DILG warns Anakpawis not to violate ECQ again after members were released on bail

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2020   •   718

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday warned the Anakpawis group not to violate the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) regulations again following their release from detention.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año issued the warning after former Anakpawis Party-list representative Ariel Casilao and six other members have posted bail amounting to P264,000 on Wednesday night, April 22, following their arrest and detention for allegedly disobeying ECQ rules when they conducted “unauthorized” relief operations in Norzagaray Bulacan.

The group was apprehended after their jeepney was flagged down at a quarantine control point in Barangay Bigte around 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 19.

The vehicle was carrying six individuals with 50 packs of relief goods. Police said that some propaganda materials were also found inside the vehicle upon their inspection.

Año said the group “took advantage of the provision granted to food pass holders and violated physical distancing protocols with an attempt to organize mass gathering in the guise of relief efforts for the poor.”

“They were in violation of ECQ guidelines at the time when the entire country is struggling to contain the coronavirus to prevent further transmission. Ang ganitong mga paglabag ay hindi lamang taliwas sa batas ngunit isang banta sa kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan,” Año said.

Should the group violate the quarantine protocols again, the DILG chief said Anakpawis members will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Now that they have posted bail, we hope that they will not do it again dahil hindi naman tayo magdadalawang-isip na dakpin silang muli,” he said.

He also warned that no one will be spared if they are found violating the quarantine guidelines set by the national government.

“The Anakpawis incident was a clear demonstration of how food pass can be exploited for malicious intents in the guise of relief operation for the poor. Sinabi na din po ng Department of Agriculture (DA) na hindi po maaaring gamitin ang food pass sa pamamahagi ng relief goods,” he adds.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar earlier clarified that food pass cannot be used for relief operations as it is a privilege given to producers, suppliers and truckers that procure and deliver agri-fishery commodities and other food products to and from Manila and other provinces during the observance of the ECQ.

Following the Anakpawis incident, the DILG directed the Philippine National Police to be vigilant and always be on the lookout for unauthorized usage of food pass in all checkpoints.

“Walang pinipili ang mga manloloko at mga kriminal na ito, maging ang krisis na tulad ng COVID-19 kaya I urge the men and women of the PNP manning our checkpoints to be vigilant in checking food passes at tiyakin na ito ay hindi peke at hindi magagamit sa anumang iligal na aktibidad,”Año said.

“PNP’s consistent presence at checkpoints and their vigilance in counterchecking requisites such as the food pass and other permits can aid in ensuring that only permissible entities can pass through,” he added.

Militant groups hold protest action before Comelec on disqualification case vs Marcos

Maris Federez   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several groups on Friday held a protest action in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Manila as the preliminary conference on the disqualification case against presidential aspirant Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos in the 2022 national and local elections commenced.

The group, calling for the cancellation of Marcos’ certificate of candidacy (COC), said having another Marcos back in Malacañang is unacceptable.

The protesters are composed of the Anakpawis, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bayan Muna, and CARRMA which is also one of the petitioners in Marcos’ disqualification case.

“Nandito kami ngayon sa harapan ng Commission on Elections na iresolba na ang motion for early resolution ng petition for disqualification noong November 18,” CARRMA spokesperson Roneo Clamor said.

Francis Mariazeta of Anakpawis emphasized that Marcos’ violation of the Tax Code is enough reason for him not to be allowed to hold any government office.

“Wala siyang karapatan na tumakbo dahil ang dami niyang mga kasalanan,” he said.

The group urged Comelec to expedite the release of a resolution on the filed petitions against Marcos, and for the poll body to exercise fairness and implement its own rules. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

DILG calls for more volunteers to support 3-day COVID-19 vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has called for more volunteers to support all local government units (LGU) during the three-day national vaccination drive.

The three-day campaign, dubbed as “Bayanihan Bakunahan,” will be held from November 29 to December 1. It aims to inoculate 15 million Filipinos across 16 regions outside of Metro Manila.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said this program is “the most ambitious vaccination undertaking in the country to date,” and they need many volunteers, especially those with medical backgrounds, to assist in the more than 12,000 vaccination sites nationwide.

“We, therefore, urge everyone to become heroes not only by getting vaccinated but also by volunteering their services during the three-day vaccination drive,” he added.

Año urged state or private colleges and universities, especially those that are offering medical and nursing courses, to mobilize doctors, nurses, and nursing students to assist LGUs during the campaign.

Among the volunteers needed for the campaign are vaccination teams that include medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, midwives, first responders, paramedics, other health professionals, teachers, and professors.

“They will be assigned as health screeners, vaccinators, post vaccination monitors, or health educators. The projected number of health professionals needed is around 100,000” Año said.

For the vaccination drive management team, the DILG said the volunteers needed are data professionals, teachers, and school personnel, accountants, students, government employees, Sangguniang Kabataan, or any willing and trained data personnel and volunteers.

