Palace tells gov’t agencies in NCR to reduce on-site staff capacity during ECQ

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021   •   205

MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang has directed all government offices and instrumentalities under the executive branch in the National Capital Region (NCR) to adopt a skeleton workforce during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20.

Under Memorandum Circular No. 87, government agencies and instrumentalities in the NCR “shall remain fully operational even as the region is placed under ECQ, subject to the on-site capacity and work-from-home arrangements authorized herein.”

The circular stated that the number of employees who can physically report for work should not be less than 20 percent to ensure continuity of government services during the 2-week ECQ.

The head of the agency will determine the size of the skeleton workforce on-site, taking into consideration the services that must be continuously provided by the agency during the period.

Before August 6, the head of each agency in the NCR is mandated to submit to the head of the department exercising control or supervision over it, or to which it is attached, the specific percentage of the agency’s skeleton workforce and the work arrangements during ECQ period.

“The skeleton workforce, as determined by the agency, shall be immediately implemented upon the onset of ECQ, provided that department head may, at any time, direct the modification of the submitted on-site capacity or related arrangements, as health considerations and the exigencies of the service may require,” the order read.

Malacañang said agencies providing health and emergency frontline services, laboratory and testing services, border control, and other critical services shall be allowed up to “full on-site capacity.”

Metro Manila, which is currently under general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions,” will shift to ECQ from August 6 to 20 to curb the further spread of the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant.

Other agencies in Metro Manila that are under the legislative and judicial branches of government, independent constitutional commissions and bodies, as well as local government units, are enjoined to adopt the Memorandum Circular 87.

The circular was signed on Tuesday by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and was made public on Wednesday.

The memorandum is effective immediately.

OCTA: COVID-19 growth rate in NCR slows down to -1%

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The growth rate of COVID-19 is decreasing in Metro Manila, the OCTA Research group said on Monday.

OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said the daily growth rate of the seven-day moving average in the region has slowed down to -1 percent.

“Base sa datos kahapon na may 15,959 cases ay bumaba ang daily growth rate to negative 1 percent from 2 percent. So ibig sabihin, naging negative na, mukhang pababa na ng kaunti,” David said in a televised public briefing.

“Pero again di pa tayo pwedeng mag-celebrate,” he added as he stressed the need to closely monitor the case trends in the coming weeks to see if figures are really declining in the NCR.

In a post on Twitter, David said that the growth rate over the past four days, in order, were 11%, 5%, 3%, and 2%.

The region’s COVID-19 reproduction number also went down to 2.67 from around 6.16 recorded last January 2. The rate refers to the number of people infected by one positive case.

While this trend is encouraging, and suggesting the possibility that cases in the NCR have peaked, David said that the possibility still remains that visibility of the situation in the region is clouded because of limitations in testing.

And though the peak may be nearing in the NCR and other nearby areas, David noted that there are many areas outside in the country that have shown an increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Actually, all over the country now, we’re starting to see an increase in cases, kaya makaka-affect ito sa sinasabi nating peak kung pinag-uusapan buong bansa,” he said. “Pero possible na sa NCR, tsaka Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal ay baka malapit na ang peak o nagpi-peak na tayo.”

David urged those in the provinces to get vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19 to protect themselves from hospitalization and severe form of the disease.

He also advised the public to continue adhering to public health protocols such as the proper wearing of face mask, social distancing, and refrain from unnecessary travel to help curb COVID-19 transmission. (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DepEd NCR nagdeklara ng health break mula Enero 15 to 22

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Nagdeklara ng academic health break ang regional office ng Department of Education (DepEd) para sa National Capital Region (NCR) sa gitna ng dumaraming bilang ng mga nagkakasakit dahil sa COVID-19.

Sa inilabas na memorandum order, sinabi ng DepEd-NCR na suspindido muna ang klase sa lahat ng antas sa basic education mula Eneroi 15 hanggang 22.

Muling babalik ang klase sa Enero 24 hanggang 29 pero limitado lang muna ito sa distance learning modalities gaya ng online schooling, module at DepEd TV.

Hindi rin required ang pisikal na pagpasok sa paaralan ng mga guro.

Gayunman, dapat gamitin na lang ng mga estudyante at guro ang kanilang midyear break mula Enero 31 hanggang Pebrero 5 para sa makeup clasess upang mabawi ang mga backlog sa aralin.

Nakatakda naman ang second quarter examinations para sa Pebrero 7 at 8.

Una nang binigyan ng kapangyarihan ng DepEd ang regional at school division offices na magdesisyon ukol sa suspensyon ng klase bunsod ng tumataas na kaso ng COVID-19.

“kung ang pagtataya ng ating Local Officials Regional Director Level or Division or even at the School Level ay kailangan magsuspinde ng klase o ng if not the full class ay learning activities then we are authorizing maximum of two weeks at a time subject to reporting at kung mas mahaba pa dun ay kailangang ikonsulta sa amin kung maaring pahintulutan ito,” ani DepEd Undersecretary Noel Nepomuceno.

Samantala, nasa diskresyon naman ng mga pribadong paaralan kung kailan sila magsususpinde ng klase.

Maliban sa NCR, nagdeklara na rin ng class suspension ang DepEd CALABARZON mula Enero 17 hanggang 29.

Ang pamahalaan naman ng Antipolo City sa Rizal ay nagdeklara rin ng health break sa kaparehong petsa.

Nauna nang nagdeklara ng health break ang pamahalaang lungsod ng Maynila simula ngayong Biyernes, Enero 14 hanggang 21.

Layunin ng deklarasyon na mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga guro at mag-aaral na makapagpahinga, lalo na ang mga may karamdaman. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)


Metro Manila, other areas to remain under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until January 31 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 14, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila and other areas in the country will remain under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until the end of January, Malacañang announced Friday.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Metro Manila will keep current restrictions until January 31 amid the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections.

Under Alert Level 3, several establishments will be allowed to operate at 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity, provided that employees are fully vaccinated.

The conduct of religious gatherings, and operations of personal care services, recreational venues are limited, while in-person classes, contact sports, funfairs, and casinos are among those prohibited under this alert level.

Other areas placed under Alert Levels 3 and 2 until January 31 are the following:

The government earlier announced the following areas under Alert Level 3:


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