Duterte tells COA to stop flagging agencies, avoid tainting them ‘corrupt by perception’

Marje Pelayo   •   August 17, 2021   •   812

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte told the Commission on Audit (COA) to stop flagging government agencies and stop publishing reports as it would put concerned agencies in a bad light.

“Stop that flagging. Do not publish it because it will condemn the agency or the person that you are flagging. Huwag kayong sige ng flag nang flag tapos wala namang napreso. Wala naman lahat. When you flag, there is already a taint of corruption by perception,” Duterte said in his weekly taped briefing on Monday (August 16).

He said the COA should not conduct an audit while a project is ongoing or the documents are still being processed to be fair to the people involved in the project.

“May mga project tayo. So ngayon, mayroon talaga papel na hindi masyado nakumpleto. Kapag mag-[audit] ang COA, magsabi ng deficiency, hindi mo sabihin na deficiency dahil ninakaw ang pera,” Duterte said.

Duterte explained that when COA flags a “deficiency”, the public would only assume that the money had been stolen or missing.

In the case of the recent issue with DOH, he said: “Imposibleng magnakaw ng P67.3 billion.”

“To the issue of whether the money is stolen, that is pure bu***,” he added.

The President stressed that he will not allow any member of his Cabinet to steal public funds while he is in office.

“Do you think papayag ako na may isa dito sa Cabinet member ko na magnakaw maski one thousand? You really think that I will allow it. Marami diyan sa ibang departamento but not the Cabinet members,” the President said.

COA flagged the DOH for deficiencies in its use of the P67.3 billion COVID response fund.

From among the 13 deficiencies mentioned by COA, the DOH has resolved five of the items; three are partially resolved and the other five are still ongoing compliance.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said the COA reports were referring to documentary issues.

The DOH has until September 30 to address all COA findings and observations.

Hindi lahat ng A3 sector kasama sa tatanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine booster dose – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Nilinaw ng Department of Health (DOH) ngayong Lunes na hindi pa lahat ng persons with co-morbidities (A3 sector) ang maaaring mabigyan ng COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

Ginawa ng DOH ang paglilinaw sa pagsisimula ng rollout ng booster dose para sa senior citizens (A2) at A3 groups.

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ng DOH na ang makakasama lang sa booster dosing sa ngayon ay ang mga persons with co-morbidities na nasa immunocompromised state.

Ibig sabihin, ito ay ang mga nasa immunodeficiency state, people living with HIV, may active cancer o malignancy, transplant patients at mga pasyenteng sumasailalim sa immunosuppressive treatments.

Paliwanag ng DOH, ito pa lamang ang maaaring makatanggap sa ngayon ng vaccine boosters dahil sila ang higit na nangangailangan ng dagdag-proteksyon laban sa COVID-19.

May posibilidad ring bumaba na ang bisa ng bakuna na natanggap nila ilang buwan na ang nakalilipas.

Ayon sa DOH, iaanunsiyo ng National Vaccine Operations Center kung kailan maaaring makatanggap ng karagdagang vaccine shots ang natitirang populasyon ng A3 sector.

Pinapayuhan ng ahensiya ang mga eligible nang tumanggap ng third at booster shots na makipag-ugnayan sa nakakasakop na local government units para sa schedule ng pagpapabakuna.

Paalala rin ng DOH na dalhin ang kanilang ang vaccination card bilang katunayan na sila ay fully vaccinated na at handang tumanggap ng kanilang third dose. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

LIST: Conditions of immunocompromised persons eligible for COVID-19 booster shots

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday released a list of conditions for immunocompromised individuals that will qualify them for an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Immunocompromised persons with the following conditions are eligible for a booster shot:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • HIV
  • Cancer/Malignancy
  • Transplant patients
  • Undergoing steroid treatment
  • Patients with poor prognosis/ bed-ridden patients

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH met with experts on COVID-19 vaccine to discuss and prepare the guidelines for the administration of booster shots for immunocompromised individuals (A3) and senior citizens (A2).

“Gagawin lang po namin ang guidelines and we will be announcing through our National Vaccine Operations Cluster kung kailan po maguumpisa ang pagbabakuna ng booster or 3rd doses para sa ating mga nakakatanda or A2 and those individuals with immunocompromised states,” Vergeire said.

The Philippine government started administering booster shots for fully vaccinated healthcare workers this week.

“There were already 2,488 booster doses administered last Nov. 17 among our healthcare workers. Meron ho tayong kaunti na nagkaroon ng reaction, it’s about 2 percent of all of these,” she said.

“Lahat po ay na-manage accordingly and they were all sent home na they were well. Wala tayong serious na adverse events na naitala para dito sa mga naka-received na ng booster doses,” she added.

Vergeire said that most of the adverse events reported were mild such as headache, elevated blood pressure, fever, and pain on the injection site.

She stressed that healthcare workers are not required to get an additional vaccine dose.

Vergeire also reminded the public that the booster dosing is not yet recommended for the general public, adding that its implementation to other priority groups will be done in phases.

COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, hindi pa para sa lahat – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Nagpaalala ang Department of Health (DOH) sa publiko na hindi pa aplikable para sa lahat ng sektor ang booster dose laban sa COVID-19.

Sa isang pahayag, iginiit ng DOH na ibibigay muna ang booster dose sa hanay ng fully vaccinated health care workers batay sa inilabas na panuntunan ng pamahalaan.

 The Department of Health would like to remind the public that the general population is not yet eligible for booster vaccination,” ayon sa DOH.

Paalala rin ng ahensya sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na in phases ang pagpapatupad ng booster dosing:

  • Phase 1: healthcare workers
  • Phase 2: senior citizens at immunocompromised individuals
  • Phase 3: ibang eligible population

“The decision to offer booster doses to healthcare workers is still risk-based and its roll out to other priority groups will be implemented on a phased approach,” ayon sa DOH.

Dagdag pa nito, may bukod na guidelines na ilalabas kapag sisimulan na ang pagbibigay ng booster shots para sa ibang priority sector.

Muli ring iginiit ng DOH na prayoridad pa rin ang pagbibigay ng primary series o una at ikalawang doses ng COVID-19 vaccines kaysa sa booster shots.

“More than administering booster doses, it is still important to ensure that the eligible individuals, especially the senior citizens, those with comorbidities and the indigent population will receive their primary doses,” ang pahayag ng ahensiya.

Unang sinabi ng DOH na hindi sapilitan ang pagpapabakuna ng booster shots.

May kalayaan ring mamili ang isang indibidwal kung heterologous booster ang gusto nilang matanggap.

Kung Sinovac ang primary series, maaari silang makatanggap ng booster shot na gawa ng AstraZeneca, Pfizer or kaya ay ng Moderna.

Kung AstraZeneca ang primary series ay Pfizer o Moderna ang kanilang booster dose.

Ang mga nabakunahan naman ng Pfizer ay maaaring bigyan ng AstraZeneca o Moderna booster habang AstraZeneca at Pfizer naman ang pwedeng iturok sa mga nakakumpleto ng Moderna vaccine series.

Ang mga nabakunahan naman ng Janssen at Sputnik V ay inirerekomendang bigyan ng AstraZeneca, Pfizer, at Moderna bilang booster shots. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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