“They will be assigned as Encoders or Talliers or Data Consolidators,” the department added.

The DILG said LGUs are already mobilizing barangay officials and barangay-based institutions to bring people to the more than 12,000 proposed vaccination sites.

“Bukod sa ating mga LGUs, napakalaki po ng parte ng bawat mamamayan sa paparating na Bayanihan Bakunahan. Kaya naman, inaanyayahan po namin ang lahat na makiisa at mag-volunteer. Let us live out the spirit of bayanihan and defeat the pandemic,” Año said.

“Mag-volunteer sa inyong LGU para sa anumang suporta na maaaring maibigay. Hikayatin at tulungan magpabakuna ang mga kapamilya at kaibigan para sa ating pagsalubong sa ligtas na bagong normal lalo na ngayong magpa-Pasko at sa nalalapit na pagpasok ng bagong taon,” he added.

Volunteers can sign up through the National Volunteer Registration portal.

“LGUs must also ensure that the enlistment of volunteers thru the National Vaccination Volunteer Registration (NVVR) is properly managed by assigning a point person who will coordinate and communicate with the volunteers, and a data manager to download the list of volunteers with their contact details from the Vaccination Operations Reporting System (VORS),” the DILG said.

In a memorandum circular, Año also urged LGUs to expand the number of vaccination sites to include schools, malls, cinemas, restaurants, and other public places.

He also said LGUs should see to it that all vaccines that shall be used in the nationwide campaign are ready and will be properly distributed to the vaccination sites.

After the three-day vaccination drive, the DILG said it will be evaluating the performance of the LGUs.

They will also be required to submit a report to DILG’s Emergency Operations Center on December 3.

“From December 2-31, 2021, the DILG will be assessing and evaluating the reports and will be recognizing and commending LGUs who have achieved their daily targets for the NVD. The DILG will also provide feedback and report to the LGU,” it said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the dates November 29, 30 and December 1 as Bayanihan, Bakunahan COVID-19 vaccination days,

Under Proclamation No. 1253, issued by Duterte on Wednesday, employees and workers of the government and the private sector, who will be vaccinated during this period, shall not be considered absent from their work.


DILG to tap SK members as data encoders for 3-day vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) will be mobilized as data encoders in the government’s three-day national vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

In a statement released on Monday, the DILG said this is to ensure sufficient manpower during the simultaneous vaccination drive dubbed as “Bayanihan Bakunahan” program.

“Sisiguraduhin po ng DILG na ang logistical needs ng ating pagbabakuna ay ating makakamit. Alam po natin na kailangan natin ng maraming data encoders and on the part of the DILG, we will mobilize the Sangguniang Kabataan nationwide,” said DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.

He said the youth sector led by the SK has expressed willingness to extend manpower support to the three-day vaccination drive to ensure the smooth conduct of the activity.

The DILG is closely coordinating with the National Youth Commission and the SK Federation on this matter, he added.

The department will also mobilize the Philippine National Police (PNP) to maintain peace and order in the vaccination sites, while medical teams from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the PNP will also be asked to help in the conduct of vaccination.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will also be tapped to help ensure the peaceful conduct of vaccination in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) areas.

Malaya also said that a Memorandum Circular will be issued, directing all local government units (LGUs) to prepare enough manpower in vaccination to meet their daily targets.

“Buong puwersa po ng DILG pati ang ating mga local government units ay nakatutok at susuporta sa Bayanihan Bakunahan. The government aims to vaccinate 15-million Filipinos in the three-day activity in order to reach our goal of population protection the soonest possible time,” he said.

Aside from the SK and the DILG’s attached agencies, Malaya said that the Department of Education (DepEd) will also deploy teachers to be encoders during the vaccination drive.

“Kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa DepEd dahil ang mga eskwelahan po ay gagamitin din natin na vaccination sites para dito sa malaki nating programa,” he said.

In addition, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will provide additional encoders through the Government Internship Program (GIP).

To entice more people to get vaccinated during the three-day vaccination program, Malaya said that the DILG will also conduct social mobilization activities such as town hall meetings in barangays to address vaccine hesitancy and vaccine preference.

“Inaanyayahan po natin ang bawat Pilipino na maging bayani at makiisa dito sa programang ito. Para po sa mga hindi pa nababakunahan, magparehistro na po tayo sa pinakamalapit na LGU sa inyong lugar,” said Malaya.

“Sa mga bakunado na po, mag volunteer po tayo sa ating mga LGU dahil nangangailangan po tayo ng mga vaccinators. Nangangailangan din po tayo ng mga data encoders at kung ano-ano pa,” he added.

The government will launch the program in a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate, especially in areas whose immunization drives are facing logistical challenges and limitations.

To date, about 33.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since the immunization campaign started in March.

The government has been eyeing to vaccinate up to 70 million people to achieve population protection against the viral disease.


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