DOF lauds PNP personnel for donating over P200-M to COVID-19 response

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2020   •   786

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Wednesday commended the efforts of policemen to raise funds from their own pockets to donate to the government’s response against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The money, amounting to over P228 million, was raised through the so-called #Team Bayanihan Fund Challenge led by PNP chief General Archie Gamboa which started in April 15.

Under the effort, the organization’s uniformed and non-uniformed personnel donated a portion of their salaries to help in the government’s sustained efforts to combat COVID-19 as well as those in need during these trying times.

The PNP’s initial target was to raise around P200 million, but it exceeded this target as a result of the participation of all uniformed and non-uniformed personnel in the project, as well as members of the PNPA Alumni Association and the Police Cavaliers Association Inc.

The fund donation was turned over by Gamboa to the DOF on Wednesday.

“The worst of times brings out the best in men,” Dominguez said in a statement.

“Beyond the call of duty, our police officers and our non-uniformed PNP personnel volunteered to donate a portion of their pay to help fund the government’s efforts against the contagion. This is more than commendable. It is actually heroic,” he added.

Gamboa said the voluntary contributions of the police organization “is a clear indication that the PNP is sympathetic to the fight of the government.”

“That’s why kahit hindi masyadong malaki (even if it is not too big) we like to contribute on the part of the PNP to show also our sympathy to government,” he said in the DOF statement.

The Finance chief said he felt honored to receive the cash donation from the PNP for the government’s COVID-19 efforts.

“I receive this donation with great awe. Those who sacrifice daily to protect our communities found it in their hearts to sacrifice more–they sacrificed part of their pay to help those in desperate need,” Dominguez said.

“This is truly noble and a generous effort. It is a gift from the frontline. It is a great act of citizenship,” he added.

Dominguez also cited the PNP’s tough job of working “round the clock to enforce quarantine regulations and protect Filipinos from the contagion.”

He also said that the police organization “accepted the risks faced by all frontliners in this battle against the pandemic.”

“Many of our men in uniform were themselves infected in the line of duty. All throughout, the PNP delivered on their tasks very, very effectively,” Dominguez noted.

Sen. Dela Rosa discharged from hospital after battling with COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has been discharged from the hospital after a bout with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), his office said Friday.

In a message to reporters, his office said Dela Rosa will continue taking his medicines at home and will be placed under home quarantine as advised by his doctors.

His staff on Thursday said Dela Rosa was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 23 after developing fever, cough, and colds so that he could be monitored better, and that his condition is already improving.

The former Philippine National Police chief confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 21, after the Senate wrapped up the period of debates for the proposed 2021 budget.

Dela Rosa said he and three other members of his household contracted the virus.

Dela Rosa was the fifth senator to be infected with COVID-19 this year. His colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Sonny Angara, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla all recovered from the viral respiratory disease. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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Gov’t to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine procurement for early vaccine distribution—Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine procurement for early vaccine distribution, according to Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the President has issued Executive Order (EO) No. 121 granting an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.

Based on the Executive Order, the President will grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to provide  Emergency Use Authorization for medicines for the treatment of COVID-19.

“Kung magkakaroon ng emergency use utilization, ang mga rehistrado sa mga foreign FDA na mga bakuna, mapapabilis po ang pag-issue ng authority to use it under EUA to 21 days. Normally po kung wala itong Executive Order na ito it will take as long as six months,” Roque said.

The Palace official added that the EUA will be good for the country as it will pave the way for ending the pandemic and the return to normalcy. AAC

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25 BPO employees tested positive for COVID-19 after holding two parties

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 4, 2020

Twenty-five Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) employees in Subic tested positive for COVID-19 after holding two parties in November.

According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Health and Safety Department Dr. Solomon Jacalne, out of the 65 employees of a BPO company that attended the two parties, 25 of them are currently under quarantine.

“Contact tracing indicated that the employees who tested positive of Covid-19 either attended the parties or were exposed to co-workers who went to the said social gatherings,” he said.

Jacalne said the employees attended a beach party in Olonggapo City and a pool party in Zambales. He also said several of the workers did not accurately declare their health condition which might also have contributed to the surge of COVID-19 cases.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the surge in cases would have been avoided if the employees followed the minimum health protocols.

“This was the lesson some employees of a business process outsourcing company here recently learned the hard way after attending parties that might have served as super-spreading events,” she added.

Eisma said the agency will conduct an investigation on the incident and will implement additional safety measures in work areas of the concerned company. AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

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