Duterte honors COVID-19 frontline workers as PH marks Heroes day

Robie de Guzman   •   August 30, 2021   •   416

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte paid tribute to frontline workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the country marks National Heroes Day.

In a message, Duterte called the frontliners modern heroes who continue to answer the call to fight and bravely lead the country’s raging battle against the pandemic.

The new breed of heroes, he said, includes health workers, uniformed personnel, government employees, and frontliners in essential industries.

“Their names will not be etched on any edifice, statues will not be erected in their honor, banknotes will not be graced by their portraits, and their individual exploits will not be immortalized on the pages of history books,” he said.

“Yet, for selflessly risking their lives to ensure the survival of our society, I can confidently say they have more than earned their rightful place in the pedestal of heroes,” he added.

He urged the public to “consecrate this day not just as a memorial to their extraordinary heroism, but as an enduring testament to our inherent capacity to rise above self-interest to fight for a cause far greater than our own.”

Earlier in the day, the president attended the commemoration of National Heroes Day in Taguig City where he also paid tribute to the sacrifices of those who fought for the country’s freedom and democracy.

PH gov’t eyeing to administer 7 million COVID-19 jabs in second vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is aiming to administer seven million COVID-19 vaccine jabs for the second round of nationwide vaccination drive, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.

The second mass immunization campaign is scheduled from December 15 to 17.

“Ang tina-target natin dito, mga 7 million para second dose, para maabot yung ating pinupuntiryang 54 million by the end of the year na bigyan ng kumpletong bakuna,” Duque said in a televised public briefing.

This target is lower than the first vaccination drive conducted last November 29 to December 1 and later extended until December 3.

The government had hoped to inoculate 9 million people during the first three-day immunization campaign. More than 10 million were vaccinated in the extended drive.

The vaccination drive was launched in a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate to achieve population protection against COVID-19.

So far, more than 38 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated out of the 91.7 million doses administered since the immunization was rolled out in March.

The number of individuals who have received their first dose rose to 56.7 million.

The government is aiming to fully vaccinate at least 54 million by the end of the year.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed hope that the second vaccination drive will also be successful.

“We will have a second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan from December 15 to 17. I hope that we would have the same success. But this time lesser because parang naubos na natin ang Pilipino sa ‘yung what counts sa bakuna kaya medyo there’s a slowdown of the COVID-19,” he said.

He also expressed optimism that the Philippines will be able to overcome the pandemic amid increasing vaccination rate in the country.

Pilot face-to-face classes sa ilang paaralan sa NCR, nagsimula na

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naging maayos ang pagsisimula ng pilot face-to-face classes ngayong Lunes sa ilang paaralan sa National Capital Region (NCR), ayon sa Department of Education (DepEd).

Ayon kay Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan, wala pa silang natatanggap na anumang “adverse report” mula sa 28 paaralang kalahok sa pilot run ng in-person learning matapos ang halos dalawang taong school closures dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic.

“So far, it has been so smooth. We have officials of the department that are on the ground at both the central office and the regions. And up to this time ay I’ve been monitoring and we have not received any adverse report as of now,” ani Malaluan.

Mahigit sa 2,000 estudyante mula Kindergarten hanggang Grade 3 at senior high school ang kalahok sa pilot face-to-face classes sa NCR.

Sa Pasig Central Elementary School, pinadadaan ang mga mag-aaral sa disinfection station para maghugas ng kamay bago pumasok sa silid-aralan.

May temperature check din at foot bath pagpasok sa classroom. May distansya rin ang bawat upuan ng mga bata upang maseguro ang pagpapatupad ng physical distancing.

Ganito rin ang ipinatutupad na health protocols sa Aurora Quezon Elementary School sa Quezon City. Nakapila ang mga estudyante mula sa labas hanggang sa pagpasok sa silid-aralan.

Dumadaan rin sila sa temperature check habang nasa gate pa lang at required silang magsuot ng face shield at face mask.

Sa Comembo Elementary School, may markings rin para sa physical distancing. May inilaan ring jeep ang Makati City government para maghatid sa mga bata sa paaralan mula sa drop off point sa kanilang tirahan.

Sa Ramon Avancena High School naman sa Maynila, sinasanay ang mga estudyante na palagiang magsuot ng face mask. May barrier rin ang bawat lamesa.

Ayon sa DepEd, lahat ng 28 paaralan ang nakapagbukas ng face-to-face classes ngayong araw.

Kuntento rin ang kagawaran sa mga protocol na inilatag ng mga kalahok na paaralan sa NCR.

May schedule lang ang pagsasagawa ng face-to-face learning. Monday-Wednesday-Friday ang schedule ng iba habang meron namang araw-araw pero shifting ang oras ng pagsisimula ng klase kada grade level.

Hanggang apat na oras lang din pinapayagang manatili sa eskwelahan ang mga mag-aaral.

Ang 28 pilot schools sa NCR ay kasama sa halos 300 paaralan sa buong bansa na nagsasagawa ng face-to-face classes.

Nag-umpisa ang programa noong Nobyembre sa 100 public at 18 private schools at nadagdagan ng 174 ngayong Disyembre. (may detalye mula kay Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Philippines agrees to resume joint marine scientific research expedition with Vietnam

Maris Federez   •   November 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Viet Nam on Wednesday (November 17) held the 9th Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns (JPWG-MOC).

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the joint session done via video conferencing was “aimed at upholding the rule of the law in the South China Sea and the revival of the joint marine scientific research expedition, which has been halted since 2007.”

DFA-Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office Assistant Secretary Maria Angela A. Ponce led the Philippine delegation; while the Viet Nam delegation was led by National Boundary Committee (NBC) Vice Chairman Nguyễn Mạnh Đông.

“The Philippines and Viet Nam discussed various initiatives for science-based cooperation particularly on marine scientific research, marine environment protection, and hydrometeorology in the 9th JPWG-MOC,” the DFA said.

“Both delegations also substantively covered other issues, including coordination within regional and international fora, fisheries, and maritime security cooperation,” it added.

The DFA said the JPWG-MOC serves as the main platform for dialogue and coordination, practical cooperation, and capacity-building activities among the Philippines and Viet Nam’s maritime agencies.

It is a specialized mechanism established under the Philippines-Viet Nam Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC).

Convened annually, the last JPWG-MOC was held in 2019.  The COVID-19 pandemic halted it in 2020. —/mbmf

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