IATF: Selected senior citizens allowed to go out under ECQ, GCQ
Marje Pelayo • May 1, 2020 • 1816
MANILA, Philippines — The national government has further relaxed quarantine measures to consider selected senior citizens after several advocates pitched for them in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1.
Initially, the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of GCQ restricted senior citizens from going out especially those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity and other pre-existing conditions which make them high risks for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
But following discussions, IATF and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the government is allowing older people, or those 60 years old and above, to go out for essential work in authorized sectors, for medical consultations and for buying essential goods.
“Hindi po kayo pinipigilan, basta po allowed na ang inyong trabaho. Puwede po kayong mag-trabaho mga seniors [You are not being restricted as long as your sector is allowed to operate. Senior citizens are allowed to work],” Roque explained.
Several lawmakers aired concerns regarding senior citizens who are still able to go to work or those who own and manage their own business which requires outdoor transactions.
In a follow-up interview with UNTV Serbisyong Kasangbahay on Friday (May 1), Roque reiterated that elder citizens who are fit and authorized may go out provided that they have the necessary passes.
“Fake news po iyan na pinagbabawalan ang lahat ng senior [It’s not true that senior citizens are restricted from going out],” Roque said.
Roque cited as example the composition of the national government where most officials are senior citizens including President Rodrigo Duterte, the members of his Cabinet and the officials of the IATF.
He said even under the ECQ, senior citizens may still go out.
“Kahit walang kasama ang seniors para kumuha ng kanilang essentials pwede silang lumabas [They may go out to get what they need even without a companion],” he stressed provided that the senior citizen has an authorized quarantine pass.
“Kapag may trabaho, ipakita lang po ang kanilang work ID, wala namang problema doon, [If the senior citizen has work or is employed, just present their work ID, that’s not a problem],” the official concluded. MNP (With inputs from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has added several provinces and cities to the list of areas that will be placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) from June 1 to 15.
This, after several local government executives made their appeal to the IATF-MEID to reclassify the community quarantine status of their respective areas.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Region 7 or the Central Visayas, including Cebu City and Mandaue City, and the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao are now among the areas that will be under the GCQ come Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday initially announced that the National Capital Region (NCR), Regions II, III, and IV, the province of Pangasinan and the city of Davao are placed under GCQ.
The rest of the areas that the chief executive did not mention will be placed under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting next month.
Under the GCQ, more economic sectors will be able to resume operation, while those that will be under the MGCQ will transition to the “new normal” way of living.
Meanwhile, the Malacañang assured that the IATF is now finding ways on how the public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will be able to resume operation while maintaining social distancing and health protocols, as more industries will reopen by Monday.
Roque said that as reported by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the resumption of operations of mass transportation in the NCR will be done in phases.
“Pasensya na po sa ating mga kapatid na namamasada ng mga jeepney, pero pinag-aaralan pa po kung papaano magkakaroon ng social distancing sa ating mga jeepney. Bagaman mayroon na po tayong bahagyang pagbukas o pagpayag sa mga pampublikong transportasyon, ang pangunahing guidelines po diyan social distancing,” Roque said.
[I beg the indulgence of our jeepney drivers, but maintaining social distancing inside the jeepneys is still being determined. Although we have already started to open our public transportation, the primary guidelines to be considered in it is social distancing.] —(from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf
The Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) industry is already preparing for the resumption of operations on June 1 when Metro Manila finally shifts to General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
TNVS driver Noel Guimbaolibot has added plastic covers and disinfectant solutions in his car as part of the minimum health standards for public transportation.
Noel is looking forward to the resumption of operations since he hasn’t been able to earn for over three months because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
He said he has to brave the risk of getting infected in order to earn for his loved ones.
“Sa ngayon, hindi pa naman nawawala iyong COVID-19. Ang pinakamaganda talaga ay lagi lang maging maingat. Magsuot ng face mask every time, mag-spray ng alcohol, (COVID-19 is not going away just yet. It would be best to always be careful. Wear a face mask and spray alcohol),” he said.
Grab PH will be implementing new protocols for their partner-drivers in accordance with the directives of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Before being allowed to operate, Grab PH’s partner-drivers will have to answer a checklist to determine if they are fit enough to operate. They will also undergo training to make sure they are following health protocols.
Cashless system will also be encouraged to avoid direct contact. Drivers will also be allowed to cancel their booking if the passenger is not wearing a face mask. Likewise, passengers may also cancel their booking if the driver is not wearing a face mask.
Grab PH president, Brian Cu assures that they will not implement any fare hike as operations resume. However, they will appeal to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for a five-peso fare increase by next month.
“The disinfection kits and disinfection measures are an added cost for them, to the drivers, so we made a proposal to the LTFRB to raise the per trip cost by a fixed amount to help cover these items,” he said.
Meanwhile, TNVS drivers are not required to undergo COVID-19 testing before resumption of operations unless they are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms. Grab PH has test kits prepared for their partner drivers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila and some parts of the country will begin the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday (June 1).
Alongside the shift from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)to GCQ is the reopening of companies and establishments with a number of employees returning to their workplaces.
Based on records by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) around 2.8 million workers stopped working, some were laid off, due to the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-1) pandemic on the country’s economy.
Thus, many of those whose income were affected during the quarantine will need to work harder to recover their finances with the reopening of industries and sectors.
“Considering na matagal silang nawalan ng trabaho [Considering the length of time that they have been idle], you can just imagine the rush of workers kasi no-work-no-pay,” Bello noted.
“Now that they can work, for sure they will do everything within their means to report back to office,” he added.
The Secretary also expressed concern about the workers’ dilemma over the limited operation of mass transportation.
Street sweeper Lolita Danieles just returned to work on Tuesday (May 26) after two months of staying at home.
However, she struggles with transportation as she has to pay P70 for a tricycle ride from Payatas to Litex, just halfway to her workplace in Timog Avenue.
“Minsan ang bus pumapara kami hindi kami hinihintuan. Maghintay talaga kami. Tyaga lang, [There are buses passing by but they do not stop. We need to wait patiently,]” she said.
“Kanina nga lang hinintuan kami nung kotse, siningil sa amin tig P50 isa, [Earlier a car owner offered us a ride but charged us P50 each],” she said.
Meanwhile, an employee of a construction company, Crispin Acincieno said he opted for a two-way personal service from his home in Bulacan to his work in Quezon City instead of commuting.
“Definitely hindi muna. Kasi hindi pa naman sigurado. Hindi pa naman 100% safe na mag-public transport [Not yet for now, definitely, because it’s not yet sure if public transportations are 100% safe],” he said.
Secretary Bello reminds employers and employees to always observe health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These include the regular wearing of masks, temperature checking, setting up disinfection stations with alcohol and foot baths as well as maintaining proper social distance.
“Ating sinisiguro na ang ating mga worker na nakapasok ay ligtas sa contamination at transmission ng COVID-19 [We want to make sure, that our returning employees and workers are safe from contamination and transmission of COVID-19],” Bello said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
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