NCR mayors, medical experts back Duterte decision on GCQ status

Robie de Guzman   •   February 23, 2021   •   403

MANILA, Philippines – Mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) give all out support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to keep the region under general community quarantine (GCQ) classification unless the COVID-19 vaccination program has been rolled out, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Tuesday.

MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said local chief executives in the NCR would ‘rally behind’ the president even if most of them have voted in favor of the proposal to put the region under modified GCQ in March to help revive the country’s economy.

“As what we have always emphasized, the Metro Manila mayors would always defer to the wisdom and judgement of the President,” Abalos said in a statement.

“We are one with him, and would exert all efforts and rally behind him in combating this COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) earlier recommended the shift to MGCQ to reopen the economy that has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In separate statements, NCR mayors welcomed Duterte’s decision on the matter as they vowed to implement stricter health protocols to curb the spread of the viral disease.

“I am grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for declaring that Metro Manila remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until the vaccines against COVID-19 are rolled out and made available to Filipinos,” San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said.

“We’ve already anticipated what to do, ramping up contact tracing, testing and early detection,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Medical experts from the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, for their part, said that the shift to MGCQ will only be possible if the public will religiously follow the minimum health protocols set by the government.

“Based on previous experience I know that we know that we are not good in self-regulation, is that gonna change once we move into MGCQ? I think that’s the question every Filipino should answer,” Dr. Kathryn Roa said.

“I know that lockdown is hard but I just feel like the minute that we try to relax the lockdown or the quarantine it will somehow translate to people thinking that everything is well and I think they will start not minding wearing the mask, not minding wearing the shield, the physical distancing,” Dr. Faith Villanue said.

They also urged the public not to squander the efforts being put in to fight the pandemic and to continue observing protocols to stop the spread of coronavirus. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Duterte tells DILG to keep monitoring complaints on ECQ aid distribution

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to continue monitoring and investigating reported complaints regarding the distribution of government assistance to families heavily affected by the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine in the NCR Plus.

Duterte issued the directive after the DILG officer in charge Undersecretary Bernardo Florece Jr. told the president that they have not received any complaints about the aid disbursement in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

During his pre-recorded national address with some members of the Cabinet on Monday night, Duterte said he has seen media reports about beneficiaries complaining about difficulty in claiming government subsidy.

“Maraming nagreklamo na ano, so ask your field offices to try to make rounds and investigate if these allegations are true,” he said.

“Sabi mo nga as of now malinis, then I’ll take it, but with another caveat that continue to monitor through your field offices… I do not have any reason to doubt the mayors, lalo na yung malalaki,” he added.

Florece, in turn, assured the president that all DILG senior officials are doing the rounds inspecting and monitoring the aid disbursement of local government units.

Around 22.9 million beneficiaries from low-income households in the NCR Plus are expected to benefit from the government’s assistance program which was allocated with a P22.9 billion fund.

The one-time aid program covers areas that have been placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period from March 29 to April 1.

The NCR Plus was reverted back to MECQ starting April 12 to April 30.

Duterte willing to give away his COVID-19 vaccination slot

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he will waive his COVID-19 vaccination to prioritize those who need it more so they “can live productively.”

“Ako mag-waive ako kasi 70 above na ako. Ano bang makuha mo? Sige ng dream. Dream what? Dream of living until kingdom come? Ako mag-waive ako. Kung sinong may gusto sa slot ko ibigay ko,” Duterte said in his pre-taped public address.

“Kung panahon ko na, either it’s COVID or a bala or whatever disgrasya, wala akong masyadong ano dyan sa illusions about life or death. If anyone wants to have it, they ca have it. We (senior citizens) are not in the priority anyway kasi above ano na. Ang unahin natin ‘yung mabubuhay pa,” he added.

Senior citizens are listed in the A2 priority group for vaccination while healthcare workers belong to the A1 group and persons with co-morbidities are under A3 group.

In February, Malacañang said Duterte is willing to be administered with COVID-19 vaccines to encourage Filipinos to take the vaccine.

Manila Water announces extension of water interruption in several barangays in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Water on Monday (April 12) announced that the water service interruption in several barangays in Metro Manila will be extended.

The extension of service interruption is due to difficult conditions on the site of Manila Water’s damaged mainline at EDSA/Boni Ave. northbound.

Affected barangays will have no water service from 5:00 in the afternoon of Monday until 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday (April 13) as the company completes its permanent repair of the breakage.

The 600-mm mainline was damaged on Sunday evening (April 11), which resulted in a water service interruption to more than 30 barangays in Mandaluyong, Pasig, San Juan, and Quezon City.

The breakage, the Manila Water reported, was caused by AWIN Technology, a third-party contractor doing CCTV network installation.

Affected barangays:

MANDALUYONG CITY (16):
Highway Hills
Barangka Ilaya
Barangka Itaas
Malamig
Addition Hills
Greenhills
Wack-Wack East Greenhills
Mauway
Barangka Drive
Barangka Ibaba
Pleasant Hills
Plainview
Hulo
Hagdang Bato Itaas
Hagdang Bato Libis
San Jose

SAN JUAN CITY (12):
Addition Hills
Corazon de Jesus
West Crame
Pasadena
Onse
Halo-Halo (St. Joseph)
Maytunas
Santa Lucia
St. Joseph
Isabelita
Little Baguio
Valencia

QUEZON CITY (6):
Kaunlaran
San Martin de Porres
Bagong Lipunan ng Crame
Pinagkaisahan
Horseshoe
Immaculate Concepcion

PASIG CITY (1):
Oranbo

“Customers in these areas are encouraged to store just enough water for their needs within the water interruption schedule. This will also help avoid crowding around water tankers,” the Manila Water said in an advisory.

“While we apologize for the inconvenience these have caused thousands of our customers, we are working non-stop to restore water service as soon as possible,” Manila Water’s Group Head for Corporate Strategic Affairs Jeric Sevilla said. -AAC

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