Phl shows good record in vaccination program despite criticisms — Duterte

Maris Federez   •   April 20, 2021   •   259

 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte believes that the government’s vaccination program is doing good despite the criticism thrown at it.

This, after vaccine czar and National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. reported to the president the status of the country’s vaccination program on Monday night’s Talk to the Nation aired over PTV-4.

Galvez said that the Philippines now ranks 3rd among the ASEAN member countries in vaccination, from the former 8th in ranking when the country had just started its vaccination rollout.

The Philippines also ranks 41st among 173 countries and 14th out of 47 Asian countries.

“Sa ngayon po number three po tayo at the same time 41st po tayo out of 173 countries, at number 14 po tayo sa 47 Asian countries. So hindi po tayo nahuhuli, nandoon po tayo sa may bandang per — mga ano, upper 25 percent,” Galvez said.

“Well, maganda ang record natin in spite of unfounded criticism which — anyway, we expect it. But the Philippines is able to get the upper berth, I said, of the countries that are inoculated. Maganda ang record niyan and to think that people were almost in a quandary where to get the next vaccination,” President Duterte said.

“You know, for whatever it is that really work to them, we were able to make a go at least, not everybody at one time, but we have vaccinated a lot of people. I am happy that we have completed the vaccination of the medical people, yung tinatawag nilang frontliner,” he added.

The President said the country is not really left behind as far as vaccination against COVID-19 is concerned.

“So nakita mo naman na hindi pala tayo ‘yong pinakamahina, mataas nga ‘yong atin. It goes to show that we are really working very hard, especially Secretary Galvez, to get the vaccines here in the Philippines on time. Though it is not as fast as people would like to expect, the fact that, I said, we have occupied a certain position, we are number 15 sa ano? Number three?” he said.

“Well, it speaks well of the effort of your office to at least come to a more than an acceptable performance in the matter of — well, the fight against COVID as far as the Philippines is concerned,” the President added.

Galvez has also reported that 965,960 medical frontline workers who belong in A1 category have received the first dose of the vaccination. From this number, 198,534 have already received the 2nd dose.

The vaccine czar added that 132,948 belonging to the A2 category and 180,315 from the A3 category have received the first dose of the vaccine. —/mbmf

DTI: Halos 200-libong manggagawa, balik-trabaho sa ilalim ng GCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Maaari nang makabalik sa trabaho ang nasa 200-libong empleyado matapos na ibalik sa general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions” ang National Capital Region (NCR) at mga karatig-lalawigan.

Ayon kay Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, magiging daan ang paglipat sa GCQ ng NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, at Laguna – tinatawag na NCR Plus – upang mapababa ang bilang ng mga nawalan ng trabaho noong kasagsagan ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“As we further open the economy, we are expecting to bring back 200,000 to 300,000 jobs to lessen the number workers displaced since the start of the ECQ,” ani Lopez.

Noong nasa ilalim ng ECQ ang NCR Plus, umabot sa 1.5 milyon ang bilang ng mga Pilipino nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa coronavirus pandemic.

Nabawasan ito at naging isang milyon noong ipinatupad ang modified ECQ.

Ayon kay Lopez, sa ngayon ay aabot pa sa 700-libong manggagawa ang hindi pa rin nakakabalik sa trabaho dahil sa limitadong operasyon ng ilang establisimyento gaya ng mga restaurant, at barbershop. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

DOH says no to proposed vaccine pass for access to indoor establishments

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said it is not recommending the proposal to use a “vaccine pass” that would allow persons already inoculated against COVID-19 to have access to business establishments.

“Hindi po kami sang-ayon sa ganyang pagpapalakad o kaya ay magkaron tayo ng mga ganyang proseso,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergere said in a virtual press briefing.

Vergeire said the DOH is not in favor of the proposal as there is no sufficient evidence yet to say that a person who has already received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can no longer be infected or spread the virus.

She added that initial studies have shown that the currently available vaccines against coronavirus cannot adequately block the virus.

“Wala pa ho tayong sufficient evidence to say na ang isang taong with complete doses of vaccines already would have that kind of immunity, na hindi na siya magkakaroon ng sakit o makakapanghawa dahil nga po dito sa mga paunang mga ebidensiya na ibinigay sa atin, hindi po nakakapag-block ng transmission adequately ang mga bakuna na mayroon tayo ngayon,” she said.

“As we have said, ang pinaka-assurance o benepisyong nakukuha natin ngayon sa vaccines is reducing severe infections and hospitalization. As to preventing mild to moderate infections, hindi pa rin po tayo nagbibigay ng ganyang assurance sa ating mga kababayan,” she added.

Vergeire also reminded the public, especially those who have completed the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, to still observe health protocols against COVID-19.

“Even if you are fully vaccinated, meaning you have completed two doses, kailangan pa rin natin magpatupad ng minimum health protocols,” she said.

“Itong sinasabing vaccine pass ay hindi pa rin mairerekomenda ng Kagawaran ng Kalusugan,” she added.

IATF allows TESDA to hold in-person assessments for household service workers in MECQ areas

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s task force for COVID-19 response has allowed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to conduct face-to-face assessments for household service workers in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), Malacañang said Friday.

However, the conduct of the activity is subject to conditions, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque said in-person assessments shall be held only in TESDA Training Institutions and will remain prohibited in private assessment centers.

The activity will also be limited to household service workers who are ready for deployment and have already secured contracts and visas.

“Applicants must further abide by TESDA guidelines relative to the conduct of in-person assessments,” Roque said.

The Palace official likewise announced that the IATF has also allowed the resumption of Career Executive Service Written Examinations and Assessment Centers by the Career Executive Service Board, subject to health and safety protocols and the strict observance of the minimum public health standards.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved this policy in a meeting on Thursday, May 13.

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