LGU fears of potential increase in COVID-19 cases in Navotas City under MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   May 18, 2020   •   582

MANILA, Philippines — Despite Metro Manila’s shift to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the Navotas City government has asked for an extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the high number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in its area.

But Mayor Tobby Tiangco said the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 did not grant their request. 

Because certain restrictions have been lifted under MECQ, Mayor Tiangco expressed fear over a possible spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the city seeing the trend from the latest data of the Department of Health (DOH).

As of May 16, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Navotas City were at 109. 

Tiangco said they are still waiting for the results of the swab tests conducted to 900 other individuals in the city last week. 

Since the city is now under MECQ, Mayor Tiangco said they are having difficulty controlling the movement of residents who are using a number of alibis just to get through exits.

Puwede nang mag-exercise kahit wala na siyang home quarantine pass. Kung bukas na ang tindahan ng damit, ng laruan, ang flowershop, bukas na tindahan ng motorsiklo, hindi na niya kailangan ng home quarantine (pass) para pumunta sa lugar na yan,” Tiangco noted. 

[They can now exercise outdoors without a home quarantine pass. If a clothing store, a toy store, a flower shop or a motorcycle store is open, they no longer need a home quarantine pass to go there.]

Ano na ang mangyayari? Balewala na ang home quarantine pass [What will happen then? The home quarantine pass will be useless],” he added. 

Pedicabs and tricycles are also allowed to operate under MECQ but limited only to one passenger with no fare increase applied. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Tiangco is asking the city council to include in the draft ordinance provisions that will ban sales of alcoholic beverages or a liquor ban. 

For now, the city government can only impose strict physical distancing measures and wearing of face masks especially in public places like public markets and malls. 

Ako’y nakikiusap na, kung maaari, kung di naman importante ay huwag na kayong lumabas ng bahay at ang market hours, kung pupwede ay sundin pa rin natin, [I am appealing (to my constituents) that as much as possible, stay at home if you have nothing important to do outside and please, obey market hours],” Mayor Tiangco appealed to his constituents. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

Quezon City mayor cancels city hall parties, to donate funds

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2020

Parties for all offices under the Quezon City government during the holidays will no longer be held this year amid the continuing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Tuesday.

A statement released on Tuesday said Belmonte has issued a memorandum directing all offices under the city hall to cancel parties scheduled in December and instead ordered them to donate the funds to underprivileged groups.

“The money that would have been spent on office Christmas parties would do more good as donations to the underprivileged during this extraordinarily difficult time in our nation’s history,” Belmonte said in a statement.

The local chief executive stressed that “it would be inappropriate for offices of the city government to hold customary Christmas parties while many of its citizens are experiencing hardships due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Instead of holding parties, she urged city hall employees to adopt an underprivileged sector— such as the urban poor, displaced workers, jeepney drivers, street vendors, indigent children, and poor senior citizens— and to modestly celebrate the season in their homes.


Batanes records first COVID-19 case

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The province of Batanes on Tuesday said it has recorded its first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since the start of the pandemic early this year.

According to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco, the province reported its first COVID-19 case after a 29-year old resident who returned on Sept. 22 tested positive for the virus.

He has a travel history in Santa Rosa, Laguna. He returned to the province on board a Philippine Air Force plane with 18 others.

Cayco said the patient is asymptomatic and currently under isolation and monitoring of the provincial COVID-19 task force.

She added that all 18 individuals who had close contact with the patient have been subjected to swab test and are now strictly being monitored.

Batanes is currently under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) but the local government will recommend to place the province under a two-week GCQ to curb the spread of coronavirus disease.

Cayco said outpost checkpoints will also be set up in all municipalities to monitor and limit the movement of people.

Airport operations and commercial flights to and from the province will also be suspended.

“Medivac lang ang pwedeng pumunta dito in some emergency cases. Pero yung commercial flights pina-stop muna namin,” she said.

The local government reminds residents to follow health protocols such as the wearing of face masks and face shields and observe physical distancing. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dan Gersalia)


DOH allows private companies to implement lockdown

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 29, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) will allow private companies to implement lockdown in their offices or health care facilities to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) exposure.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said aside from the minimum health protocols, private companies should also consider the mental health of their employees if they will implement a lockdown.

For example may mga ibang ospital (For example, there are hospitals) that would rather have their employees stay with them, they have their dormitory. Wala munang uuwi dito muna kasi kapag umuwi kayo sa community you go back at nadadala niyo ang mga impeksyon dito (No one will go home yet because, once you go home to your community and you come back, you might bring the infection here), she said.

According to the Health Department, the duration of the lockdown will depend on the agreement between the company and its employees. She also reminded employees that they can also decline being put into lockdown.

Hindi naman dapat pumayag din ang isang employee kung iyan ay labag sa kaniya. Mayroon naman silang ganoong karapatan kailangan lang po na naipapaliwang ng maayos (Employees don’t need to agree if they don’t want to. They have the right to do so. Things must be explained properly),Vergeire added.

The health official also reminded private companies to make sure that their employees understand the reason behind the lockdown, taking into account the difficulty of being away from their families especially during the pandemic.

Vergeire also said employees should also be able to talk to experts with regards to their mental health.

“It is okay not to be okay especially at this time during our situation in the pandemic. Okay lang po iyan lahat tayo nakakaramdam ng ganiyan (That’s okay, we all feel that). We just have to have that coping mechanism,” she said. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)


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