Judiciary personnel now among COVID-19 vaccination priority list — SC

Robie de Guzman   •   April 5, 2021   •   367

MANILA, Philippines — Employees of the Judiciary are now included in the list of priority groups for the government’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the Supreme Court (SC) said Monday.

“I am pleased to inform you that our request for inclusion in priority population group A4 (category A4)1 of the Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 Vaccines has been granted by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF),” SC Associate Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe said in a letter addressed to her co-workers in the judiciary.

“At present, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 has communicated that vaccines arriving this April 2021 shall be partly allotted for the judiciary,” she added.

Bernabe issued the letter while she was still acting chief justice.

A4 priority group includes frontline personnel in essential sectors, uniformed personnel, and local officials.

“Indeed, through its adjudicatory functions, the judiciary is an essential institution in the justice sector that works hand-in-hand with the executive branch of government to effectively perform its task of maintaining peace and order and safeguarding public welfare in accordance with the rule of law,” Bernabe said.

Supreme Court spokesperson Keith Hosaka said there are around 30,000 personnel of the judiciary nationwide. These include permanent, coterminous, and casual employees, he added.

“Truly, during this unsettling pandemic, upholding the rule of law assumes greater significance. Thus, access to judicial relief should be constant,” Bernabe said.

The Supreme Court last week said it has earmarked around P19 million for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for the 30,000-strong workforce, including judges, justices, officials, and employees, of the judiciary.

“With the NTF’s favorable action on our request, the details of the implementation shall be immediately worked out in order to swiftly roll out the inoculation program soonest,” Bernabe said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Longer curfew hours in NCR amid COVID-19 Delta variant threat — MMDA

Maris Federez   •   July 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council shall impose longer curfew hours anew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Sunday (July 25) in the National Capital Region (NCR).

This was announced by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) after the capital region was once again placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

As provided for in MMDA Resolution No. 21-13, the 17 Metro Manila mayors have agreed to adjust the curfew hours from the previous 12 midnight to 4 in the morning.

This is due to the increase in the number of COVID 19 cases in Metro Manila and to control the further transmission of the Delta variant, the MMDA said.

“While the Metro Manila Council recognizes the imperative to gradually and cautiously open the economy in order to increase business activities, reduce unemployment and underemployment, and promote economic growth, it is equally mindful of the paramount interests of life and health and the strict implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and reintegrate strategies,” the resolution stated.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos further said that the COVID-19 Delta variant is highly contagious with an R Naught (R0) or reproduction rate of 5 to 8 “that may potentially trigger an exponential surge and local transmission in densely populated areas like the NCR.”

“We need to limit the movement of the public through the imposition of longer curfew hours. Since the Delta variant spreads exponentially, we should not let our guards down and implement necessary restrictions to contain the virus,” Abalos added.

On July 23, Metro Manila was placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until July 31.

DILG hindi pabor sa reproduksyon ng COVID-19 vaccination card

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

Nagbabala ang Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sa publiko kaugnay ng pagpapagawa ng COVID-19 vaccination card na yari sa isang uri ng plastic card na polyvinyl chloride o PVC.

Ayon kay DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, mahalaga ang vaccination card at ang mga impormasyong nakapaloob dito.

Kaya’t tanging orihinal na kopya lang nito ang dapat gamitin alinsunod na rin sa pamantayan ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“Madaming paggagamitan iyong vaccination card sa ating mga kababayan para makagalaw, para makapagtrabaho, para makapagbyahe. So, given this situation, kailangan po ay orihinal ang ipakita natin sa mga entry points or kaya naman sa mga mall kung tayo ay senior citizen,” ayon kay Malaya.

Paliwanag pa ng DILG, hindi na orihinal ang kopya nito kung isasaliam sa reproduksyon gaya ng paglalagay ng impormasyon sa PVC card, pagkuha ng litrato, xerox o photocopy at pagpapa-scan nito.

May banta rin sa data privacy o personal na impormasyon ng isang indibiduwal ang pagbibigay ng kopya ng vaccination card sa ibang tao o kumpanya.

Kaya payo ni Malaya, huwag sayangin ang oras, hirap at pera sa pagpapagawa ng PVC vaccination card.

Maari namang protektahan na lang ang orihinal na bakuna card sa pamamagitan ng ilang paraan upang hindi ito masira o mawala kung ito ay dadalahin.

“Kung tayo ay concerned doon sa ating vaccination card, ayaw natin itong masira o mabasa, eh di ipa-laminate na lang. Marami pong paraan para maprotektahan natin ang ating vaccination card without reproducing it or tampering with the original,” ayon kay Malaya.

Maaari namang manghingi ang isang indibidwal lalo pa ang mga pupunta sa ibang bansa ng vaccination certificate sa Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) na maaring magsilbing patunay na ang isang tao ay bakunado na.

Metro Manila LGUs, naghahanda na sa posibleng paglobo ng COVID-19 cases dahil sa Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naglagay na ng dagdag na isolation facilities ang iba’t ibang local government units (LGU) sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagdami ng COVID-19 cases bunsod ng Delta variant.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, 83 isolation facilities na ang inihahanda sa iba’t ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila at maging sa mga hotel.

Ani Abalos, kailangang maihanda ang mas maraming facility beds para maiwasan na ang nangyaring siksikan sa mga ospital nang magkaroon ng surge ng COVID-19 cases sa unang bahagi ng taon.

“We’ve had this experience before eh remember nung South African and UK variant nung tumaas in just two weeks, kumalat kaagad. Yun talaga, nagsiksikan ang mga ospital, nagsiksikan ang isolation, pero in a way kinaya naman. Talagang naghanap tayo ng mga hotels,” ang pahayag ni Abalos.

Una nang nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) at ilang eksperto sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols at contact tracing upang maagapan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant lalo na sa Metro Manila.

Hinimok din ng DOH ang publiko na patuloy na sundin ang mga polisiya sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield at social distancing at iwasan ang mass gathering.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni Department of Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya na pinag-iisipan na ng Metro Manila mayors na ipagbawal ang home quarantine upang maiwasan ang hawahan ng COVID-19 sa isang pamilya.

“Home quarantine is no longer recommended especially dun sa mga areas na may Delta variant. Pag kayo ay nakahalubilo, kailangan dalhin kayo sa facility,” ani Malaya.

Pinaiigting na rin ang operasyon ng One Hospital Command Center upang agad matugunan ang mga kababayang mangangailangan ng atensiyong medical sa gitna ng pandemya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

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