LGUs urge Senate to revert NTF-ELCAC budget to original amount

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021   •   369

 

MANILA, Philippines — Several governors and mayors expressed dismay over the Senate’s decision to slash the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) that is supposed to be allotted to the government’s anti-insurgency program.

The Senate Committee on Finance cut the budget of the NTF-ELCAC from Php28-billion to only Php4-billion.

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said he finds questionable the Senate panel’s statement that the NTF-ELCAC’s fund only duplicates that of programs being funded by local government units.

Yap insisted that the NTF-ELCAC programs in the remote areas, particularly the Barangay Development Program, are proven effective.

“Hindi po maintindihan ‘yong statement na duplication. Mayroon bang government agency na into infrastructure at development na bumababa sa barangay na together with mayors, provincial governor with Philippine Army and PNP together with local officials consulting with the people?” Yap said.

Yap added that the farm-to-market road projects of the NTF ELCAC made it possible for the government to reach those in the remote areas, halting the recruitment activities of the New Peoples Army (NPA).

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, meanwhile, said that if the task force’s budget on the development of barangays is cut, its anti-insurgency projects will be delayed.

This, he fears, will pave the way for the return of the NPA in their area.

Ako naman po ay nakikiusap na huwag naman ninyong ipagdamot ang kapayapaan para sa bansang Pilipinas. Huwag naman nating ipagdamot ang mga pangangailangan na matagal nang minimithi ng ating mga kababayan na maangkin nila,” Dayanghirang said.

Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone, in the meantime, stated that lawmakers must not only focus their attention on COVID-19 response but also on insurgency which has long been the country’s major problem.

“Pero kung ‘yong pondo ay tatapyasin talaga at ilipat sa COVID para nga hindi sila maging masama sa tao […] Itong pandemic ng insurgency ay matagal na kasya COVID, sa totoo lang. More than 50 years we have been battling this major problem,” Evardone said. /mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

Palace on old video of Duterte discouraging booster shots: ‘Should be viewed in proper context’

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday said that the video of President Rodrigo Duterte discouraging the public from getting booster shots against COVID-19 was an old clip and that it should be viewed in the “proper context.”

In a statement, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the video clip, which recently made rounds online, was recorded in September 2021 when the COVID-19 situation in the country and the government’s vaccination priority was still different from today.

Nograles issued the statement after receiving information about a video clip of Duterte, in which he states that two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are sufficient, is being shared and used by some critics to campaign against the administration’s efforts to administer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

“The said video clip should be viewed in the proper context. At that point, 21 million of our countrymen were fully vaccinated, and our priority was to increase this number, which is why the provision of booster shots had yet to be approved,” he said.

“The situation today is now vastly different,” he added.

Nograles said it was in November 2021 when the government approved the recommendation of Philippine health experts to use booster doses for all fully vaccinated individuals as the country was able to secure then an ample supply of vaccines and a substantial percentage of population was already fully vaccinated.

“To further encourage the public to get their booster shots, the President in his December 21, 2021 address enjoined the public to ‘take advantage’ of the country’s sufficient supply of vaccines against COVID-19 and get their booster shots to control the spread of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant,” he said.

“We reiterate that there is clear evidence that COVID-19 booster shots provide additional protection against the virus,” he added.

Nograles has urged the public “to refrain from sharing disinformation that will endanger the lives of our kababayan, compromise our efforts to contain COVID-19, and undermine our campaign to beat the disease.”

Pagkahawa ng COVID-19, hindi dapat sadyain para magkaroon ng immunity – eksperto

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Nagpaalala ang isang health expert sa publiko, lalo na ang mga bakunado kontra COVID-19, na huwag maging kampante dahil maaari pa rin silang dapuan ng sakit.

Paliwanag ni Dr. Nina Gloriani, ang head ng vaccine expert panel, dapat pa ring mag-ingat ang mga bakunado na at huwag hayaang ma-expose ang sarili sa mga taong infected ng COVID-19.

Aniya, napatunayan na sa maraming pag-aaral na nakakapagbigay ng proteksyon ang available na bakuna kontra COVID-19 pero hindi ito 100 porsiyento dahil may mga instansiya na nagkakaroon ng breakthrough infection.

“Pero iyong nabakunahan at nahawa ay tinatawag na breakthough, iyon talaga ang tinatawag na breakthrough,” ani Gloriani.

Paliwanag ng eksperto, mayroong nade-develop na natural immunity o karagdagang proteksyon ang isang fully vaccinated na nagkaka-COVID pa rin dahil natural na tumaas ang immunity ng isang indibidwal na nagkakasakit.

Pero babala nito, hindi dapat sadyain ng sinoman na i-expose ang sarili sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19 para lang magkaroon ng natural immunity sa virus.

“Base sa pag-aaral, totoo na ang natural immunity plus vaccine immunity, iyong tinatawag nating hybrid immunity ay mas mataas ang level ng mga neutralizing antibody,” ani Gloriani.

“Pero I don’t think the doctors will say, yes magpa-expose kayo para magkaroon kayo ng natural immunity, hindi po ganoon,” dagdag pa niya.

Hindi pa rin aniya nawawala ang posibilidad na maaari pa ring maging malala ang breakthough infection sa isang fully vaccination depende sa sitwasyon.

