PDEA arrests party drugs supplier in Quezon City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 14, 2021   •   451

MANILA, Philippines — A narcotics supplier was arrested by operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in a buy-bust operation in Quezon City.

Authorities identified the suspect as Jhun Cabaya alias Sky High who was arrested for selling “party drugs.”

They also seized from the suspect 23 pieces of ecstacy tablet worth P39,100; twenty-five pieces of Flyhigh capsules worth P42,500; and 300ml of liquid ecstacy worth P90,000; a cellular phone and the buy-bust money.

Cabaya reportedly operate in several areas in Quezon City and Pasig City.

According to PDEA, Cabaya is facing charges for violation of Section 5 and Section 11 of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 for selling and possessing illegal drugs. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

QC gov’t taps PH Red Cross, clinic to expand COVID-19 testing

Robie de Guzman   •   April 12, 2021

The Quezon City government has partnered with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and a private diagnostics clinic in a bid to further increase the city’s mass testing and speed up the detection of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said they have tapped the PRC and diagnostics clinic Hi-Precision to expand the city’s swab and X-ray testing amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Our partnerships will allow us to pool all available resources, weave our efforts, and immediately address the needs of our most affected communities,” Belmonte said.

Under a memorandum of agreement, the PRC will allocate 8,000 RT-PCR test kits to the city worth around P3,400 each.

Belmonte said the partnership will allow the city government “to test more residents and subsequently reinforce its contact tracing efforts” and increase the turnaround time for the releasing of test results.

Under the partnership with Hi-Precision diagnostics clinic, the city government said the facility has offered to lend its two mobile X-ray units to the city.

The said units, which are worth P3.6 million, will be set up in two of the city’s HOPE facilities and cater to the admitted patients.

“The idea is to decongest our hospitals by putting these machines in our HOPE facilities so that our mild to moderate or asymptomatic patients can have their X-ray done at the soonest time possible,” Belmonte said.

The Quezon City government also said it is also planning to open three additional testing centers which will cater to individuals who are manifesting flu-like symptoms and those who have exposure to COVID-positive patients in the communities.

The existing community-based testing centers are in Toro Hill Basketball Court (District 1), Payatas Super Health Center (District 2), Old Balara Covered Court (District 3), Amoranto Stadium (District 4), SB Park Novaliches (District 5), and Talipapa Senior High School (District 6).

All centers operate Mondays to Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

QC, other LGUs appeal to extend deadline for aid distribution

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 9, 2021

The Quezon City Government, along with other local government units (LGUs), has appealed to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to extend the deadline for the aid distribution for those heavily affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said there is a delay in the aid distribution due to the limited number allowed in distribution areas. Belmonte said only 2,000 residents per barangay are accommodated to still adhere to physical distancing.

Ang ibinigay sa atin na deadline dalawang linggo kaparehas lang ng ibang mga LGU samantalang ang laki ng populasyon ng lungsod Quezon ay hindi mahambing sa laki ibang lungsod. Sa atin napakarami talaga ng mga mamamayan. Ginawa ko nga ang mathematics kung 2,000 a day kada barangay ang bibigyan mo, aabot ka pa rin ng 40 days (The set deadline was two weeks, the same with other LGUs. But Quezon City has a huge population and it cannot be compared with other cities. I did the math and if the target is 2,000 per day per barangay, it will take 40 days),”  she said.

DILG Officer in Charge Usec. Bernardo Florence Jr. said they also received extension request from other local governments. He said they will review the requested extension.

May mga nagpauna na nagre-request na kung pupwede ay ma-extend, pero napakaaga pa rin naman para i-approve natin to (Some [LGUs] also sent their requests for extension but it is still too early to approve it),” he said.

Meanwhile, the department did not mention if LGUs will face sanctions if they did not meet the deadline for aid distribution. However, in previous regulations, an LGU official might receive a show cause order if they fail to meet the deadline. AAC (with reports from JP Nuñez)

Belmonte asks nat’l gov’t to consider QC population in deadline for ECQ aid distribution

Robie de Guzman   •   April 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday appealed to the national government to consider the size of her city’s population in setting a deadline for local government units (LGU) to distribute assistance to residents affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

During the Laging Handa press briefing, Belmonte lamented the 15-day deadline set for the assistance distribution, raising her concerns on maintaining social distancing and health protocols when LGUs are being rushed to complete the process.

She said they have started giving out cash aid to beneficiaries but the size and scope of her city’s population prove to be a challenge in finishing the payout on time.

“Lahat ay ginagawa ko para maka-comply dahil ayokong baka makasuhan na naman kami o malagay sa ganoong sitwasyon… Pero ang nagiging problema natin dito ay paano ma-maintain ng maayos na social distancing at minimum health standards kung minamadali naman tayong tapusin ang pagbibigay ng ayuda sa loob ng 15 days,” she said.

“Hindi iniisip ang size, ang scope at ang laki ng lungsod ay iba doon sa ibang lungsod kaya sana i-consider ito ng national government. Yan po ang aking apela,” she added.

Belmonte said they have already distributed cash assistance to over 41,000 families on Wednesday and are targeting to help 74,000 more today.

Distribution in some areas is admittedly difficult due to the volume of people who trooped to the venues, she added.

“May ilang barangay na talagang nahirapan kaming i-control ang crowd dahil ang mga tao iniisip nila first come, first served,” the mayor said.

To avoid the crowding of beneficiaries, Belmonte said they will issue stubs to limit the number of claimants to 2,000 per day.

“Itong 2,000 na ito, iba-ibang oras at lugar pa ang nakasulat, kunwari by purok, last name or by street para hindi magkumpulan o sabay-sabay (na pumipila),” she said.

In distributing government assistance, Belmonte said LGUs are guided by the list from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The government’s assistance program provides P1,000 per individual with a maximum of P4,000 per family. LGUs will decide on whether to distribute the aid in cash or in kind.

Belmonte said they are basing the amount of cash assistance to be given to a resident on the number of listed dependents per family.

Those who are not on the DSWD list can raise their concern through the barangay’s grievance committee, she added.

“Kung wala sila sa listahan ay mayroon naman tayong grievance committee or appeal committee kung saan pwede nila ilista ang kani-kanilang mga pangalan at pwede natin silang bigyan ng tulong,” she said.

The Quezon City government received a total of P2.58 billion fund from the government. Belmonte said this will benefit 2.48 million people or around 800,000 families at the minimum.

In total, the national government allocated P22.9 billion for the assistance program for people affected by the enforcement of ECQ over the NCR Plus areas.

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