Duterte removes authority of one LGU to distribute cash aid

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2021   •   492

MANILA, Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte has taken away the authority of one Metro Manila local government unit to distribute cash aid due to its “disorganized” mayor.  The President did not name the LGU concerned.

“May isang siyudad lang dito na ang tao naghintay lang ng direksyon kung papaano. But I think it is the mayor who has a disorganized mind,” Duterte said during his taped public address on Monday (August 9).

For this reason, he has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to take over the task of distributing financial aid to the unnamed LGU’s constituents.

“I ordered your department [DILG] and itong [DSWD] na kayo na ang magbigay ng mga ayuda pati ‘yung mga kung anong maitulong sa national government sa local government units na walang alam, na hindi marunong mag-organize ng mga distribution and it only results in disorder,” he said.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) last week released P10.8 billion to fund the cash assistance for low income households affected by the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The Metro Manila mayors agreed to begin the distribution on August 11 and were given 15 days to complete the distribution to their respective constituents.

DOLE, may ayuda sa mga empleyadong naapektuhan ng ipinaiiral na COVID-19 Alert Level 3

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Labor and Employment na may matatanggap na ayuda ang mga manggagawa na naapektuhan ng ipinaiiral na COVID-19 Alert Level 3 sa ilang bahagi ng bansa.

Ayon kay DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay, P1 bilyon ang ilalalan nilang pondo para sa one-time financial assistance sa formal sector workers na apektado ang trabaho dahil sa umiiral na alert level 3.

Sa pagtaya ng kagawaran, mahigit sa 30,000 empleyado ang naapektuhan ng paghihigpit ng COVID-19 restrictions mula Enero 1 hanggang 15.

Nasa 11,500 sa mga ito ay mula sa 759 establisimyento ang permanenteng nawalan ng trabaho habang 20,190 naman mula sa 508 establisimyento ang nasa flexible work arrangement o pansamantalang nawalan ng trabaho.

Sa ilalim ng COVID-19 adjustment measures program (CAMP), bibigyan ng P5,000 na ayuda ang bawat formal sector workers na apektado ng kasalukuyang restrictions.

Nauna nang sinabi ng DOLE na maaaring umabot sa 200,000 empleyado sa Metro Manila ang maapektuhan dahil sa pagtaas ng alert level.

Madadagdagan pa ito dahil mas dumami pa ang mga lugar na isinailalim sa Alert Level 3, kabilang na dito ang Rizal, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, at Baguio City.

Sa ngayon, ayon kay Tutay, ay pinag-aaralan pa ng DOLE ang guidelines para sa ipamimigay na ayuda.

“Iyon pong guidelines ay atin ipe-present po natin sa ating kalihim at senior officials anytime soon at kapag ito po ay naaprubahan na po niya ay ready na po to implement CAMP 2022,” ang wika ng opisyal.

Sa Martes ay magpupulong aniya ang mga opisyal ng DOLE para isapinal ang guidelines. Inaasahang masisimulan ang distribusyon ng cash aid sa susunod na linggo.

Para sa mga nais mag-apply para sa camp, maaring mag-register sa reports.dole.gov.ph at isumite ang kinakailangang data para ma-proseso ang application.

Maliban sa CAMP ay tuloy rin ang iba pang programa ng DOLE para matulungan ang mga manggagawang labis na naapektuhan ng pandemya.

“Nandiyan pa rin po ang ating emergency employment under TUPAD para naman po doon sa ating mga informal sector workers natin kung saan pwede po silang makapag-trabaho ng minimum of 10 days para po magkakita sila ng minimum wage in their region and then maryoon din po tayong mga livelihood assistance para po sa mga may gustong magumpisa ng sarili nilang negosyo,” ang wika ni Tutay. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

 

Defense chief on martial law rumors amid rising COVID-19 cases: Fake news

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) chief Delfin Lorenzana has denied rumors circulating on social media that the government will declare martial law or a total lockdown to address the rapidly growing new COVID-19 cases.

