Duterte to announce new community quarantine status on August 17 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2020   •   448

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to address the nation on August 17, Monday, to announce fresh community quarantine restrictions to be implemented in the country, Malacañang said Thursday.

The two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) over Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna will lapse on August 18.

“Inaasahan po natin na magmemensahe sa taumbayan muli ang ating Presidente sa Aug. 17 kung saan iaanunsyo din niya ‘yung bagong classifications,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque earlier said it is unlikely that the MECQ will be extended because the country’s economy can no longer afford to undergo strict lockdown.

He said recommendations for all other provinces and cities for quarantine classifications have already been submitted for the president’s approval.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has recorded 147,526 confirmed coronavirus infections, of which 74,713 are active.

The number of reported recoveries also rose to 70,387 while the death toll is at 2,426. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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.

Working hours in executive branch shortened on Sept. 28 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has announced that the working hours for employees in the executive branch of the government will be shortened on Monday, Sept. 28.

In a memorandum circular dated Sept. 25 but released only on Monday, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said that work hours will be suspended from 3:30 p.m. onwards.

This is to allow government workers in the executive department celebrate the Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day.

“Pursuant to the Proclamation No. 60 (s. 1992), which declared the last week of September of every year as Family Week and in order to afford government workers and their families time to celebrate, in their respective homes, the Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day pursuant to Proclamation No. 326 (s. 2012), work in government offices in the Executive Branch shall be suspended from 3:30 in the afternoon onwards on Monday, Sept. 28,” the circular read.

Medialdea, however, said that agencies whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health and services, preparedness/response to disasters and calamities, and/or the performance of other vital services are exempted from the work suspension.

Suspension of work in other branches of the government, independent commissions, and the private sector is also encouraged, he added.

Facility-based isolation for asymptomatic, mild COVID-19 cases now mandatory

Marje Pelayo   •   September 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is now requiring facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases through IATF Resolution 74.

The new policy however, exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities and their home meets the conditions specified in the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Administrative Order 2020-0001. 

Likewise, another exception is when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.

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