Filipino Olympic medalists receive incentives from PH gov’t

Robie de Guzman   •   August 24, 2021   •   562

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino athletes who brought home four-medal haul from the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics have received incentives from the government on Monday.

In a ceremony at Malacañan Palace , President Rodrigo Duterte gave the athletes their incentives as he congratulated them again for bringing pride to the country and uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Your hard work, dedication and sportsmanship, even amidst the challenges in your training and competitions prior to the Olympics, are truly inspiring,” Duterte told the Olympians during the event.

“I am confident that you will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future. Your success will continue to motivate many aspiring athletes and our Filipino youth to channel their energies into sports and other productive activities, keeping them away from the harmful vices,” he added.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first-ever gold medalist, received P15 million from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., a housing unit from the National Housing Authority (NHA) and P3 million from the Office of the President.

She was also conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit.

Boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, who both clinched silver medals, each received P5 million from the PSC, housing unit from NHA and P2 million from the Office of the President.

Bronze medalist Eumir Marcial got P2 million from the PSC, a housing unit from NHA and P1 million from the Office of the President

The Filipino boxers were also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kamagi. The Order of Lapu-Lapu is given to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy.

Other athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics will receive P200,000 and Presidential citations.

Boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, who copped the Philippines’ first silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, also received P500,000 from the Office of the President during the event.

Velasco was given incentive after he revealed that he has yet to get the P2.5 million pledged by some lawmakers when he brought home the medal in 1996.

Duterte assured that the government remains committed to providing full support to Filipino athletes, as he urged the PSC, Philippine Olympic Committee and other sports bodies to continue providing much-needed assistance to keep the country’s athletes at the elite level and attain greatness.

“The strength and excellence of our athletes in the international sports arena demonstrate the Filipino spirit of resilience and determination to succeed,” he said.

“Our Tokyo 2020 medalists and Olympians truly embody our greatness as a people and as a nation,” he added.

PH gov’t working on COVID vaccination guidelines for kids aged 5-11 – DOH exec

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The national government is finalizing guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years old, an official from the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

DOH Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said consultations about the vaccination of the younger population are ongoing and the Health Technology Assessment Council is set to come up with recommendations.

“Nakipagtalastasan na rin tayo sa ating mga experts. Actually may inilabas na position paper iyong ating Philippine Pediatric Society at saka iyong Philippine Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines endorsing the 5 to 11,” she said in a public briefing.

“Titingnan lang natin iyong operational guidelines […] pina-finalize po natin baka ang gagawin po natin ay specific site lang for the 5 to 11,” she added.

The COVID-19 vaccination for kids aged 5 to 11 is expected to start in February.

The government is also looking to inoculate children aged 4 and below against coronavirus infection.

Cabotaje said health experts are currently discussing the possible rollout of the vaccine for the said age group.

“Titingnan natin baka by second quarter, mga April or May kung mayroon na pong bakuna na puwede sa zero to 4 at mayroon ng pag-aaral na at may recommendation na, importante kasi iyong Health Technology Assessment Council tapos iyong go signal ng ating mga policy at saka experts. Para umpisahan na rin iyong zero to 4 years old,” she said.

The national government is currently vaccinating minors aged 12 to 17, with nearly 7 million fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since October last year.

PH’s first 2 Omicron deaths were unvaccinated elderlies with co-morbidities – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has reported two fatalities linked to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

The DOH said the two death cases were “aged more than 60 years, unvaccinated, and had pre-existing medical conditions.”

“Both were detected during the latest whole genome sequencing,” the agency said in a message to reporters.

The two patients were from Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

These are the first reported fatalities among those infected with Omicron in the country, it added.

The DOH stressed that while the Omicron variant mostly presents with asymptomatic and mild disease, data showed that the elderly, those with comorbidities, and unvaccinated are still most at risk for fatalities.

The health department also reported that 492 more Omicron cases have been detected in the Philippines based on the latest whole genome sequencing involving 714 samples.

The newly reported Omicron cases are composed of 332 local cases and 160 returning overseas Filipinos.

The indicated addresses of the said cases were from the following areas:

  • National Capital Region with 227 cases
  • CALABARZON with 76 cases
  • Central Luzon with 11 cases
  • Central Visayas with 5 cases
  • Cagayan Valley with 2 cases
  • Western Visayas, with 2 cases
  • Davao Region with 2 cases
  • Soccsksargen with 2 cases
  • Cordillera Administrative Region with 2 cases
  • Ilocos Region with 1 case
  • MIMAROPA with 1 case
  • Bangsamoro region with 1 case

The DOH said that based on the case line list, three cases are still active, 467 cases have been tagged as recovered, while there are 20 cases whose outcomes are still being verified.

This brings the total number of confirmed Omicron variant cases in the country to 535.

PHL logs 22,958 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Wednesday recorded 22,958 additional COVID-19 infections, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In its latest data, the DOH said 21,691 of the new cases occurred within the recent 14 days, from January 6 to January 19.

The top regions that reported high cases in the last two weeks are the National Capital Region, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon.

The latest tally pushed the country’s number of active infections to 270,728. Of these cases, 8,335 are asymptomatic, 257,632 are mild, 2,970 are moderate, 1,487 are severe, and 304 are in critical condition.

The positivity rate was at 43.5 percent, based on samples of 62,531 individuals on January 17.

Six laboratories failed to submit their data on time. These facilities contribute on average 1.5 percent of samples tested and 1.9 percent of positive cases.

Recoveries increased by 36,611, resulting in 2,969,853 total recuperations.

COVID-related deaths rose to 53,044 with 82 new fatalities.

The utilization rate of intensive care unit beds nationwide was at 49 percent, and 53 percent in Metro Manila; isolation beds in the capital region at 48 percent, and 51 percent across the country.

In Metro Manila, 29 percent of ventilators are in use, and 23 percent nationwide.

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