In a statement, Lorenzana said there is no compelling reason for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law.

“Not true. Fake news. Definitely out of the picture. There is no compelling reason to declare martial law,” he said.

Rumors that Duterte will impose a total lockdown, barring everyone from going out of their homes to address the coronavirus surge have circulated on social media at the start of the week.

This week, the Philippines saw a rapid increase in the number of new infections, with 17,220 additional cases recorded on Thursday.

The sharp increase in the country’s COVID cases is believed to be caused by the local transmission of Omicron and Delta variants.

But Lorenzana pointed out that the latest tally is lower than the over 26,000 recorded in 2021.

He added that while highly transmissible, the Omicron variant is seen to be less aggressive than the Delta variant.

“The highest we had was 26,000+ last year. Today we have 17,220. This variant while more transmissible is less virulent than delta. Less people get seriously sick,” he said.

Due to rising cases, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and 14 other areas in the country have been placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

President Rodrigo Duterte have also directed local officials to restrict the movement of unvaccinated persons in a bid to protect them from contracting the virus.

Lorenzana, who also chairs the National Task Force against COVID-19, said the Inter-Agency Task Force is still evaluating on the possibility of implementing stricter measures to combat the COVID-19 surge. (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Duterte orders barangay officials to restrict movement of unvaccinated persons

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed barangay officials to limit the mobility of persons who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 amid rising cases in the country.

During his pre-taped public briefing aired late Thursday, Duterte told barangay officials to advise unvaccinated residents to just stay at home to avoid contracting the disease, especially its highly transmissible variants.

“I’m now giving orders to the barangay captains to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just would request them or order them, if you may, to stay put,” he said.

“If he refuses, he goes out of the house and goes around in the community or maybe wherever magpunta, he can be restrained,” he added.

Being persons in authority, Duterte said barangay captains have the power to arrest “recalcitrant” persons if they are unvaccinated and refuse to be restrained or escorted to their homes, he argued.

At the same time, village chiefs can also mobilize civilians to help them with the subjugation of people who haven’t received COVID-19 shot from leaving their homes and loitering outdoors.

“Give them the task officially probably written and that converts their status from being a civilian but also a person in authority called upon to assist the persons in authority,” he said.

“They now become agents of a person in authority. That is my position,” he added.

The president, however, clarified that he was issuing the order as part of his responsibility to ensure public safety and well-being.

He also pointed out that unvaccinated people will not be immediately imprisoned, and persons in authority will have to talk to them about the dangers of leaving their homes.

“I hate to say this word pero — these words: being the President, ultimately I am responsible for the safety and well-being of every Filipino and that is why my orders are to restrain them,” he said.

“Hindi naman kaagad arestuhin. Paki-usap lang, eh sir hindi ka nagpabakuna then you put everybody in jeopardy. You go out, you get contaminated, dalhin mo. Ngayon, por pamilya, por bahay ang contamination,” he added.

Meanwhile, Duterte ordered the police to arrest and detain for investigation individuals involved in the illegal trade of COVID-19 drugs in the black market.

“I would insist for the police to arrest them and detain them for investigation. If it’s a serious offense, that will go about 34 hours of detention and in that time, you can investigate,” he said.

The president said that nobody will be spared, stressing that his order also covers agents and sellers or sales representatives, and even owners of medical infrastructures.

“Sabihin nila even it’s a matter of violation, ‘wala kami, ‘yung aming mga staff lang.’ Do not give me that s***. Hulihin ninyo at ikulong ninyo,” he said.

The unregulated sale of COVID-19 drugs is a serious offense because it victimizes those who need the medicine but cannot afford to buy due to very steep prices.

Duterte also asked the Department of Justice to assign fiscals who could conduct summary investigation and inquest of those involved in the prohibited trade. He also wants the police to investigate their areas of responsibility and to “solve the problem.”

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