Duterte orders LGUs to provide aid to repatriated Filipinos amid US-Iran tension

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 8, 2020   •   526

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to provide aid to repatriated Filipinos amid the tension between the United States and Iran.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said he already directed the local government units to assist returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

“I am directing all the local government units the local chief executives to provide assistance and accommodate our returning OFWs. They are displaced, untimely ang pag-uwi nila, so dapat, tulungan natin sila (their return is untimely so they should be assisted),” he said.

Año assured that they will provide all kinds of assistance to repatriated Filipinos.

“Of course, the President gave a word na even if financial ay magbibigay siya, (that he will also provide financial assistance)” he added.

The DILG official also assured that they will respect the decision of Filipinos who would choose to stay in the Middle East.

“Especially kung Iranian or Iraqi citizens iyong kanilang mga spouses, so we have to respect kung anong gusto nila (Especially if their spouses are Iranian or Iraqi citizens so we have to respect their decisions) But, we have to make sure they are also safe,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Emergency hotline 911 now fully operational – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday announced that the Philippine Emergency Hotline 911 has resumed full operation after a brief hiatus after several of its workers were infected with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Malugod pong naming ipinapaalam sa lahat na balik sa normal na po ang ating operasyon sa E911 hotline. Maraming salamat sa inyong pang-uunawa at dasal, nalampasan na ng ating mga kasamahan sa National Call Center ang pagsubok na ito,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

The department earlier announced that Emergency 911 calls from the National Call Center were temporarily rerouted to eight local call centers when five emergency telecommunicators (ETCs) tested positive for COVID-19.

Año said that the problem was further aggravated when 20 more detailed personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) also tested positive for the COVID-19 virus causing further delay in the resumption of the regular operations.

E911 Executive Director Diosdado Valeroso said that the National Call Center had to be disinfected twice after the infection of some BFP telecommunicators.

He added that the 5 ETCs were all asymptomatic and have fully recovered after their 14-day quarantine while the BFP personnel are also back to work.

“We have currently four teams: Team Lapulapu, Team Rizal, Team Bonifacio, and Team Tandang Sora with 18 ETCs each who work round the clock on a 24-hour work shift due to transportation issues,” Valeroso said.

21 COVID-19 test labs begin operations—DILG

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that 21 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories have begun operations in various areas in the country.

Out of the 21 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) laboratories, 14 of them are in Luzon, 3 in Visayas, and 4 in Mindanao. DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there are currently a total of 130 licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories in the country.

Batid po natin na sa community transmission talaga malakas ang hawaan nitong COVID-19. Kaya magandang balita po ito na pinapalakas ng ating mga lokal na pamahalaan ang kanilang kapasidad upang matugunan ang pangangailangan ng taumbayan (We know that community transmission of COVID-19 is really high. It is good news that our local government units are boosting their capacity to address the needs of the citizens),” he said.

Año also said the daily number of COVID-19 tests has reached over 30,000. Twenty more COVID-19 testing laboratories are currently being reviewed by the Department of Health. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DILG tells LGUs: Endorse mild, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to Oplan Kalinga facilities

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday urged local government units (LGU) in Metro Manila to endorse to Oplan Kalinga quarantine facilities mild and asymptomatic novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients that could no longer be accommodated in local isolation centers.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said there now 4,000 beds available in Oplan Kalinga facilities due to the increase in discharges or recoveries in the previous weeks.

“We urge all Metro Manila LGUs to endorse patients which they can no longer accommodate in their local isolation facilities to endorse them to the Mega TTMFs and Oplan Kalinga Hotels which now has some 4,000 beds available because many have already been discharged,” he said.

Año said this is in compliance with Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 74 which states that all confirmed mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are required to isolate in government-approved facilities, except those who are vulnerable or have comorbidities as certified by a local health officer.

Also exempted in this rule are confirmed mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in areas where the government-recognized isolation centers are in full capacity.

“Meron tayong mga Mega Quarantine Facilities and 31 COVID hotels na kung saan puwede sila mag-isolate. Importante kasi talaga na mailabas sila sa bahay kasi nakahahawa sa pamilya,” the DILG chief said.

According to DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, LGUs can coordinate directly with the One Hospital Command Center (OHCC) located at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) which was created to facilitate a comprehensive and coordinated response to the pandemic by ensuring an efficient health facility referral in Metro Manila.

Malaya said that with the establishment of the OHCC, LGUs and individuals can now easily locate hospitals or isolation facilities near them.

The DILG said the command center is open 24/7 and individuals needing treatment may call the OHCC hotlines at 0927-728-0750, 0927-728-0753, 0927-728-0755, and 0927-728-0798.

Individuals needing assistance from the OHCC may also download the PureForce Citizens App via Google Play Store or App Store, it added.

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