IATF: Selected senior citizens allowed to go out under ECQ, GCQ

Marje Pelayo   •   May 1, 2020   •   3073

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)

Government to formulate common ordinance on face masks for LGUs

Marje Pelayo   •   July 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The national government is formulating a common ordinance on wearing face masks to be imposed by all local government units (LGU) across the country.

This was among the issues discussed at a recent meeting between the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Council of Metro Manila Mayors.

The said ordinance will set guidelines for law enforcers on accosting violators.

Iminumungkahi na po na magkaroon ng common ordinance para magpataw po ng parusa sa mga taong hindi nagsusuot ng masks sa mga pampublikong lugar (There have been proposals for a common ordinance to penalize individuals who refuse to wear a mask in public places) ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Magkakaroon po iyan ng common ordinance, (There will be a common ordinance),” he assured.

The plan was prompted by an incident where journalist Howie Severino, a COVID-19 survivor, was accosted by authorities after pulling down his mask to take a drink during an early morning bicycle ride in Quezon City.

The city implements Ordinance No. 2936 which requires the use of face masks or other face-covering when in public places. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Pampanga to return to ECQ if spike in COVID-19 cases continues, governor warns

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 8, 2020

Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda warned of reverting the province to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) if the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to rise.

“Tumaas po ang mga kaso natin. I have no choice kung hindi ibalik sa GCQ ito o ECQ kung aabot tayo sa worst situation (Cases in our province increased. I have no choice but to revert to GCQ or ECQ if the situation worsens),” he said.

After the province was placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) on June 15, new COVID-19 cases went up by 25. As of July 7, according to the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, there are 166 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Pampanga, with 100 recoveries and 16 deaths.

Only Arayat and Masantol, Pampanga remain COVID-19-free, the Pampanga governor said. He reminds residents to only leave the house if necessary.

“Hindi po sinasabi ng MGCQ na libre kayo na makipagkwentuhan sa ibang lugar (Just because it’s MGCQ, it doesn’t mean you are free to meet up in other places),” he said.

Barangay Capalangan and Sulipan in Apalit are currently under hard lockdown until July 16 due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the area. AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

IATF expands services in salons, barbershops amid COVID-19 pandemic

Maris Federez   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 has expanded the services allowed in salons and barbershops in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Aside from haircut services, hair treatments are now allowed in salons under the GCQ areas; while nail care, basic facial care services, and basic personal care services will be allowed in areas under MGCQ.

Nevertheless, minimum public health standards will be strictly implemented in both GCQ and MGCQ areas, such as strict protocol on hand sanitation, face mask and face shields, gloves, and sterilized equipment.

The operating capacity in salons and barbershops will also be expanded to 50 percent in GCQ areas and 75 percent in MGCQ areas starting July 16, 2020. —(with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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