Go pushes gov’t aid for live events workers amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2020   •   797

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has called on the government to also provide support for displaced workers heavily affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, especially those in industries that cannot resume operations due to social distancing and community quarantine measures.

In a statement in Tuesday, Go said workers engaged in live events, entertainment industry, as well as those engaged in businesses that cannot operate at this time, must be given utmost attention by the government.

“Dahil sa COVID-19, may mga industriya talagang hindi makapag-operate ngayon. Bawal ang pagtitipon kaya tulad nung mga nasa live events organizing, kailangan maghanap ng ibang pagkakakitaan,” he said.

“Bukod pa diyan, ang mga tao sa entertainment industry ay apektado rin po, lalong lalo na ‘yung ordinaryong manggagawa tulad nung parte ng mga production crew bilang halimbawa. Ito po ‘yung mga kababayan nating bumubuhay sa industriya ng sining na ngayon ay hirap makabalik sa kabuhayan nila,” he added.

The live events industry consists of events, like meetings, conferencing, exhibitions, concerts involving international and local artists, theatrical productions, corporate, social, cultural, fashion, sporting, and club events, weddings and family celebrations, trade fairs and exhibits, and on-ground activation and sampling activities.

“Tulungan nating mapagaan ang pinapasan ng mga nasa ganitong uri ng industriya. Wala pong dapat mapabayaan sa panahon ngayon,” Go added.

The senator also expressed hope that once the health situation improves and the spread of COVID-19 is under control, more provinces and cities under modified general community quarantine can provide guidelines for these industries to resume operations in accordance with health protocols.

Go, former long-time aide of President Rodrigo Duterte, also urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Labor and Employment, and other concerned agencies to look into the situation of and provide assistance programs for the displaced workers.

He also suggested events businesses to avail of emergency loans and financing program for micro, small and medium enterprises.

The DTI is presently implementing COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program, which aims to help enterprises stabilize or recover from losses due to the health crisis.

The National Live Events Coalition (NLEC) recently appealed for government assistance for their members, highlighting that the live events industry, comprised of businesses and industry professionals, institutions, agencies, technical and staging providers, concert and festival producers, wedding and social events planners, venues, performers and freelance production workforce, have faced lost opportunities and revenues due to COVID-19.

Live events organizing is a multi-billion industry that provides employment to several thousands. The NLEC said the industry is composed of 30,000 MSMEs.

Some MSMEs related to the industry may have to close down or operate only at 10% capacity.

Although the live events industry is not specified in the latest Senate version of the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, Go is urging the administration’s economic managers to look into the matter and explore more opportunities for the government to extend help to this sector in these trying times.

“May mga provisions sa Senate version ng Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) para sa mga subsidies, loan programs at iba pang social assistance na pwedeng makatulong sa mga empleyado ng ganitong industriya,” Go said.

DILG hindi pabor sa reproduksyon ng COVID-19 vaccination card

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

Nagbabala ang Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sa publiko kaugnay ng pagpapagawa ng COVID-19 vaccination card na yari sa isang uri ng plastic card na polyvinyl chloride o PVC.

Ayon kay DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, mahalaga ang vaccination card at ang mga impormasyong nakapaloob dito.

Kaya’t tanging orihinal na kopya lang nito ang dapat gamitin alinsunod na rin sa pamantayan ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“Madaming paggagamitan iyong vaccination card sa ating mga kababayan para makagalaw, para makapagtrabaho, para makapagbyahe. So, given this situation, kailangan po ay orihinal ang ipakita natin sa mga entry points or kaya naman sa mga mall kung tayo ay senior citizen,” ayon kay Malaya.

Paliwanag pa ng DILG, hindi na orihinal ang kopya nito kung isasaliam sa reproduksyon gaya ng paglalagay ng impormasyon sa PVC card, pagkuha ng litrato, xerox o photocopy at pagpapa-scan nito.

May banta rin sa data privacy o personal na impormasyon ng isang indibiduwal ang pagbibigay ng kopya ng vaccination card sa ibang tao o kumpanya.

Kaya payo ni Malaya, huwag sayangin ang oras, hirap at pera sa pagpapagawa ng PVC vaccination card.

Maari namang protektahan na lang ang orihinal na bakuna card sa pamamagitan ng ilang paraan upang hindi ito masira o mawala kung ito ay dadalahin.

“Kung tayo ay concerned doon sa ating vaccination card, ayaw natin itong masira o mabasa, eh di ipa-laminate na lang. Marami pong paraan para maprotektahan natin ang ating vaccination card without reproducing it or tampering with the original,” ayon kay Malaya.

Maaari namang manghingi ang isang indibidwal lalo pa ang mga pupunta sa ibang bansa ng vaccination certificate sa Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) na maaring magsilbing patunay na ang isang tao ay bakunado na.

Metro Manila LGUs, naghahanda na sa posibleng paglobo ng COVID-19 cases dahil sa Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naglagay na ng dagdag na isolation facilities ang iba’t ibang local government units (LGU) sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagdami ng COVID-19 cases bunsod ng Delta variant.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, 83 isolation facilities na ang inihahanda sa iba’t ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila at maging sa mga hotel.

Ani Abalos, kailangang maihanda ang mas maraming facility beds para maiwasan na ang nangyaring siksikan sa mga ospital nang magkaroon ng surge ng COVID-19 cases sa unang bahagi ng taon.

“We’ve had this experience before eh remember nung South African and UK variant nung tumaas in just two weeks, kumalat kaagad. Yun talaga, nagsiksikan ang mga ospital, nagsiksikan ang isolation, pero in a way kinaya naman. Talagang naghanap tayo ng mga hotels,” ang pahayag ni Abalos.

Una nang nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) at ilang eksperto sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols at contact tracing upang maagapan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant lalo na sa Metro Manila.

Hinimok din ng DOH ang publiko na patuloy na sundin ang mga polisiya sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield at social distancing at iwasan ang mass gathering.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni Department of Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya na pinag-iisipan na ng Metro Manila mayors na ipagbawal ang home quarantine upang maiwasan ang hawahan ng COVID-19 sa isang pamilya.

“Home quarantine is no longer recommended especially dun sa mga areas na may Delta variant. Pag kayo ay nakahalubilo, kailangan dalhin kayo sa facility,” ani Malaya.

Pinaiigting na rin ang operasyon ng One Hospital Command Center upang agad matugunan ang mga kababayang mangangailangan ng atensiyong medical sa gitna ng pandemya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

Clusters of Delta variant cases seen in Northern Mindanao, Antique – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that clusters of Delta COVID-19 variant cases have been observed in Northern Mindanao and the province of Antique in Western Visayas.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cluster of infections in the Northern Mindanao was seen in a family while different clusters of infections were observed in Antique.

She said one family cluster may have stemmed from an individual who came home from work and infected the household.

“Ito pong ating cluster of infection na isa, dito sa may Delta variant, nakitaan natin na mayroon isang kapamilya na nagtratrabaho sa isang lugar at umuwi sa kanilang pwesto, at doon sila po ay nagkaroon ng pagkakahawa-hawa. There is a link,” Vergeire said in a press forum.

The DOH earlier confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious variant following the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units.

The number of Delta variant cases in the Philippines rose to 47 after 12 more local cases were detected. Of these cases, three died while eight remain active.

The DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to COVID-19 health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travels and gatherings.

They must also get vaccinated against COVID-19 when it is their turn.

The DOH likewise urged local government units to shorten the duration of case detection to isolation and immediately isolate symptomatic patients, and ramp up their vaccination and prioritize the senior citizens and people with underlying conditions.

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