LIST: Sectors, activities allowed, banned in areas under ECQ and GCQ starting May 1

Marje Pelayo   •   April 28, 2020   •   1951

MANILA, Philippines — The national government will relax some measures starting May 1 to 15 in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

Under Resolution 29 of the National Task Force COVID-19, several sectors and activities will be allowed for the duration of the ECQ and GCQ provided, that as a precondition, minimum health standards are continuously observed.

As classified, areas under ECQ are those with high risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection while those under GCQ are those with moderate or low risk of infection. 

Sectors ALLOWED under ECQ and GCQ:

Sectors NOT ALLOWED during the ECQ but ALLOWED during the GCQ:

Services and activities banned during the ECQ and the GCQ:

Operations of government offices in areas under GCQ will be allowed to resume, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Ang lahat ng opisina ng gobyerno puwede nang magbukas under GCQ, [All government offices under GCQ may open],” he confirmed.

The President stressed, however, that each sector must ensure the protection of workers and enforcement of sanitary protocols in workplaces to curb the spread of diseases.

Also, the Task Force announced that starting May 4, higher education institutions will be allowed to operate through a skeleton workforce in areas under GCQ ‘only for the purposes of finishing the Academic Year 2019-2020 to issue credentials to students and to prepare for flexible learning arrangements for the next Academic Year.’

After May 15, the GCQ will be lifted in areas with low risk of COVID-19 infection provided that no further deterioration is reported. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Healthcare workers involved in selling of blood plasma will face sanctions — DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 11, 2020

Health workers will face sanctions if it is proven that they are involved in the sale of convalescent plasma of COVID-19 survivors, the Department of Health (DOH) warned.

Investigation of the Health Department showed several hospital staff in Cebu City are involved in the illegal trade of blood plasma. The DOH said there are only four facilities authorized to collect plasma from COVID-19 survivors: The Philippine Blood Center, Philippine Red Cross in Port Area, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig and Quezon City, and UP-PGH in Manila.

Based on the DOH Administrative Order No. 36 Section 46, a medical professional proven to be involved in illegal activities could have his or her license revoked.

“Recommendation to revoke the certificate of registration or to suspend said certificate to practice the profession and to invalidate the professional license of any health professional involved in misrepresentation of facts or falsification of documents or records especially medical, laboratory or inspection results and certificates, or in violation of R.A. No. 7719 and the herein Rules, by the Professional Regulation Commission upon recommendation of the Secretary,” according to the administrative order.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire reminds the public that buying plasma from unauthorized individuals is dangerous due to lack of proper screening by health professionals.

“Maraming sakit pa na nata-transmit if we sell our blood lalo na iyon mga hindi na screen (There are a lot of diseases that can be transmitted if we sell our blood, especially when it is not screened),” she said. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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DOH reminds licensed laboratories to submit complete COVID-19 data

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 11, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded licensed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) laboratories to submit their data on the deadly virus.

Based on the report of the DOH, out of 100 licensed laboratories in the country, only 70% have submitted the requirements for COVID-19 data on time.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said they are looking into the possible consequences for COVID-19 laboratories that are not compliant with the data protocols.

“If they are not compliant there would be some form of warnings and maybe suspension pinag-aaralan naming maigi,” she said.

Vergeire explained that the Health Department and COVID-19 laboratories have data reconciliation every week to ensure there will be no duplicates in the total number of coronavirus disease cases in the country.

The report also states that there are 3,177 backlogs in COVID-19 laboratories that are up for validation. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

House approves medical scholarship bill

Marje Pelayo   •   August 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – During an outbreak of a pandemic, the service of more healthcare workers is paramount. 

The Lower House of Congress acknowledges this importance, that is why on Monday (August 10), lawmakers approved on third and final reading House Bill 6756 or the Medical Scholarship and Return Service Program Act. 

The bill seeks to provide free education for aspiring doctors up to getting their professional license. 

Medical students will also enjoy free tuition and miscellaneous fees as well as allowances like books, supplies, equipment, clothing, dormitory and transportation. 

The bill also requires private and public colleges in the provinces to set up and offer medical courses.

Each municipality may accept one scholar or depending on the number that the Department of Health (DOH) recommends based on the rate of necessity for medical workers in a particular area.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a natural-born or naturalized Filipino; has taken a medical-related undergraduate course; has passed the entrance exam and the National Medical Admission Test.

Under the program, a scholar must take a board exam the year after graduation.

If he or she fails the exam twice, he or she will have to pay for the entire cost of a scholarship. 

Once the student becomes a licensed doctor, he or she has to stay in government service for six to seven years with a mandated remuneration and benefits.

If he or she refuses to serve in the government, he or she will pay the cost of the scholarship program twice the original value.

Failure to return the total amount will cause revocation of professional license. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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