Davao City QR code registration for establishments to resume Nov. 11

Robie de Guzman   •   November 10, 2020   •   1233

The Davao Safe QR (DQR) registration for establishments will resume on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Mayor Sara Duterte announced.

In a statement, Duterte said the system developers have made separate DQR registration links for establishments and individuals to tame the heavy web traffic, which overwhelmed the system in the past. 

The DQR registration site was taken down earlier after it was overwhelmed by people wanting to have access at the same time.

“The link for establishments will be up on Wednesday. Establishment registration can then resume. The individual registration will follow but we will just give an official advisory,” Duterte said over Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday.

The mayor also reported that from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, a total of 360,000 individuals have already registered before the site closed for maintenance.

A general list of offices and establishments that need to implement DQR scanning will be released this week. 

The list, according to the mayor, is needed to also give a heads-up to the offices and establishments as she maintained that not all are required to do so. 

The use of DQR, which is primarily aimed to hasten contact tracing in the city, will be implemented starting Nov. 23.

Under the mandatory DQR policy, only establishments that can be considered as spaces where possible close contact can take place will be required to enforce its use. 

Duterte said the need to do DQR scanning at the entrance of malls remains uncertain as these are not considered spaces for possible close contact.

The mayor said she will get advice from her doctor-consultants about the matter.

“Ginapangita sa contact tracing is close contact (The contact tracing will look for close contacts). F1 is a person who has close contact with a confirmed positive Covid-19 patient while F2 is a person who is a close contact of an F1 and an F3 is a close contact of an F2,” Duterte said. 

The mayor reiterated that she wants health experts to confirm the types of offices and establishments that need to comply with the mandatory DQR scanning. She also asked the public to wait for the general categorization of these offices and establishments. 

For establishments with an existing QR scanning system, she said it could not serve as an alternative to the DQR as the latter is the only official QR code that will be implemented within the city under her Executive Order No. 60, Series of 2020. 

“Ang problema pag ana incomplete ang data makuha sa system kung dili mag-scan ang mga offices and establishments sa DQR (The problem with this is that the system will get incomplete data if offices and establishments will not use the DQR). The success in the quick and complete generation of the DQR data for contact tracing relies on the cooperation of the offices and establishments,” she added. 

The DQR system can complete contact tracing within 24 hours if the data scanned are complete, according to Duterte.

Local airlines to increase number of flights this holiday season

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Local airlines are preparing to add more flights as more passengers are expected to travel this holiday season just as quarantine restrictions ease.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the easing of quarantine restrictions can help the airline industry recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The good news is the Balikbayan Program. This is the easing of travel requirements for balikbayans to entice them to return to the Philippines,” she said.

Villaluna said they are also coordinating with local government units to make sure the minimum health standards are still being implemented.

Local airlines have already partnered with private laboratories for more affordable and faster swab testing of passengers. For PAL and Air Asia, the RT-PCR testing in their accredited diagnostic lab costs P4,000.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific launched a “test before boarding” policy which requires passengers to undergo an antigen testing before boarding. The testing in Cebu Pacific is free from December 3 to December 14 but it is only exclusive to passengers en route to General Santos City.

“This is an initiative where we are closely working with the LGU in coming up with this process wherein passengers are required to take an antigen test no more than five hours before their departure time and then the results will come out in 30 minutes,” according to Candice Iyog, vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience of Cebu Pacific.

Local airlines advise passengers to refer to their respective websites for the essential requirements before boarding their flights. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Duterte to attend virtual UN General Assembly on COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.

The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.

The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.

During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Unemployment rate in October 2020 eases to 8.7% —PSA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

The unemployment rate in October 2020 eases to 8.7%, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

From April 2020, with a 17.6% unemployment rate, the number of unemployed Filipinos continued to drop to 10% in July and 8.7% in October. This is equivalent to 3.8 million Filipinos, 15 years old and above, who are unemployed.

With several establishments reopening after strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), several Filipinos were able to find jobs during the last quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate also droppedd to 14.4% this October, compared to 17.3%t last July.

The PSA said the economy is gradually recovering as lockdowns continue to ease. -AAC

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