Duterte directs DILG, PNP to implement stricter protocols vs. COVID-19 spread

Maris Federez   •   July 20, 2021   •   317

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to implement stricter protocols to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), more importantly, the Delta variant.

“I urge the DILG and the PNP to implement existing protocols with greater urgency and necessity. It is only by imposing these restrictions that we can fight the threat of Delta variant,” Duterte said during his weekly Talk to the Nation that aired on Monday (July 19).

The president said that the reported local cases of the Delta variant is a cause for serious alarm and concern as its rate of transmission is more than double of the alpha variant.

The chief executive believes that the reimposition of stricter restrictions help avoid mass gatherings and prevent super spreader events.

He hopes that the country’s existing infrastructure in dealing with the problem of COVID-19 Delta variant, such as the vaccination program, can cope up and be as effective in dealing with the said variant.

“Pagka andito na, kung sakali man it will spread, I hope it will not, then we’ll have to go again to stricter measure.”

The president also reminded the public that the government’s security forces act upon his orders with an aim to protect the people against the deadly viral disease.

“Remember, the reason why the security forces of the government are very strict is not because they want to be strict and they want to make it hard for the people to move. Rather, they are strict because they want to protect the country from a very contagious disease and maybe cause more deaths, more than the lives that we lost in the past,” Duterte said.

“Huwag kayong magalit sa police o sa mga military kasi utos ko yan. So hindi nila kasalanan. Kasi pag hindi nila naimplement, pag may nakita ako na violations, sila man ang bubulyawan ko. In other words, they are just doing their duty,” the president further said. —/mbmf

PNP welcomes DOJ move to release parts of review on anti-drug campaign

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) welcomed the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make public the summaries of the 52 cases it reviewed in connection with deaths related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said the DOJ’s move is “consistent with the PNP stand for transparency and accountability in the police organization.”

“We welcome the decision of Department of Justice to release these documents to the public,” he said.

“Simula pa lang ay lubos na ang ating kooperasyon sa DOJ sa pamumuno ni Secretary Menardo Guevarra sa pamamagitan ng ating SILG Eduardo Año, at ipinaubaya na natin sa kanila ang desisyon tungkol sa mga kasong ito in the interest of truth, transparency and justice,” he added.

According to the DOJ, the summaries that will be released will include docket numbers, names of deceased suspects, places and dates of the incidents, and the review panel’s summary of observations on the cases.

The National Bureau of Investigation is set to conduct case buildup for the possible filing of criminal charges against erring police officers.

Eleazar urged the victims’ families to cooperate in holding policemen who committed abuses accountable for their action.

“Ito rin ang pagkakataon para sa mga pamilya ng nasawi sa police anti-illegal drugs operations para sila’y makapagsumite ng complaint-affidavit o kaya’y magharap ng testigo upang maisampa ang kaukulang kasong kriminal sa korte,” he said.

“Tinitiyak ko ang buong pakikipagtulungan ng PNP sa NBI. Walang mangyayaring takipan at ating pananagutin ang may dapat panagutan,” he added.

He also reminded PNP personnel to strictly follow the Police Operational Procedures to avoid problems in performing their mandate.

“Let this serve as a lesson to all our personnel that as police officers, we are law enforcers who are duty-bound to uphold the law. Tagapagpatupad tayo ng batas, hindi tayo ang batas,” Eleazar said.

“Always remember that the true courage of a police officer is measured by how he keeps his integrity and moral values intact amid the temptation and the pressure to commit abuses and disregard the rule of law,” he added.

Eleazar also stressed the sacrifices of policemen on the ground and the accomplishments of the campaign against illegal drugs.

These include the confiscation of multi-billion peso worth of illegal drugs, the neutralization of key players in the illegal drugs trade in the country and the dismantling of shabu laboratories in the country.

 

CHED rolls out vaccination of student-athletes in Metro Manila universities

Maris Federez   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government has started the rollout of vaccination among student-athletes in Metro Manila universities.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said this is part of their preparation in case face-to-face classes, physical training, and sports activities in universities will finally be allowed amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

CHED said around 300 student-athletes at the college level have received their first dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.

