Mayor Sara Duterte tells residents to prepare for possible return of Davao City to GCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020   •   590

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has called on residents to prepare for the possible return of the city to the general community quarantine (GCQ), which entails the observance of stricter health and movement restrictions.

Duterte made the call on Monday after receiving advance information from the National Inter-Agency Task Force that the city will be reverted to GCQ on Wednesday, July 15.

Malacañang earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte may be announcing on Wednesday the new quarantine restrictions that will be implemented in various parts of the country after July 15.

Mayor Sara said she will be appealing to the IATF to reconsider the quarantine classification of Davao City which is currently under modified GCQ.

“Kung ma deny gihapon ang appeal nga magpabilin ta og MGCQ, may I request everyone nga duna tay July 2 nga version sa Omnibus Guidelines nga atoa lang i-review, pasadahan nato kung unsa tong GCQ para mahinumdom ta kung unsa atoang kinahanglan buhaton during a GCQ. So maayo nang mangandam ta daan for a status nga GCQ,” she said in an interview over the city-run Davao City Disaster Radio.

(If our appeal to remain under MGCQ is denied, I request everyone to review the July 2 version of our Omnibus guidelines, go over the guidelines under GCQ so we remember what we should do during a GCQ. We should get ready for a GCQ status.)

The latest version of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued on July 2, 2020 include limitations of in-dining services to only 30 percent capacity, and prohibiting entertainment establishments like comedy bars and karaoke from operating, as well as mass gatherings with more than 10 people.

Davao City saw a continued rise in coronavirus cases in the past weeks. Based on the latest data from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Davao City has 162 active positive cases, the highest number of active cases since the Covid-19 outbreak started in March this year. The number of recoveries is at 382 and 35 deaths.

Given the still increasing cases and in the absence of anti-coronavirus disease vaccine, the public is reminded to stay at home except when buying food and medicine; wash hands frequently, social distancing, and wear masks whenever they go out of their homes.

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IATF requires PH establishments to adopt Safety seal, Stay Safe contact tracing app

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is requiring all establishments in the country to adopt the Stay Safe application and the generation of its QR code to trace those who have interacted with novel coronavirus patients, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF approved the recommendation of the Office of the Cabinet Secretariat to implement the Safety Seal Certification Program in addition to StaySafe.ph during their meeting on Thursday.

“All establishments, such as government offices, private companies, hotels and business establishments and public transportation units are thus required to adopt the Safety Seal,” Roque said in a statement.

The Stay Safe mobile application can be downloaded for free and can function without mobile prepaid load.

Those who use the app can just take a photo of the QR codes in malls, banks, restaurants, trains, and buses instead of manually filling out contact-tracing forms.

It will also notify them if a person they had close contact with in these places has tested positive for COVID-19.

The IATF has directed the departments of trade and industry, health, labor and employment, interior and local government, tourism, and transportation to issue the necessary joint memorandum circular to detail the requirements to secure a Safety Seal which will be displayed in entrances of all establishments.

Limited workshops, trainings, and other events now partially allowed in GCQ areas

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The conduct of limited workshops, trainings, seminars, and other related events will now be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) during a meeting on Thursday decided to allow the following events to be held in GCQ areas, with venues to be filled up to 30 percent capacity:

  • Workshops
  • Trainings
  • Seminars
  • Congresses
  • Conferences
  • Board meetings
  • Colloquia
  • Conclaves
  • Symposia
  • Consumer trade shows

Roque said these events may be held in venues such as restaurants, in general; restaurants attached to hotels; ballrooms and function halls within hotels; venues within hotel premises; and mall atria.

The IATF has directed the Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry to jointly issue the necessary guidelines, he added.

The latest policy is stated in the IATF Resolution No. 87.

Metro Manila is currently under GCQ along with seven other areas until year-end. Select business have been permitted to operate at full capacity under this quarantine level.

Other parts of the country are under modified GCQ. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

IATF allows entry of Balikbayans starting Dec. 7

Maris Federez   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the entry of balikbayans and their families to the country starting December 7.

In Resolution No. 85 dated November 26, the IATF has resolved to allow entry privileges to the Philippines Filipino citizens and former Filipino citizens, including their foreign spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them.  These privileges were provided for under Republic Act No. 6768 or the “Act Instituting the Balikbayan Program”.

The resolution stated that the entry of these persons shall be subject to the following conditions:

  1. They are allowed visa-free entry under Executive Order No. 408, s. 1960;
  2. With pre-booked quarantine facility;
  3. With pre-booked COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport; and
  4. Subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

The decision of the IATF is without prejudice to immigration laws, rules, and regulations of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the resolution said.

Among such regulations is that the Commissioner of Immigration shall have the exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion order for the above foreign nationals, including other foreign nationals who have entered the Philippines by virtue of the IATF resolutions.

The resolution also directed the BI to formulate the necessary guidelines to ensure smooth implementation, as well as the Department of Tourism to issue the necessary guidelines for the provision of sufficient accommodation for the foregoing persons taking into account the release of COVID-19 test results, the resolution further stated. — /mbmf

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