DOTr chief Tugade orders testing of all railway personnel

Robie de Guzman   •   April 8, 2021   •   153

MANILA, Philippines – All railway personnel have been ordered to undergo testing for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to ensure the safety of commuters and further avert the spread of the viral respiratory disease, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

In a statement, the DOTr said its railway sector is continuing with the mass testing of personnel from the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), the Philippine National Railways (PNR), and the Light Rail Transit lines 1 and 2 (LRT-1 and LRT-2) in line with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s directive.

The department said at least 860 MRT-3 personnel underwent swab tests. Of which, 131 tested positive.

Of the PNR’s personnel, 131 were found positive out of 1,013 who were tested.

The LRT-1 reported 171 COVID-19 positive out of 377 tested personnel, while 143 out of 571 LRT-2 workers were infected with the virus.

The DOTr said the testing of railway personnel contributed to the line’s limited operations since the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal was extended on Monday, 5 April 2021.

The MRT-3 line is operating with 14 train sets while the LRT-1 line is dispatching 17 trains. The LRT-2 line is operating with five trains.

Passengers affected by the limited train operations are being accommodated by bus augmentations on several routes, the DOTr said.

DOLE to hire 1,000 additional contact tracers for Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will hire up to 6,000 contact tracers to help in the government’s response against COVID-19.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that from the initial 4,000 recruits, the government is now planning to hire 1,000 additional  contact tracers for Metro Manila.

Bello said DOLE  has allotted an additional P65 million for the mass hiring, bringing the program’s total budget to P295 million.

The official explained that such augmentation is necessary as the demand for contact tracers especially in Metro Manila has been high.

“Kailangang-kailangan talaga ng ating mga contact tracer lalong lalo na dito sa NCR at saka sa apat na bubble,” Bello said.

As of Thursday (April 22), the number of applicants for the position has reached more than 10,000.

Bello said training for the contact tracers will begin on Monday (April 26). Accepted applicants will start their duty on May 1.

Each contact tracer will receive a monthly salary of P16,000 or up to P45,000 for three months. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DOTr’s transportation security intercepts 1,880 prohibited items at PH airports

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Transportation’s Office for Transportation Security (DOTr-OTS) intercepted 1,880 prohibited items at various airports in the country for the month of March.

Majority of the items intercepted are commonly prohibited items such as lighters, liquid items in containers of more than 100 ml, air guns, knives, scissors, workers’ tools, cutters, and other similar sharp and pointed objects. A total of 49 of the intercepted items were suspected live bullets, while 81 were ‘non-live’ bullets kept as amulets, or shell casings taken as souvenirs from firing ranges.

OTS INTERCEPTS 1,880 PROHIBITED ITEMS AT PH AIRPORTS

The Department of Transportation’s Office for Transportation…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Thursday, April 22, 2021

OTS Administrator Undersecretary Raul L. del Rosario lauded the vigilance of OTS airport Security Screening Officers (SSOs) who act as the first line of defense at the airport.

“Magmula noong pandemic, siniguro rin natin ang health and safety ng mga pasahero at pati na ang aming mga empleyado,” he said in a statement. AAC

 

 

PhilHealth’s debit-credit payment method now applies to all COVID-19 high, critical risk areas – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force for COVID-19 response has approved the application of Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s (PhilHealth) debit-credit payment method (DCPM) in areas with high-risk and critical COVID-19 situation nationwide, Malacañang said Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the policy on Thursday, April 22.

Roque said the move was made as high-risk and critical risk areas will also be prioritized in the COVID-19 vaccine allocation, human health resource deployment, and other relevant COVID-19 response measures, as applicable.

Prior to the IATF’s order, PhilHealth, under its Circular 2021-0004, provides for the use of payment method to facilitate the settlement of accounts payable to healthcare facilities during the State of Public Health Emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

PhilHealth initially applied DCPM only to areas identified by the IATF, particularly in the National Capital Region, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.

Roque said the IATF likewise directed the National Task Force (NTF) Task Group Treat, through the One COVID Referral System, to utilize the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance Using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler for Early Detection of Diseases (FASSSTER) projections on target beds and human resources for health.

“These projections shall identify health capacity needs required to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates,” he said.

“The NTF shall also review and implement the recommended Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat- Reintegrate strategies to reduce the health utilization rates and augment the needs of human resources for health,” he added.

Roque said that the task group will also identify target additional beds on a weekly basis that will substantially reduce health care and ICU utilization rates, determine and list specific health facilities and infrastructure to contribute these additional beds, and operationalize how these beds become functional with adequate human resources for health and equipment.

The Palace official earlier said that the government is eyeing to add 200 more ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.

“The NTF shall further engage the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to develop training and instructional materials of available COVID-19 response frameworks to enhance the enforcement of COVID-19 strategies at the barangay level,” Roque said.

The said materials shall be cascaded to the barangay, purok, sitio, and zone levels through the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the regional counterparts of the NTF for immediate and intensified implementation through barangay empowerment, he added.

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