IATF to study mayors’ bid to retain Metro Manila under GCQ after Sept. 30 – Año

Robie de Guzman   •   September 25, 2020   •   291

MANILA, Philippines – Most mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) are in favor of extending the general community quarantine (GCQ) being implemented in the region, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.

Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will meet on Sunday, Sept. 27 to discuss the recommendation of the Metro Manila Council on the next quarantine status in NCR by October.

“Maraming mga mayors ng NCR ang gusto pa rin mag-GCQ pero depende pa rin sa usapan sa Sunday,” he said.

Metro Manila is under GCQ until Sept. 30 as earlier recommended by the IATF and approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Año said they will thoroughly discuss the Metro Manila mayors’ proposal in order to balance the factors of public health and economy which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Dalawa ‘yan: mahigpit na MGCQ o maluwag na GCQ. Kapag titignan mo mas maganda talaga na naka-GCQ tayo kahit magluwag ka ng konti pero meron kang talagang mas mataaas na panuntunan kaysa yung nag MGCQ ka pagkatapos hihigpitan mo,” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that Metro Manila could be placed under modified GCQ as this would allow the reopening of more industries to help revive the economy.

The IATF is also set to meet with Duterte on Sunday night to discuss the next quarantine classifications in NCR. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DILG to meet with Facebook execs to discuss takedown of accounts

Robie de Guzman   •   October 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it is set to meet with Facebook executives next week to discuss the takedown of some pages and accounts, including those that are found with links to the military and police.

“The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will meet with Facebook executives next week to discuss differences arising from the takedown of some PH-based FB pages and accounts without prior consultation and due notice,” the DILG said in a statement Thursday.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the meeting will discuss how Facebook uses content-based restrictions. He also hopes that the two sides will come up with solutions on how to fight fake news and disinformation.

The social media giant previously closed down several accounts and pages that are linked to some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Facebook said it took down these pages for their “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”

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Hotels may soon be allowed to accept more guests – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hotels in areas classified under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ will soon be allowed to accept guests at full capacity in a bid to help the tourism industry recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has given the authority to the DOT to determine the allowable operational capacity for hotels, including those that offer staycations.

Puyat, however, stressed that the decision to open at 100% capacity will be up to the hotel management and subject to compliance with safety guidelines.

The announcement follows the issuance last week of an IATF resolution which amends the provision that only allows establishments in GCQ areas to operate with a skeleton work force.

For accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under MGCQ, Resolution No. 79 provides that the DOT shall determine their allowable operational capacity from the previous provision for a maximum of 50% operational capacity.

Operational capacity is defined by the IATF as such a number of employees who can be permitted to physically report to work on-site.

“Also approved in the said resolution is the easing up of interzonal and intrazonal movement, which is the predicate to reviving domestic tourism,” Puyat said.

“Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation, and tour operation sectors. Allowing the accommodation sector to operate at full capacity will be most welcomed by tourism’s workforce that has been greatly affected since the community lockdown,” she added.

The DOT is set to issue guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels, she further stated.

Puyat earlier directed all hotels and other tourism establishments in GCQ areas to secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations (DCAOS) prior to accommodating any guests for that purpose.

Mas maluwag na general community quarantine, umiiral sa Metro Manila —Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Mas marami na ang maaaring lumabas ng bahay ngayon at pinalawig pa ang kapasidad ng pampublikong transportasyon sa kabila na nananatili ang banta ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Hinihikayat na rin ng pamahalaan ang pagsasagawa ng business activities upang maka-engganyo ng mas maraming customers bukod pa sa mas maraming negosyo ang pinahihintulutan nang magbukas.

“Tama po kayo, mas maluwag na general community quarantine ang pinaiiral ngayon sa Metro Manila,” sagot ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque sa mga mamahayag nitong Lunes (October 19).

Ang pagluwag ng quarantine restrictions ay upang makabawi ang ekonomiya sa bansa mula sa epekto ng pandemya.

Samantala, ayon sa kalihim, may mga sang-ayon sa mungkahi ng Metro Manila Mayors na palawigin na ang general community quarantine (GCQ) sa National Capital Region (NCR) hanggang buwan ng Disyembre.

Subalit, naka-depende pa rin ito sa desisyon ng policy-making body ng gobyerno laban sa COVID-19.

“Iyan po ang parang nabubuong concensus, pero siyempre po hindi ko po pwedeng pangunahan because it is a collegial decision,” pahayag ng opisyal.

“Pero ang nangyayari po kasi ngayon, bagaman naka-GCQ ang Metro Manila, nagkakaroon po tayo ng mas malawak na pagbubukas ng mga industriya,” dagdag nito.

Inaasahang bago magpalit ng buwan, isasapubliko ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang panibagong quarantine classification sa NCR para sa Nobyembre.

Giit ng opisyal, posible ang anumang quarantine classification sa NCR subalit mananatiling iisa ang posisyon ng pamahalaan – ang pahintulutang makapag-hanapbuhay na ang mga mamamayan habang ipinatutupad pa rin ang minimum health standards. MNP (sa ulat ni Rosalie Coz)

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