Palace tells Filipino fishermen to stay in WPS despite China’s fishing ban

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2021   •   495

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday urged Filipino fishermen to stay in the Philippines’ traditional fishing grounds despite China’s imposition of fishing moratorium in the South China Sea.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque assured that Filipino fishermen would be protected against possible aggressions so they should not leave the contested waters.

He also said that the law of other countries has no “extra territorial application,” which means that it has no effect in Philippine territory.

“Wala pong extra territorial application ang mga batas ng mga dayuhang bansa, so diyan lang po kayo sa ating mga traditional fishing grounds,” he said, addressing Filipino fisherfolk.

“Nandiyan naman po ang ating mga coast guard upang pangalagaan din po ang interes ng ating mga mangingisda,” he added.

Roque made the statement after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said it has fired a diplomatic protest against China’s fishing ban.

The DFA said the Philippines does not recognize China’s unilateral imposition of a fishing ban in the area, which runs from May 1 to August 16, 2021.

The ban covers ‘waters north of 12 degrees north latitude’ in the South China Sea,’ which includes over which the Philippines exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction, the agency added.

“China’s annual fishing moratorium extends far beyond it’s legitimate maritime entitlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and is without basis under international law,” the DFA said.

“China cannot legally impose nor legally enforce such a moratorium in the West Philippine Sea,” it stressed.

The DFA urged China to “desist from any action and activity that infringes on Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction, in contravention of international law.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

PH posts 18,659 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday logged 18,659 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the nationwide tally of confirmed cases to 2,453,328 since the pandemic began.

In its latest bulletin, the Department of Health said the new single-day tally brought the number of active cases to 175,324.

Of these cases, 88.1 percent are mild, 2.84 percent are moderate, 6.9 percent are asymptomatic, 1.5 percent are severe, and 0.7 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH said only one accredited testing laboratory failed to submit data on time.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,240,599 after 9,088 more patients recuperated from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll remained at 37,405 as no new fatalities were reported.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 24.2 percent out of the 76,624 tests conducted on Sept. 22.

Positive COVID-19 antigen test results now included in case count – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen tests will now be included in the Philippines’ case count, Malacañang said Friday.

In a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) reached the decision during their meeting on Thursday in an aim to improve the reporting of COVID-19 cases.

“’Yan po ang ating objective para mas maging mabuti yung picture natin kung ilan ang total cases natin,” Roque said.

He, however, clarified that these tests will be subjected to confirmatory tests.

The use of antigen test is mostly effective for people who already manifested symptoms within the first five days of their onset as the viral load of the patient is at the highest during this time.

In line with this, the IATF directed the Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development to monitor and facilitate registration of facilities using rapid antigen kits.

They must also ensure that antigen line tests are collected and consolidated from health facilities, localities, as well as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

“Kaugnay nito, ang Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development ay inatasang mag-facilitate ng registration ng facilities na gumagamit ng rapid antigen kits,” he said.

“Augmentation of disease surveillance surveillance staff and encoders are considered to ensure that line lists are generated and submitted on a daily basis,” he added.

As of Sept. 23, the Philippines has 165,780 active COVID-19 cases based on DOH data.

COVID-19 vaccines administered in PH now at 43 million – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has so far administered a total of 43,088,582 COVID-19 doses since the vaccination program was rolled out in March, Malacañang said Friday.

During a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that 23,416,857 people in the country have received their first shot while 19,671,725  are already fully vaccinated.

Roque said this is 25.50 percent of the country’s target population to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Philippine government is looking to inoculate up to 90 percent of the country’s population to achieve protection against coronavirus infections.

Roque also reported that in the National Capital Region, a total of 15,175,704 doses have been administered.

The figure is 69.93 percent of the total vaccination target in the capital region.

Of these vaccine jabs, 8,339,430 were given as first dose while 6,836,274 were administered as second doses, he added.

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