Palace on MECQ extension: Health-economy balance needed

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 10, 2020   •   408

Amid requests for extension of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), Malacañang said it is up to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) to decide if an extension is necessary.

In a statement on Monday (August 10), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a balance between health and the country’s economy is needed while fighting against the pandemic.

“On the suggestion to make the MECQ effective for one month, this is a decision that has to be made by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). It entails a delicate balancing of protecting and saving people’s health to protecting and saving the economic health of the nation,” Roque said.

Former Special Adviser to National Task Force Against Covid-19 Dr. Anthory Leachon said that in order to flatten the curve, MECQ in NCR and other provinces should be extended to one month.

“Kung talagang MECQ ang gusto nila, isagad nila ng isang buwan, tapos ibuild-up na iyong healthcare capacity. Magpa-flatten tayo ng curve, (If they really want MECQ, they should extend it for a month then build up healthcare capacity. We might flatten the curve),” Leachon said in a statement.

Meanwhile, several members of the IATF and Cabinet members will fly to Davao City for a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DFA consular office in Ali Mall,Cubao temporarily closed until further notice

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) informs the public that its consular office in Ali Mall, Quezon City (CO NCR-Northeast) will remain closed until further notice.

The closure, which began on Thursday (January 21), was to give way to disinfection of its office premises and implementation of other preventive measures to manage risks against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing ncrnortheast.so@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Original appointment date and time
  • Preferred date and time of new appointment

The preferred new appointment may be on any working day Monday to Friday from January 25 to February 25, 2021 during the CO’s regular operation hours from 10:00AM to 5:00PM.

Applicants that need emergency or urgent consular services may contact CO NCR-North by email at ncrnortheast.so@dfa.gov.ph.

The DFA requests the public’s understanding and cooperation as we continue to battle against this pandemic.

PH gov’t eases age restrictions in MGCQ areas

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force on COVID-19 response has eased age restrictions in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), allowing persons aged 10 years to 65 to go out of their homes, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the relaxed age-based restrictions for MGCQ areas will take effect starting February 1, 2021.

“Pwede na pong lumabas ang mga bata na may edad 10 taong gulang hanggang ang mga senior citizens na hanggang 65 years old,” Roque said.

The government previously allowed only persons aged 15 to 65 years old to go out of their residences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any person below ten years old and those who are over 65 years of age shall be required to remain in their residence at all times, Roque said.

Local government units (LGU) in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) are also enjoined to adopt the same relaxation of age-restrictions.

“Yung mga local na pamahalaan naman po sa mga lugar na GCQ o general community quarantine ay hinihikayat po natin na sana po payagan na rin na lumabas yung 10-65 [years old],” Roque said.

“Pero uulitin ko po, desisyon pa rin po yan ng mga local na pamahalaan,” he added.

The new policy was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) during its 95th meeting.

Also ratified during the meeting was the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19, which shall serve as guide for vaccination implementers, such as the LGUs.

The IATF also approved the request of the Professional Regulation Commission to conduct and administer the licensure examinations for professionals scheduled for January to March 2021. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

9 more overseas Filipinos contract COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported that as of Thursday (January 21), nine more Filipinos abroad tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This brings the total number of confirmed cases among overseas Filipinos to 13,633.

Three more Filipinos abroad have recovered from the virus, bringing the total tally of recoveries to 8,748.

A total of 3,941 Filipinos in different areas overseas are undergoing treatment, the DFA said.

All new positive cases and recoveries were reported in Asia and the Pacific and Europe. 

Meanwhile, no new fatality was recorded.

The DFA vows it shall continue to keep track of the status of overseas Filipinos, and facilitate repatriations, whenever possible, as the pandemic continues. 

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