PNP: 67 frontliners test positive for COVID-19

Maris Federez   •   April 18, 2020   •   703

MANILA, Philippines — The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippine National Police has now reached 67.

PNP Health Service Director, Police Brigadier General Herminio Tadeo Jr said these include the additional two (2) new confirmed cases of police frontliners infected with the virus.

Tadeo said the two new cases were PNP patient-66, a 38-year-old policewoman from the City of Manila and PNP patient-67, a 54-year-old male from Quezon City.

During the Laging Handa briefing on Saturday (April 18), PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said 74 PNP personnel are now considered as Probable Persons Under Investigation (Probable PUIs). This is composed of 18 Police Commissioned Officers, 54 Police Non-Commissioned Officers, and two Non-Uniformed Personnel.

On the other hand, a total of 596 personnel were recommended as Suspected Persons Under Investigation (Suspected PUIs), which includes 129 Police Commissioned Officers, 437 Police Non-Commissioned Officers, and 30 Non-Uniformed Personnel.

“Sa ating hanay meron na nagkakasakit. Ang mga ito ay under strict monitoring ng ating police doctors at binibigyan ng lahat ng assistance para po sila’y gumaling at maka-recover,” Banac said.

The official added that to date, eight cops have recovered from the pandemic, while three have died from the disease.

Banac reiterated that the organization continues to implement preventive measures to prevent other police frontliners from being infected.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health announced in the televised briefing that as of Friday (April 17), more than 750 health care workers in the Philippines have contracted COVID-19.

“Meron na tayong naitalang 766 na health care workers na confirmed cases ng COVID-19,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Vergeire added that of the said number, 339 are doctors and 242 are nurses.

The official also reported that 22 health-care workers have died because of the disease.

As of 4PM on Saturday, there are 209 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 infection bringing the total number to 6,087 nationwide. 516 have recovered, while 397 have died from the disease. —mbmf

Next PNP Chief: DILG’s Año to recommend 5 names to Duterte

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año is set to submit to President Rodrigo Duterte his shortlist of candidates to be the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

In an exclusive interview with UNTV News, Año said his list would consist of five names – three of them are three-star generals and are members of the PNP command group. The remaining two would be two-star and one-star generals but he has yet to pick the names of those he will recommend to the president.

“Sa ngayon, pare-parehas sila eh. Pero for sure, yung mga 3-star [generals] kasama yan sa ire-recommend ko. Pag-aaralan ko pa yung mga 2-star at 1-star na pwede isama sa listahan but I will submit five names,” he said.

Año said he will submit the list at least a week before the mandatory retirement of PNP chief General Archie Gamboa.

Gamboa will bow out of the police service when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on September 3.

“Normally, mga two weeks to one week before magsusubmit na ulit ako ng pangalan sa Pangulong Duterte kung sino mga ire-recommend ko, pero ibig sabihin naman nun, ang Pangulong Duterte pwedeng pumili anybody from one-star to three-star,” the DILG chief said.

Whoever will be chosen from the five would inherit a PNP that is among the country’s frontliners in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

All generals in the police force are eligible to be promoted to the police’s top post. The president may also choose a general outside the shortlist given by Año to be his next police chief.

When asked about the possible extension of Gamboa’s term as PNP chief amid the public health crisis, Año replied with: “Palagay ko naman wala na siguro kasi bawal naman ang extension kasi, so we have to follow the law,” he said. “Ang organization naman kasi dynamic, naka-lay out naman dyan ang direction plans kahit naman sino umupo diyan, itutuloy nya lang yung programs.”

Among the three-star generals and members of command group of the PNP are deputy chief for administration Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan, deputy chief for operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, and chief directorial staff Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

Cascolan belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Sinagtala Class of 1986, while both Eleazar and Binay belong to PMA Hinirang Class of 1987.

Cascolan will retire in November 2020, Eleazar in November 2021, and Binag in April 2021.

Meanwhile, among the two-star and one-star generals whose names might get picked on for the top police post are directorate for operations director Major General Emmanuel Licup, National Capital Region Police Office director Major General Debold Sinas, and Police Regional Office 4A director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Both Licup and Sinas belong to the PMA Hinirang class of 1987 while Danao belongs to the PMA Sambisig Class of 1991. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Duterte approves more benefits for healthcare workers, orders gov’t to hire 10K medical professionals

Marje Pelayo   •   August 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Sunday (August 2) the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to revert the National Capital Region and nearby areas to a much stricter community quarantine.

This is in response to the overwhelming call for a “time out” from the country’s healthcare workers due to the rise in cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.

Apart from NCR, other areas to be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine include Bulacan and the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal effective midnight of Tuesday (August 4).

During the late night briefing in Malacañang, the President likewise approved the hiring of additional healthcare workers to augment the current workforce to include the hiring of 10,000 medical professionals.

Apart from that, healthcare workers would also be provided with additional benefits:

  • Risk allowance for private sector healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients;
  • P10,000 to P15,000 for every healthcare worker that gets sick
  • Life insurance
  • Free accommodation
  • Free transportation
  • Free and frequent COVID-19 testing

Also, President Duterte approved the Cabinet’s recommendation to issue work and quarantine passes to minimize movement.

The Chief Executive directed all local government units (LGUs) to intensify the localized lockdown and the implementation of Oplan Kalinga in their respective areas.

He stressed that the guidelines for minimum health standards must be strictly enforced and intensified while giving twenty million face masks for the poor.

Also approved by the President is the use of RT-PCR testing as gold standard.

DOH explains COVID-19 recoveries are symptoms-based, not test-based

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 31, 2020

All the mild and asymptomatic cases that had undergone quarantine for 14 days have been considered recovered after not exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH said this policy is the global standard where symptoms-based is used and not test-based in declaring a recovered COVID-19 patient.

Kapag asymptomatic po siya after 14 days without symptoms, they can already be tagged as recovered pwede na po siyang mag- trabaho (If he is asymptomatic after 14 days without symptoms, he can already be tagged as recovered and resume work), according to DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire.

Still, Vergeire said that it is important that a recovered individual should have an assessment from a physician confirming his recovery.

The number of daily recoveries went up to over 38,000 on Thursday (July 30), with a total of 65,054 recovered cases. The daily number of cases, meanwhile, went over 3,000.

The DOH said the ‘mass recoveries’ and surge of cases is due to the ‘reconciliation efforts’ of the department to consolidate its data with the data of local government units (LGUs) through Oplan Recovery.

Oplan Recovery is the DOH’s initiative to monitor the status of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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