IATF allows mass gatherings in ‘higher education institutions’ in MGCQ areas

Marje Pelayo   •   June 22, 2020   •   394

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced that the national government is allowing mass gatherings in ‘higher education institutions’ in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) across the country. 

The decision was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19. 

Higher education institutions include universities and colleges. 

However, government-imposed health protocols must be strictly observed at all times, Roque said. 

“Pinayagan na rin ang mass gathering sa higher educational institutions ngunit kailangan silang sumunod sa existing guidelines sa ilalim ng MGCQ, (Mass gathering in higher educational institutions will be allowed but they have to abide by the existing guidelines under MGCQ),” Roque said.

Likewise, Roque added that the task force has allowed Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to continue its face-to-face technical vocational education training (TVET) in MGCQ areas and in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas provided attendees are limited to 50 percent of the site’s capacity, subject to compliance with minimum public health standards and TESDA guidelines as well as proper consultation with local government units. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

IATF, naglabas ng guidelines para sa home quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi na papayagan ang basta na lamang na pagsasailalim sa home quarantine ng isang confirmed, suspected o probable case ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) batay sa guidelines na inilabas ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Sa nasabing panuntunan, may tatlong tanong na kailangang sagutin upang payagan ang pagsasagawa ng home quarantine para sa mga taong pinasususpetsahan o naimpeksyon ng nakakahawang COVID-19.

Una, mayroon ba siyang sariling kwarto sa kanilang bahay?

Pangalawa, may sarili bang banyo ang kuwarto na hindi ginagamit ng ibang kasama sa bahay?

At pangatlo, may kasama ba sa bahay na mga taong itinuturing na vulnerable sa COVID-19 gaya ng senior citizen, buntis, o may sakit o comorbities o dinadalang sakit tulad ng diabetes, hypertension, cancer, at iba pa?

Kung walang sariling kwarto na may banyo sa bahay ang isang COVID-19 patient, o kung may kasama siyang kabilang sa vulnerable group, hindi siya maaaring sumailalim sa home quarantine at kailangang dalhin siya sa isang local quarantine facility.

Layunin ng bagong panuntunan na mapigilan ang patuloy na pagkalat ng coronavirus disease sa mga sangbahayan at komunidad, at mabawasan ang bilang ng mga nagpapa-confine sa ospital lalo’t punuan na ang sitwasyon sa ilang pagamutan sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

“Kung bagsak ka sa kahit iisa man sa tatlong iyon, hindi ka pwede mag home quarantine. Bakit? yun ang nagiging rason ng pagkalat ng COVID-19,” ani Vince Dizon na nagsisilbing Chief Testing Czar ng pamahalaan.

Susunduin ng local health units mula sa bahay ang pasyenteng hindi nakapasa sa guidelines ng home quarantine. Sa quarantine facility, libre ang pagkain, gamot at Wi-Fi connection para sa mga pasyente.

Paglilinaw naman ng IATF, papayagan pa rin ang home quarantine kung masusunod ang mga inilatag na kondisyon para rito.

Sinabi rin ni Dizon na gumagawa na ng paraan ang pamahalaan para lalo pang mapataas ang bed capacity sa isolation centers sa bansa.

“Right now, we are running at around roughly 53 percent sa National Capital Region sa ating mga We Heal As one Centers… Marami pa tayong ibang gagawin,” aniya.

Muling humihingi ang mga otoridad ng kooperasyon sa publiko para mapigilan ang lalo pang pagdami ng mga tinatamaan ng coronavirus disease sa bansa.

Sa kasalukuyan, mayroon nang kabuuang 57,006 kaso ng COVID-19 infections sa bansa, 1,599 sa mga ito ang nasawi habang 20,371 naman ang gumaling mula sa viral respiratory disease. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Mayor Sara Duterte tells residents to prepare for possible return of Davao City to GCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has called on residents to prepare for the possible return of the city to the general community quarantine (GCQ), which entails the observance of stricter health and movement restrictions.

Duterte made the call on Monday after receiving advance information from the National Inter-Agency Task Force that the city will be reverted to GCQ on Wednesday, July 15.

Malacañang earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte may be announcing on Wednesday the new quarantine restrictions that will be implemented in various parts of the country after July 15.

Mayor Sara said she will be appealing to the IATF to reconsider the quarantine classification of Davao City which is currently under modified GCQ.

“Kung ma deny gihapon ang appeal nga magpabilin ta og MGCQ, may I request everyone nga duna tay July 2 nga version sa Omnibus Guidelines nga atoa lang i-review, pasadahan nato kung unsa tong GCQ para mahinumdom ta kung unsa atoang kinahanglan buhaton during a GCQ. So maayo nang mangandam ta daan for a status nga GCQ,” she said in an interview over the city-run Davao City Disaster Radio.

(If our appeal to remain under MGCQ is denied, I request everyone to review the July 2 version of our Omnibus guidelines, go over the guidelines under GCQ so we remember what we should do during a GCQ. We should get ready for a GCQ status.)

The latest version of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued on July 2, 2020 include limitations of in-dining services to only 30 percent capacity, and prohibiting entertainment establishments like comedy bars and karaoke from operating, as well as mass gatherings with more than 10 people.

Davao City saw a continued rise in coronavirus cases in the past weeks. Based on the latest data from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Davao City has 162 active positive cases, the highest number of active cases since the Covid-19 outbreak started in March this year. The number of recoveries is at 382 and 35 deaths.

Given the still increasing cases and in the absence of anti-coronavirus disease vaccine, the public is reminded to stay at home except when buying food and medicine; wash hands frequently, social distancing, and wear masks whenever they go out of their homes.

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Malacañang leaves people’s initiative on ABS-CBN franchise to Supreme Court

Maris Federez   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Sunday (July 12) said it will leave the issue of granting a franchise to media giant ABS-CBN Corporation to the Supreme Court.

This, after several groups said that a people’s initiative to revive the company’s franchise bill could possibly happen, invoking Republic Act 6735 to grant a franchise for ABS-CBN, after a House committee rejected the network’s franchise application.

RA 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act provides that the public can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof as passed by Congress.

In a statement released on Sunday, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang will defer to the Supreme Court should it decide on the issue.

“We also take note of the discussions around using the mechanism of the people’s initiative to grant ABS-CBN a franchise,” he added.

He said it is up to the Supreme Court to rule on whether a people’s initiative will be applicable to the case of ABS-CBN despite, as he said, what was clearly worded in Republic Act 7925 or the Public Telecommunications Act.

“Whether the franchise of ABS-CBN may be granted through a people’s initiative despite the clear wording of R.A. 7925, whether it matters that a franchise bill is a private bill that must ‘originate exclusively in the House of Representatives’ in accordance with Article VI, Section 24 of the Constitution — these and related questions we leave to the Supreme Court, as the final arbiter of the appropriate interpretation of these provisions in the Constitution and our laws,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released last Saturday showed that three out of 4 Filipinos want Congress to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise.

The survey said that 57 percent of adult Filipinos “strongly” agreed that the network should be granted a fresh franchise, while 19 percent “somewhat” agreed. e, 13 percent are not in favor of granting the media giant a fresh franchise while 10 percent are undecided on the issue. — /mbmf

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