Panelo on commuting to work: It’s nothing new

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 11, 2019   •   820

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo takes a selfie inside a jeepney as he commutes to work to refute allegations of traffic crisis in Metro Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said nothing has changed during his commute to work in Malacañang on Friday (October 11).

In an ambush interview, Panelo said he did not feel any challenge during his commute from his home in Marikina. He left at 5:15 a.m. and was spotted in Cubao at around 8:00 a.m.

Pareho ng dati, wala namang pinagbago, (It’s the same as before, nothing has changed)” he said.

“Laking kalye ako, pinagkalakihan ko ang jeep, ang bus, tricycle (I grew up in the streets. I grew up riding jeepney, buses, and tricycle) so there’s nothing new,” Panelo added.

The Presidential Spokesperson rode four jeepneys and hitched a motorcycle ride. He arrived at Malacañang at 8:45 a.m., almost four hours of travel time.

According to Panelo, he accepted the challenge to show that people in the government can still do what the public can do.

Kaya ko lang tinanggap iyong hamon nila, kasi sila parang pinapakita nila na kaming nasa pwesto ngayon hindi namin pwedeng gawin ang ginagawa ng ordinaryong tao, galing nga kami doon (I accepted the challenge because they look at people in the government cannot do what ordinary people do, but we have been there),” he said.

He again maintained there is no transport crisis in Metro Manila.

Kung may problema, may solusyon (If there’s a problem, there is a solution). Otherwise, that’s not a problem,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Emergence of community pantries exemplifies bayanihan spirit amid crisis — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The emergence of community pantries “exemplifies the Filipino bayanihan spirit” and is not a condemnation of the government during this challenging time of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang said Monday.

“It shows the best of the Filipino. It is part of our psyche to help one another. I don’t see it as a condemnation of the government,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.

“It shows the best of us during the worst of times,” he added.

Roque made the statement after some lawmakers remarked that the establishment of community pantries and other similar activities offering aid to those in need is brought about by the government’s failure to provide enough assistance to families heavily affected by the pandemic.

Roque, however, insisted that the popping up of community pantries in various areas only shows the Filipinos’ unity and initiative to help those in need.

“This shows na bayanihan ang umiiral, hindi bangayan,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Roque stressed that the government needs the support and cooperation of everyone to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.

He also assured that the government is working to provide for the needs of the most affected families.

“The social amelioration programs and services of the national government serve as subsidy for the provision of basic necessities and tool for the recovery and rehabilitation of the most affected families and individuals,” he said.

“The medium and long-term solution remains safeguarding the physical safety of our people while ensuring the economic health of the nation. Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay,” he added.

He also reminded the public to continue observing health protocols to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Palace assures aid to families affected by ‘Bising’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang assured that government agencies are ready for the onslaught of Typhoon Bising as it continues to move over the Philippine sea east of Catanduanes.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace is monitoring updates on the typhoon, adding that the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has conducted pre-disaster risk assessments at the national level.

The OCD has also issued guidance and advisories for the early preparation of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (RDRRMC) and the local government units since April 14, he added.

Roque likewise assured that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has standby funds amounting to P556,438,277.65 in its central office and field offices, as well as stockpiles consisting of 370,058 Family Food Packs amounting to P188,605,445.38, as of April 17, 2021.

“The Department of Health has assured that they have dedicated teams looking into the impact of any disaster, especially in monitoring the evacuation centers in relation to COVID-19 protocol,” he said in a statement.

“They have likewise prepositioned assorted medicines/COVID supplies to regional offices,” he added.

The Palace official also said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has prepositioned all response assistance and instructed all unified commands to assist RDRRMCs in pre-emptive evacuation and other relevant operations.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), for its part, activated nine regions, reiterating the use of OPLAN LISTO and LGU assistance to response operations.

Citing a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Roque said that pre-emptive evacuation has been carried out in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern and Eastern Samar.

“Our concern is the safety of everyone. We, therefore, ask our people to remain alert and vigilant, cooperate with authorities and continue to observe minimum public health standards for protection against COVID-19,” the Palace official said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Sunday reported that Typhoon Bising has slightly weakened as it continues to move over the Philippine Sea.

Bising is expected to bring heavy rains over the Bicol region and Northern Samar, which may trigger flooding and landslides especially in areas identified as highly susceptible to these hazards.

PAGASA said Bising will “continue moving slowly in the next 6 to 12 hours as it begins to turn generally northward over the Philippine Sea east of Catanduanes.”

“Afterwards, the typhoon will continue moving northward while gradually accelerating until Wednesday evening before turning northeastward and east-northeastward away from the landmass of Luzon,” it added.

“The recent weakening of “BISING” after reaching its peak intensity was caused by a recently completed eyewall replacement cycle. The typhoon is forecast to maintain its current intensity in the next 24 to 48 hours before gradually weakening throughout the remainder of the forecast period,” PAGASA said.

Palace on hospitals not regularly testing workers for COVID-19: Report it to DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Health facilities that are not regularly subjecting their workers to COVID-19 tests should be reported to the Department of Health (DOH) for investigation, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that subjecting health workers to regular COVID-19 testing is provided under the DOH guidelines.

“So kung mayroon pong paglabag diyan, ipagbigay alam lang po sa DOH,” Roque said in an online briefing. “Paiimbestigahan natin kung sinong mga health facilities ang hindi nagbibigay ng mandated na regular testing forhealth workers.”

The DOH earlier assured that medical facilities will have their workers undergo mandatory testing after some healthcare personnel disputed DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III’s remark that medical frontliners are being tested for COVID-19 every two weeks.

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