Gov’t warns closure against tiangge operators violating minimum health protocols

Marje Pelayo   •   November 24, 2020   •   300

MANILA, Philippines – Shoppers are starting to flock to Manila City’s shopping district Divisoria now that the holiday season is approaching.

Amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang warned tiangge operators that they may be ordered closed if proven to have been violating the minimum health standards set by the government.

“Kapag hindi po kayo nag-control ng crowd, baka po mapasara kayo, lalo kayong mawalan ng negosyo [If you will not control the crowd you could be closed. You would lose (the) opportunity for your business],” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The Department of Health (DOH), meanwhile, has started to draft a contingency plan in anticipation of the post-holiday surge of COVID-19 infections.

But still, in order not to contract the virus, Malacañang calls on the public to be conscious of their health.

Though the local government units are the ones responsible for the health and safety of their constituents when going to commercial centers in their areas, it is still the cooperation of each individual person that is needed to curb the transmission. 

“Responsibilidad na rin po natin iyan because kinakailangan nga abutan natin iyong libreng bakuna [That’s our responsibility. We have to reach that day when the free vaccine is already available],” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“Ingatan naman natin ang ating mga sarili, hindi lang para sa hanapbuhay [Let’s us protect ourselves not just for work],” he added. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

QC gov’t threatens to revoke business permits of PUVs violating health protocols

Marje Pelayo   •   December 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government warned operators and companies of public transportation registered in the City that their business permit may be revoked if they continue to violate minimum health protocols.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte made the pronouncement as she issued Executive Order No. 45, which mandates the observance of minimum health protocols in public transportation.

The order covers buses, jeepneys, tricycle, taxis, among others, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Mayor issued the order after it was brought to her attention that some public utility vehicles are not following health protocols, especially physical distancing.

Belmonte reiterated in her EO the wearing of face masks and face shields by all persons in the vehicle, observance of physical distancing of at least one meter between each person and regular disinfection of all high-touch surfaces such as seats, armrests and handles.

“It is necessary to reaffirm and reinforce compliance with these minimum health protocols on public transportation, considering the increasing volume of passengers as the economy reopens,” she stressed.

She emphasized that the business permit of the offending transportation company or operator may be revoked under City Ordinance No. 2934, S. 2020 or any applicable Ordinance.

This is aside from the filing of appropriate charges under other applicable Ordinance or Republic Act 11332, or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act,” the lady Mayor added.

DILG eyes zero firecracker-related injury this holiday season

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is eyeing zero firecracker-related injuries during this holiday season.

In a statement, DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that no firecracker-related injuries have been reported so far, but he urged the public to prioritize safety amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“It is the tradition of Filipinos to usher in the New Year with fireworks as families indulge in their media noche [New Year’s Eve feast]. However, the pandemic and the new normal entails adjustments to ensure everyone is safe at home together,” Malaya said.

“Disiplina muna para ligtas ang pamilya, ligtas ang bayan. Ito po ang ating regalo’t ambag para iwas peligro at mapayapang pagsalubong ng bagong taon,” he added.

Malaya said the department is optimistic it will reach its goal this year, citing the drop in cases of zero firecracker-related injury in the previous years.

Based on data provided by the Philippine National Police (PNP), 307 firecracker-related incidents nationwide were recorded in January 2019 which is 67 percent lower than the 929 recorded incidents in 2016.

In 2018, there were 449 incidents while in 2017, there were 652.

“There has been a steady decline for the past three years and we can sustain that trend if we remain persistent with our efforts to implement laws and regulations on the use of firecrackers such as Republic Act 7183 and Executive Order No. 28,” Malaya said.

The DILG has issued Memorandum Circular 2017-105, implementing Executive Order 28 which enjoins the local government units, the PNP, and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to take necessary actions on the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices nationwide.

Under its provisions, the PNP is also tasked to beef up its force to provide security in identified firecrackers and pyrotechnic zones and firecracker/pyrotechnic displays in respective areas in coordination with appropriate agencies and stakeholders.

Police units are also expected to conduct inspections of the manufacturing complex, warehouse, and processing area of manufacturers and dealers in their respective areas of responsibility to ensure the observance of safety guidelines.

“The PNP is authorized to immediately confiscate illegal firecrackers and make arrests when necessary so the industry is advised to just follow the law,” Malaya said.

Among the prohibited fireworks are piccolo, watusi, giant whistle bomb, giant bawang, large judas belt, super lolo, lolo thunder, atomic bomb, atomic bomb triangulo, pillbox, boga, kwiton, goodbye earth, goodbye bading, hello columbia, and goodbye philippines.

in line with this, the DILG said it has directed the BFP to intensify its Oplan Paalala/Iwas Paputok Campaign with the battlecry “Sa Halip na Paputok, Pito!” which encourages the public to use the whistle during the New Year revelry instead of firecrackers.

The DILG also urges the BFP to be strict in issuing fire safety clearance for fireworks display and fireworks exhibition to ensure that there will be no untoward incidents during such exhibitions.

Davao City urges residents to stay home, save money this holiday season

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 10, 2020

Davao City urges its residents to stay at home and save money this holiday season amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte called on Dabawenyos to avoid mass gatherings as much as possible and avoid spending on unnecessary items such as firecrackers.

“This is the best gift that we can give our family and everyone in our community,” she said.

She also said that the celebration would be more meaningful if everyone in the family is complete and healthy. AAC

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