“Mabuti kung ang breakthrough infection ninyo ay mild, hanggang moderate siguro pero mild, magkakaroon kayo ng boosting ng immunity. Pero kung maging severe iyon, hindi iyon maganda. so hindi natin titignan na ang pagpapa-infect nalang tayo. hindi po ganoong ang tama,” ani Gloriani.

Dagdag pa nito, nakadepende pa rin sa general health status ng isang tao kung gaano kalala ang magiging epekto ng virus sa kanilang katawan lalo’t lumabas sa mga pag-aaral na nagkakaroon ng long COVID-19 ang ilan sa mga naka-recover mula sa sakit.

“Sa kaso ng covid-19 ay ibang iba po itong sakit na ito. Kunyari, mahawa ka sa flu o sa colds, commmon colds, gagaling ka kaagad. Pero itong covid-19 hindi po sigurado kung anong magiging natural course ng ating infection,” ani Gloriani.

Muli namang iginiit ng mga eksperto na kahit pa fully vaccinated na ang ating mga kababayan ay mahalaga  pa rin ang palagiang pagsunod sa health standards upang makaiwas sa COVID-19.

Umapela rin ito sa ating mga kababayan na huwag nang mamili ng brand ng COVID-19 vaccines dahil lahat naman ng mga ito ay makakapagbibigay pa rin ng kinakailangan nating proteksyon laban sa virus. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

 

Dahan-dahang phase out ng COVID-19 quarantine protocols, isinusulong

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Isinusulong ng isang opisyal ng pamahalaan ang graduwal na pag-aalis ng quarantine protocols sa bansa sa oras na bumaba na ang mga kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa, partikular na ang pagkalat ng Omicron variant.

Ayon kay Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, layon nitong mapabilis ang pagbangon ng ekonomiya at matulungan ang mga negosyanteng makabawi sa pagkalugi lalo na ngayong limitado na naman ang galaw ng publiko at mahigpit mula ang restrictions.

“As we see Omicron start to subside then maybe we can move towards a gradual phase-out of our quarantine in the country,” ani Concepcion.

Naniniwala ang opisyal na malaking dagok para sa ekonomiya ng bansa ang ipaiiiral na restrictions gaya ng mandatory quarantine period dahil apektado rin nito ang lokal na turismo.

Karamihan aniya sa mga negosyong malaki ang lugi ay ang airline companies, hotel at restaurants na dalawang taon na ring limitado ang operasyon dahil sa pandemya.

Ang iba namang maliliit na negosyo ay tuluyan nang nagsara.

Ang mga pasahero namang pumapasok sa bansa gaya ng returning Filipinos ay apektado rin ng mandatory quarantine protocols.

Kaya ang mungkahi ni Concepcion, sa halip na facility-based quarantine na kasalukuyang requirement ng pamahalaan ay gawin na lamang itong home quarantine.

“We are not suggesting to remove quarantine immediately. What I’m proposing to IATF members is that a gradual move towards the removal of quarantine in the Philippines and moving towards home quarantine, rather than facility based quarantine. In my own view is that it does not actually help us from preventing Delta of Omicron from entering the country,” ang pahayag ng opisyal.

Ang panukala ay batay aniya sa ginagawa sa ibang bansa gaya ng Thailand, Switzerland, at Estados Unidos na hindi na nagpapatupad ng mandatory quarantine lalo na sa mga fully vaccinated individuals.

“We should think about it, I believe that eventually as you have seen in the news Thailand, Switzerland started to open up… And some of them are removing their quarantine,” ani Concepcion.

“Seeing how people are coping with COVID-19 in America specifically in Dubai area, I’ve noticed that basically everybody is wearing mask, they are  definitely conscious about you know the need to prevent themselves from getting sick but they live a normal life, there’s a lot of movement and people have accepted that,” dagdag pa nito.

Para kay Concepcion, hindi na kakayanin ng bansa kung patuloy pang hihigpitan ang galaw ng publiko kaya’t kailangang pag-aralan ng mga kinauukulan ang pagluluwag sa restrictions para makabawi ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas.

“We will really try to engage with the IATF on starting to study this whole gradual move towards the removal of quarantine,” pahayag ng opisyal.

“We can’t continue to lock ourselves out, we can’t continue to restrict movement we definitely have to open up the economy,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, ayon naman kay acting Presidential Spokesperson at Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, kailangang pag-aralan ng mabuti ang pag-phase out ng quarantine protocols dahil hindi naman lahat ng polisiya sa ibang bansa ay aplikable rin sa Pilipinas.

Kailangan rin aniyang may rekomendasyon ng health experts at siyentipikong batayan ang pagpapatupad ng protocols.

“Lahat naman ng mga suggestions naman po ay pinagaaralan natin sa IATF, then of course tinitignan din natin yung ginagawang practices ng other countries, we benchmark also with the practices ng other countries,” ani Nograles.

“But we are also mindful that it’s not a one size fits-all for all countries, kailangang mong tingnan ang konteksto ng bawat bansa… Siyempre base rin po sa suggestions recommendations sa mga health experts natin so lahat is based on science and data,” dagdag pa niya. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Janice Ingente)

 

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.