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

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2020   •   318

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.

Belmonte, nanindigan sa ipinaiiral na ‘no fitting’ at ‘no return, no exchange’ policy sa malls sa Quezon City

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Nanindigan si Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte sa mga polisiyang ipinatutupad sa ilang mall sa lungsod kasunod ng pagbubukas ng limitadong operasyon ng mga ito sa gitna ng community quarantine.

Kabilang sa mga polisiyang ito ang pagbabawal sa pagsusukat ng mga damit at ang ‘no return, no exchange policy’ o pagsasauli o pagpapapalit ng biniling produkto.

Ayon kay Belmonte, ang mga panuntunang ipinatutupad sa mga shopping mall sa lungsod ay bahagi ng precautionary measure laban sa novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Giit ng alkalde, malaki ang tiyansa na makahawa sa iba kung infected ng virus ang nagsukat ng damit.

“Initiative ng city government ito, kasi alam naman natin na ang clothes store ay bukas na at alam din natin na pwedeng matransmit ang virus sa pamamagitan ng damit and the city government ay nagkusa na no trying of clothes, walang pagsusukat,” ani Belmonte.

Aniya, batid niyang maraming magagalit sa kanyang patakaran ngunit humihingi siya ng pang-unawa sa publiko dahil para din naman ito sa kapakanan ng mga residente sa lungsod.

“Sa tingin ko, dapat maunawaan nila na this is for their own health and welfare and syempre, kung bumili ka na, ang understanding dyan nasukat mo na hindi mo na sana pwedeng ibalik yun, gusto nating protektahan ang kalusugan ng ating mamamayan,” ani Belmonte.

Ang pahayag ay ginawa ng alkalde matapos punahin ng Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ang mga nasabing polisiya sa ilang mall sa Quezon City.

Una nang sinabi ng DTI na labag sa batas ang ‘no return, no exchange’ policy dahil sa ilalim ng Republic Act 7394 o Consumer Act of the Philippines, may karapatan ang mga mamimili na isauli ang nabiling produkto lalo na kung ito ay depektibo.

Payo ng ahensiya, magpulong ang mga lokal na pamahalaan, mall operators at ang Department of the Interior and Local Government upang ayusin ang nasabing panuntunan.

Iminungkahi rin ng DTI ang pagkakaroon ng uniformed protocols na ipatutupad sa mga mall upang maiwasan ang kalituhan sa publiko. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

PNP mulls reopening of Custodial Center to visitors amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it will assess whether its Custodial Center can be reopened to visitors amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa said they need to thoroughly study the possibility of reopening the facility because of its proximity to quarantine facilities housing police personnel infected with COVID-19 and the PNP RT-PCR test laboratory.

At present, the visitation of inmates at the PNP Custodial Center is prohibited in compliance with the safety and health protocols set by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gamboa said they are only following the measure implemented by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in the detention facilities in the country.

“Standard naman ‘yung sinusunod natin, together with the BuCor and BJMP. We need to reassess whether to open up sa visitors yung Custodial Center,” he said.

Gamboa’s statement comes after opposition senators questioned the PNP’s move to bar Senator Leila de Lima from accepting visitors and holding physical meetings with anyone.

The PNP chief, however, assured that De Lima is allowed to make phone calls. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

No tuition hike for several private colleges, universities—CHED

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 29, 2020

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said several private colleges and universities have assured that they will not implement a tuition fee increase this school year.

CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera said universities like the University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University already announced that they would not be increasing their tuition.

“Iyang mga universities na malalaki, kayang kaya nila itong financial situation (Those big universities, they can handle this financial situation) because their sources of income are varied. They have other businesses,” he said.

CHED also assured they already have a mandate on the implementation of staggered payment on tuition fees.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (May 28) has appealed to private school institutions to allow staggered payments. He also announced that parents, who cannot afford to pay their child’s education fees, can request for a loan.

“Itong Land Bank, bubuksan namin (We will open Land Bank) and you can borrow money to finance the education of your children,” he said. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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