University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) president Emmanuel Calanog said they will be pushing for the restaging of the basketball league this coming February 2022.

They plan to start training and other activities in November to prepare their athletes for the league.

“That’s November, December, January. We have about three and a half months for them to train to get back to competition to be able to start in February. Yung volleyball naman ang target namin doon is after holy week. So, there is more time. More or less, that’s the schedule. And, of course, what the government will allow at that time,” Calanog said.

He added that basketball and volleyball players in their member schools are already 100 percent vaccinated, and all they are waiting for is the approval of the government for them to resume sports activities.

Member schools, Calanog added, have also conducted retrofitting and adjustment of sports facilities.

Meanwhile, CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III said they are now preparing the guidelines to be implemented in sports activities in colleges and universities.

“Ngayong marami na ang bakuna, mababa-vaccniate na yung mga estudyante, mga athletes. The only thing we have to do is to tweak the guidelines given these circumstances now,” De Vera said.

“Noong kinrop (crop) yung policy konti pa lang ang bakuna. Ngayong madami na, iba na yung context ng guidelines. So, the guidelines have to be rewritten,” he added.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said 100 percent of student-athletes must be fully vaccinated before the government gives its approval for the resumption of training activities.

“I suggest talagang kailangang ma-vaccinate na natin ng first dose yung lahat ng mga athletes before the end of October para yung second dosing natin we can finish by November. You can start already yung mga practices ninyo,” Galvez said.

“I-encourage na talagang ngayon month maximize na natin talagang bakunahan na natin lahat ng mga athletes so that we can start early the training,” he added.

The NTF and the Department of Education (DepEd), on the other hand, have agreed to intensify the vaccination rollout among teaching and non-teaching personnel at elementary and secondary levels.

DepEd has prepared the list of teachers and school personnel to be submitted to the IATF for the inoculation drive.

“Nakipagpulong ang kagawaran sa NTF, yung vaccination task force ng gobyerno, para ma-accelerate yung vaccination ng ating teachers at ibang school personnel,” said DepEd Director Roger Masapol. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Phase 2 ng COVID-19 pediatric vaccination, sisimulan sa Biyernes – NVOC

Robie de Guzman   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Inihahanda na ng National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) ang lahat ng kailangan para sa pagsisimula ng phase 2 ng pagbabakuna sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17 na may co-morbidities.

Ayon kay Dr. Kezia Rosario ng NVOC, magsisimula ang phase 2 ng pediatric vaccination sa Biyernes, Oct. 22.

Aniya, kabilang sa mga gagawing vaccination site ang mga non-hospital facility na inirekomenda ng local government units.

“We allowed several local governments after inspection. Nag-inspect po iyong NVOC at saka iyong CHDMM [Center for Health Development Metro Manila] ‘no, ng mga vaccination sites na ito,” ani Rosario.

Sa kabuuan, magiging 23 na ang vaccination site para sa COVID-19 pediatric vaccination kabilang ang walong ospital na kasalukuyang pinagdarausan ng pagbabakuna.

“Each of the local government units naman po ng National Capital Region has already prepared ng kanilang vaccination site using iyong hospital as a vaccination site. We had din na mga LGUs due to limitation ng spaces ng hospital have negotiated with us to use several of their nearby facilities as vaccination sites,” ani Rosario.

Wala pang inilalabas na listahan ng mga gagamiting vaccination site para sa Biyernes.

May basbas ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ang desisyong gawin ang pediatric vaccination sa non-hospital venue.

“I believe tama rin yung mga LGU atleast hindi congested sa mga ospital at the same time yun transmission magkakaroon tayo ng medyo small ang probability ang transmission,” ani vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ng NVOC na sapat ang supply ng bakunang magagamit para sa pagbabakuna sa mga bata.

Batay sa tala ng Department of Health (DOH) as of Oct. 19, nasa 3,416 na ang bilang ng mga 12 to 17-year old na nakatanggap ng first dose ng COVID-19 vaccines.

Una nang sinabi ng DOH na apat na bata ang napaulat na nakaranas ng adverse effects pagkatapos mabakunahan gaya ng allergic reaction ngunit lahat naman ay nasa maayos na kondisyon.

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