Piers Morgan calls Filipino nurses in UK ‘unsung heroes’ in COVID-19 fight

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 8, 2020   •   759

British media personality Piers Morgan called Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom (UK) as “unsung heroes” in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) fight.

During the “Good Morning Britain” broadcast on Tuesday (April 7), Morgan lauded the contribution of Filipino workers, and other immigrant workers, to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

He gave a shoutout to some of these workers saying, “amazing number of Filipinos working at NHS and unsung heroes.” 

“These are the immigrants currently saving people’s lives, coming here and enriching our country and doing an amazing job. Thank you to all Filipinos who are here doing an amazing work and to every other immigrant working at NHS,” Morgan said.

The media personality also hoped that people in the United Kingdom will have “a different feeling about what immigration has done for the country.” AAC

Tolentino seeks tax deduction for WFH employees

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020

Senator Francis Tolentino is proposing a tax deduction for work-from-home (WFH) employees, particularly on electricity consumption, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tolentino said he would file a bill with committee chairman Senator Sherwin Gatchalian that aims to “provide a reasonable deduction on the gross income of any taxpayer who has incurred additional electricity consumption while working at home.”

Ito pong ginastos ng ating mga nagtatrabaho sa bahay, pwedeng ikarga bilang deductible expense sa pagbabayad ng buwis dahil po nabawasan ang gastos ng kanilang pinapasukan (The expenses of the WFH employees can be accounted as deductible expense because their companies are saving up on costs),” he said.

READ: Meralco apologizes for ‘bill shock’; to explain bill computation

Meanwhile, the senator also asked Meralco to make its messaging clearer and simpler for consumers after the confusion over its monthly billing during the lockdown period. AAC

MMDA suspends work from July 9-10 after 4 workers contract COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Danilo Lim on Tuesday announced that work at the agency’s headquarters will be suspended from Thursday, July 9 to Friday, July to give way to the complete sanitation and disinfection of all its offices and adjacent premises.

This is after four MMDA personnel tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) when they underwent mass rapid testing and confirmatory swab test.

“Upon the recommendation of the MMDA COVID-19 Committee, we have decided to suspend the operations at all our offices for sanitation and disinfection to protect not only our personnel but also the transacting public against the virus,” Lim said in a statement.

All personnel will be allowed to go home at 2 p.m. on Wednesday as their workplaces will undergo sanitation and disinfection procedures until Sunday, July 12.

Lim said that no employee shall be allowed to enter any office during the sanitation and disinfection period.

The MMDA chief assured that the offices of those who tested positive have already been placed on lockdown and sanitized. Contact tracing has also been conducted and people who had close contact with them were ordered to strictly comply with the 14-day quarantine period and were subjected to swab tests.

“We assure the public that our offices will resume operations as soon as we have completed the sanitation and disinfection of our all offices by Monday,” Lim said.

Others employees who tested positive in the rapid test were made to undergo swab test and quarantine, according to protocol.

The MMDA has its own isolation facility to accommodate employees exposed to persons with COVID-19, tested positive on rapid test, and for those awaiting swab test results.

The 800-square meter isolation facility, located at the MMDA’s parking area, has two sections – one for suspect and probable cases.

Each section of the isolation facility has a 24-bed capacity equipped with shower rooms, comfort rooms and lavatories. The rooms are fully-air conditioned, with WI-FI connection and are regularly cleaned and sanitized. Free meals are also provided.

The MMDA’s Medical Clinic is also closely monitoring and providing guidance and assistance to employees.

Meanwhile, the MMDA said it has put in place protocols for visitors entering the building to prevent spread of COVID-19.

The agency’s guidelines state that all visitors with official business with the agency shall initially stay in the reception area for verification if the visitor will be allowed to go to the concerned office.

Strictly no personal visits are allowed for the meantime given the high risk of COVID-19 transmission at this period.

Moreover, delivery personnel shall not be allowed to go straight to the office or area of the ordering or recipient entity. All deliveries shall be transacted only at the reception lobby.

Likewise, visitors need to fill-up health declaration form with contact details for contact tracing purpose. “This pandemic is a difficult time for all of us and we must do everything we can to protect our personnel and visitors,” Lim said.

Solon pushes for military honors for OFWs who died of COVID-19 abroad

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for the granting of military honors to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who succumbed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) abroad as they can be considered as ‘modern-day heroes.’

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. in House Resolution No. 1027 said the sacrifices of OFWs and their significant contribution to the country’s economy are enough to merit them such military honors. 

Based on the latest count of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a total of 577 OFWs have already died of COVID-19 from the overall number of 8,679 confirmed cases across the globe.

Datol said OFWs are qualified under The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines for their unconditional sacrifices as overseas workers.

The lawmaker also proposed that the government shoulder the complete burial expenses of every OFW who died of COVID-19 abroad as part of the full military honors. 

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