IATF allows on-site medical, foreign service exams and BSP survey

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2020   •   174

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) leading its COVID-19 response has allowed the conduct of on-site exams for the medical sector and foreign survey, as well as the survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF, during its meeting on Thursday, approved the conduct of a nationwide BSP Consumer Payments Survey, and the adoption of the guidelines for the conduct of on-site, written, oral and practical specialty and subspecialty examinations issued by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA).

The task force also allowed the on-site conduct of the 2020 Foreign Service Officer Examinations on Dec. 15 to 17, 2020.

Under IATF Resolution No. 84, the IATF said the conduct of BSP survey is in accordance with Republic Act (RA) No. 11127 or the National Payments System Act as well as RA No. 11211 or the New Central Bank Act.

The IATF said such an activity is an exercise of a critical government function, and that the same had been initially approved by the Philippine Statistics Authority and duly coordinated with the League of Cities of the Philippines and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

“For the avoidance of doubt, enumerators of the survey activity, whether directly employed/engaged or subcontracted, shall be considered authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) and shall be permitted interzonal travel whenever performing their functions as such, pursuant to the Section [7](2)(a) of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines,” the resolution stated.

IATF allows entry of Balikbayans starting Dec. 7

Maris Federez   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the entry of balikbayans and their families to the country starting December 7.

In Resolution No. 85 dated November 26, the IATF has resolved to allow entry privileges to the Philippines Filipino citizens and former Filipino citizens, including their foreign spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them.  These privileges were provided for under Republic Act No. 6768 or the “Act Instituting the Balikbayan Program”.

The resolution stated that the entry of these persons shall be subject to the following conditions:

  1. They are allowed visa-free entry under Executive Order No. 408, s. 1960;
  2. With pre-booked quarantine facility;
  3. With pre-booked COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport; and
  4. Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

The decision of the IATF is without prejudice to immigration laws, rules, and regulations of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the resolution said.

Among such regulations is that the Commissioner of Immigration shall have the exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion order for the above foreign nationals, including other foreign nationals who have entered the Philippines by virtue of the IATF resolutions.

The resolution also directed the BI to formulate the necessary guidelines to ensure smooth implementation, as well as the Department of Tourism to issue the necessary guidelines for the provision of sufficient accommodation for the foregoing persons taking into account the release of COVID-19 test results, the resolution further stated. — /mbmf

Face-to-face classes will only be allowed upon Duterte, IATF approval – DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   November 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education has stressed that it will only allow the conduct of face-to-face classes upon the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the government’s policy prohibiting in-person classes will remain amid the coronavirus pandemic, although the department is looking into the possibility of reintroducing face-to-face classes next year.

She said a report to be submitted to the president on the opening of classes and DepEd’s recommendations is being finalized.

“We are preparing a report for the President on our current experience with the opening of classes, at klaro naman na kung magkaroon ng face to face, it will be very limited to areas which are absolutely safe. There will be conditions from the Department of Health; there will also be conditions coming from us. Hindi po lahat-lahat, [hindi] sabay-sabay iyan na mag-face to face, kung payag si President,” Briones said.

“At saka, depende sa approach iyan, kasi iyong number of students, etc. So we are [also] now looking into that,” she added.

The school year opened last October 5 with blended forms of learning through self-learning modules, internet and TV- and radio-based instructions.

The DepEd chief also reiterated its earlier statement that it did not approve any localized and limited face-to-face learning workshops.

“Uulitin ko, definitely not this year at definitely walang mga arrangements right now with kung sinumang mga grupo na magpi-face to face at this time because the President has not made any pronouncement at all. Pero [patuloy kaming] magri-report kami sa kaniya,” Briones said.

Meanwhile, the Education chief also directed a study on reconceptualizing learning spaces post-COVID, which include not just classroom, but homes, community spaces, and virtual space.

IATF to ban caroling during holiday season vs COVID-19 spread

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will ban the conduct of caroling during the holiday season to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a government official said Wednesday.

“Sinabi na ng IATF yung caroling, talagang ipinagbabawal natin,” National Task Force Against COVID-19 and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a public briefing.

The IATF has yet to release a resolution on the matter.

The Department of Health earlier said that singing loudly can spread the virus.

The government also reiterated its earlier call for the public to limit holiday celebrations to family members and to continue observing health safety protocols to curb virus transmission. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.