat captain and motorman.
According to the passengers, the DA service boat accidentally hit a concrete post along the vicinity waters off Barangay Ungos, causing the vessel to capsize.
At around 8:30 a.m., all individuals were rescued and were declared in good physical condition.
The two DOH personnel accordingly made proper coordination with their respective units to check the condition of the COVID-19 vaccines and conduct appropriate measures.
PH Coast Guard to conduct maritime exercises in Southern Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is conducting maritime exercises in the waters of Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi from June 21 to June 27.
The exercises will gauge the capability of PCG’s recently acquired ship-based and coastal monitoring and communications capabilities for search and rescue (SAR) and law enforcement.
“Rest assured we will sustain our previous efforts in securing our maritime jurisdiction, especially the frontiers where we are needed most,” said PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia.
The exercises will be held along Sibutu Passage and Basilan Strait where series of kidnapping and piracy incidents were reported in previous years.
This effort, Ursabia said, is to ensure the safety and protection of the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.
“Moreso, vessel traffic monitoring and search and rescue facilities at the Sibutu passage and Basilan Straits are now in place. Vessels transiting this area are already better assured that a PCG unit can hear their distress calls from up to a hundred miles away,” he said.
All vessels to be used in the exercises have already been positioned at Sibutu Passage and Basilan Strait to provide rescue assistance in case of emergency. MNP (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
BOC cleared over 14M doses of COVID-19 vaccines
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday (June 18) reported that over 14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been cleared.
During a virtual public briefing on Friday, BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said that among the 14 million doses, 9 million are Sinovac vaccines; 2.5 million are AstraZeneca; 2.4 million are Pfizer-BioNtech; and 180,000 are Sputnik V.
Guerrero said the agency is expediting the process for the immediate distribution of the doses.
He also assured the public that the BOC is also making sure that the PPE’s and other medical equipment arriving in the country have proper documentation. The BOC is also diligent in collecting taxes to fund government projects and boost the country’s economic recovery.
The BOC chair will also make sure to intensify efforts in curbing smuggling. He also advised the public to report any complaints to the agency. AAC
PH receives 2.28M more COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX facility
MANILA, Philippines—Around 2.28 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines arrived in the Philippines Thursday evening (June 10) from the COVAX Facility.
The Department of Health (DOH) said these doses will be administered to those who are not fully vaccinated and those belonging to priority groups A1 to A3 which include healthcare workers, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III stated the importance of inoculating citizens belonging to the A1 to A3 priority groups. He also encouraged citizens belonging to the said categories to contact their local government units (LGUs) and register for vaccination.
“We will use these vaccines among our A1 to A3 priority groups. If we don’t vaccinate them we will encounter the same packed emergency rooms, unavailable intensive care units, and even hospital beds during the next surge,” he said.
World Health Organization Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the WHO urges National Task Force and the local government units to establish mechanisms to increase accessibility to vaccination of the healthcare workers and elderly across the country.
“Given the surge in cases in some regions, it is urgent to achieve high vaccination coverage in these A1 to A3 groups to protect those at risk of severe disease and death,” he said.
The Philippines has previously received 193,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the COVAX Facility on 10 May 2021. AAC