Mga pamilyang maapektuhan ng granular lockdown, tatanggap ng P5K-P8K ayuda sa ilalim ng Bayanihan 2

Marje Pelayo   •   September 14, 2020   •   696

MANILA, Philippines — Pagkakalooban ng pamahalaan ng ayuda ang mga pamilyang maaapektuhan ng ipatutupad na granular lockdown sa ilalim ng kapapasa lamang na Bayanihan 2 Law.

Ang granular lockdown ay ang pagsasara ng isang compound, kalsada, sitio, purok o barangay na may naitatalang mataas na kaso ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission sa halip na isang buong lungsod o probinsya. 

Batay sa Bayanihan to Recover as One o mas kilala sa Bayanihan 2 Law, P5,000 hanggang P8,000 ang matatanggap ng mga apektadong residente bilang emergency subsidy ng pamahalaan. 

Ito ay bahagi ng P13B na pondong nakapaloob sa nasabing batas sa ilalim ng cash-for-work program para sa mga displaced worker.

Subalit ang pagpili sa mga tatanggap ay dadaan sa masusing validation at tutukuyin rin kung may iba pang ayuda na natatanggap ang isang pamilya gaya ng conditional cash transfer assistance at rice subsidy. 

“Magbibigay po tayo ng P5,000 to P8,000 na ayuda doon sa mga mamamayan na mapapasaloob po ng granular lockdown na idedeklara ng mga local na pamahalaan,” pahayag ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

“Bukod po dito, iyong balance po ng P13-billion ay ibibigay po natin sa mga nawalan ng trabaho at ibibigay po ng DOLE at magbibigay po tayo ng tulong sa mga nais magkaroon ng training para magkaroon pong muli ng bagong trabaho,” dagdag nito.

Nilagdaan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang batas at magiging epektibo ito 15 araw matapos mailathala sa pampublikong pahayagan o official gazette.

DOH calls for strict granular lockdown in areas with Delta variant threat

Maris Federez   •   July 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday called on local government units (LGUs) to intensify their border control, the implementation of the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy, and the vaccination rollout amid the reported detection of local cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Delta variant.

DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said granular lockdown should be the primary action in  various areas in the country where the Delta variant is detected.

“Our foremost or primary strategy, for now, is granular lockdown […] Kung nakikita natin ang isang area has surge tapos may Delta variant yan ang pag-uusapan sa IATF kung kailangnan natin i-escalate ang mga areas na ito […] Kung kasama po sa surge nila iyan tapos may Delta, we will be recommending a stricter classification for that specific area,” Vergeire said.

The DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the Philippine Genome Center (PGC), on the other hand, clarified that although cases of the Delta variant have been detected in the country, they are not related to each other except the ones traced in Cagayan de Oro City that have a clustering of cases.

“Ako po, I would say not yet because we haven’t been able to link that one case has been able to infect another. Kung titingnan natin doon sa WHO definition, […] we have sporadic na paisa-isa lamang and then iyong local nga po na from one infection local to another. But of course, we are continuously investigating this,” Dr. Alethea de Guzman, OIC-Director 3 of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said.

“One hundred percent sourced from abroad. We have done a genetic analysis of all the Delta variants in the Philippines. They are all rooted in samples abroad. Some of them are very closely linked with clusters in India, others are in the United Arab Emirates, others are probably in South East Asia. So huwag tayo maniwala na natural nag-evolve dito sa atin,” PGC executive director Dr. Cynthia Saloma said.

The DOH said the country now has a total of 35 Delta variant cases. The department will closely monitor the case trend in the regions where they are detected.

“Sa ngayon po may bahagyang pagtaas sa ilang lugar pero hindi pa ganoon kataas kaya nasasabi natin possible po na sporadic pa lang ito at ito ang opportunity po na ma-contain natin ang further spread,” de Guzman said.

“We are intensifying our surveillance and other protection and isolation measures,” she added.

Medical experts warned the public to avoid any form of gatherings and limit exposure within the family only, amid the detection of local cases in the country,

The health department also encourages the public to avail of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, stressing that the transmissibility ratio of the variant is 1:8.

This means that an individual who is found positive for the Delta variant may be able to infect eight others once health protocols are breached. —/mbmf (from the report of Aiko Miguel)

Palace hopes to obligate unused Bayanihan 2 funds before June 30 expiry

Marje Pelayo   •   June 29, 2021

Manila, Philippines — The fate of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 is coming down to the wire as Congress needs to immediately take action to amend the law before it ends on Wednesday (June 30).

But since Congress is not in session today, lawmakers might need a special session to extend the validity of the law.

According to House Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez, all they need is a go signal from Malacañang.

“Medyo gipit na tayo sa oras kaya parang lumalabo na ating paghohold ng special session,” he said.

When asked about the matter, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque himself admits being clueless about the decision regarding Bayanihan 2.

Nevertheless, Malacañang hopes that there is still a way to utilize the remaining funds from Bayanihan 2 despite the fact that it is expiring tomorrow.

“So let us not foreclose the idea po na in the next na isang araw ay pupwede pa rin pong ma-obligate yan. Otherwise hindi naman po mawawala yung pera pupunta lang po yan sa national treasury,” Roque noted.

Filipino Nurses United, meanwhile, still hopes that healthcare workers will be able to receive their Special Risk Allowances (SRA) even those who are not assigned in hospital wards intended for COVID-19 patients.

“Sana lahat ng health worker makatanggap ng Special Risk Allowance kasi ang COVID-19 ay airborne. Once na pumasok ka sa ospital or any healthcare facility at risk na yung buhay mo,” noted FNU’s Secretary-General Jocelyn Andamo.

Apart from SRA, healthcare workers are also demanding compensation for meal, transportation, and accommodation expenses as well as the active duty hazard pay.

For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that it has already released the P9-B remaining fund for the healthcare workers’ SRA while looking for other sources to compensate for all other benefits due to healthcare workers.

“Tayo po ngayon ay nakikipag- usap sa [Department of Budget and Management] para po tayo makahanap pa ng pondo para maibigay ang monetization na accorded sa ating healthcare workers,” assured Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergerie.

The DOH added that another P3-B has been released for the recruitment of additional healthcare workers who have been deployed in areas with high risks of COVID-19 transmission. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Rodriguez seeks special session to extend Bayanihan 2

Marje Pelayo   •   June 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez is calling for a special session in Congress to extend the Bayanihan 2 or We Recover as One Law.

“We have to extend the effectiveness of the law again so that the government can spend whatever remains of the millions of funds we have appropriated for pandemic response,” he said.

Rodriguez stressed that the funds will no longer be available after June 30 as provided by the first extension law, Republic Act No. 11519.

If the law’s validity is not extended, the unspent funds will no longer be available for where it should be utilized such as the country’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery.

According to Rodriguez, more than P18 billion of the P165 billion appropriated by Congress under Bayanihan 2 still had to be disbursed as of last week.

Rodriguez said a special session would also give Congress the opportunity to approve the proposed Bayanihan 3 round of financial assistance to the poor and other sectors suffering from the pandemic.

He said although the House of Representatives and the Senate are on their annual mandatory or sine die adjournment, the Constitution empowers the President to call the legislature to a special session at any time.

Bayanihan 3 proposed to allocate P401 billion in more financial aid.

The House has already approved the bill on third and final reading before the sine die adjournment.

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