Pamahalaan, tiniyak ang ayuda sa mga naapektuhan ng lindol sa Masbate

Marje Pelayo   •   August 18, 2020   •   347

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Malacañang na mabibigyan ng tulong ang mga residenteng naapektuhan ng malakas na lindol sa Masbate at ilang bahagi ng Visayas.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, nakahanda na ang mga sangay ng gobyerno na magbibigay ng relief goods sa mga pamilyang nasa evacuation centers.

“Pagdating po sa ayuda ay huwag po kayong mag-alala — mga pagkain, mga blanket, mga resettlement area — lahat po iyan ay naka-preposition na po at sanay na sanay na po tayong magbigay ng ganiyang tulong sa ating mga kababayan,” pahayag ni Roque.

Samantala, wala pang detalye ang Palasyo kung dadalaw ng personal si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa lugar.

“Siguradong-sigurado po ako na gusto ni Presidenteng pumunta,” ayon kay Roque.

“Whether or not he will be allowed ay tingnan po natin,” pagtatapos nito. MNP (sa ulat ni Rosalie Coz)

Roque: Listen to vaccine experts, not social media influencers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Monday (January 18) advised the public to trust experts and not social media influencers regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

During a press briefing, Roque said it is wrong to compare vaccines to detergent soap which is an apparent reply to a tweet of comedian Vice Ganda.

Roque said there is less supply of vaccines compared to the supply of clothing detergents. He also reiterated that vaccine experts are more knowledgeable on which COVID-19 vaccines are better.

Nag-aagawan nga po tayo sa 18% na supply. Pangalawa, hindi lang naman po gagamitin para sa damit. Kaya nga po, hindi lang po isa, hindi lang po dalawa, kundi tatlong grupo pa ng mga eksperto ang magsusuri kung ang mga bakuna ay ligtas at epektibo (We are vying for 18% of [vaccine] supply. Secondly, it will not be used for clothing. Three groups of vaccine experts are reviewing which vaccines are safe and effective),” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz).

No state monopoly in COVID-19 vaccine procurement – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has denied claims that the national government is building any monopoly on the procurement of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying local government units (LGU) can purchase vaccines to be administered to their constituents.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the remark after some lawmakers questioned why the national government would not allow LGUs and private firms to deal directly with drug makers.

Roque said LGUs are allowed to procure vaccines from pharmaceutical companies but this should be done through entering a tripartite agreement.

This deal should involve the national government, the local government unit and the vaccine manufacturers.

For the advance purchase of AstraZeneca vaccine, the agreement states that local government units will shoulder the cost of the vaccine and plan its distribution in alignment with the national government’s immunization program.

Roque explained that a tripartite agreement has to be forged because AstraZeneca is part of COVAX facility, a pool setup by the World Health Organization to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Only states are involved in the system.

So malinaw po, ‘no, na hindi po natin ipinagbabawal. Wala pong monopoliya ang national government sa pagbili ng mga bakuna. Sa kasunduan na kinuha po namin, at ito po iyong model contract na pinipirmahan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan kasama ang AstraZeneca, ang national government at ang Department of Health, sila ang bumibili, sila ang nagbabayad,” he said.

Roque also reiterated that local governments are not required to use their own funds to procure vaccines for their constituents.

“Gobyerno pong nasyunal ang bibili ‘no. Uulitin ko po, hindi naman kinakailangan na ang mga lokal na pamahalaan ay gumastos ng sarili nilang pondo,” he said.

“Pero kung gusto po nilang gastusin ang sarili nilang pondo, hindi po tututol ang national government dahil iyan naman po ay tulong din sa bansa – imbes na utangin eh babayaran na po,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Philippines includes China, 4 other countries in travel ban list

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced Tuesday (January 12) that the Philippine government is expanding its travel ban to include China and four other countries amid threats of a new coronavirus (COVID-19) variant.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that apart from China, travelers from Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg and Oman are also not allowed to enter the country starting Wednesday (January 13) to Friday (January 15).

The expansion of travel restriction is part of the country’s measures to prevent the entry of new variants of coronavirus that were initially reported affecting residents in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

With five additional nations on the list, the Philippines so far has banned flights to and from 33 countries.

READ: PH expands entry restrictions, bans travelers from the US effective Jan. 3

However, the government clarified that Filipinos coming from the said countries may be allowed entry subject to a 14-day absolute facility-based quarantine period. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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