PNP confirms firecracker ban in NCR, warns violators

Marje Pelayo   •   December 22, 2020   •   866

MANILA, Philippines — Sales and use of all kinds of firecrackers this holiday season is now banned in Metro Manila after the mayors have passed a resolution regarding the matter.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief PBGen. Vicente Danao in an interview said the resolution was “unanimously agreed” by all Metro Manila mayors hence it will be implemented.

According to PNP Chief PGen. Debold Sinas, they are just waiting for the copy of the resolution from local government units after which they would arrest violators of the ban in the National Capital Region.

“Lahat po iyan ipapasara natin, iyong nagbebenta at lahat ng may hawak ay huhulihin natin sila,” the PNP Chief said.

Firearms and Explosives Office Director PBGen. Rommil Mitra said, prohibited firecrackers include those that with 1/3 teaspoon or more than 0.2 grams of explosive content; oversized firecrackers with a fuse that burn in less than 3 seconds or more than six seconds; imported and without labels; and firecrackers with Sulphur or phosphorous blended in chlorates.

PBGen. Mitra also confirmed that they have stopped issuing permit for all firecrackers and pyrotechnic displays for the holiday season. .

“With regards to major events organized fireworks display, these activities will encourage the convergence of people so we have to issue temporary stoppage in the issuance of permit,” he said. MNP (with report from Lea Ylagan)

COVID-19 alert status sa NCR para sa Pebrero, posibleng ianunsyo sa weekend – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   January 26, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Inaasahang iaanunsyo ng Malakanyang sa weekend ang susunod na COVID-19 Alert Level status na ipatutupad sa National Capital Region (NCR) para sa buwan ng Pebrero.

Sa Enero 31 mapapaso ang Alert Level 3 na ipinaiiral sa NCR.

Ayon kay Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, magpupulong sa Huwebes ang Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) upang talakayin ang magiging alert level sa NCR sa gitna ng patuloy na pagbaba ng mga kaso ng COVID-19.

Ayon kay Nograles, sisiyasatin ng IATF ang utilization rate ng hospital beds pati na ang average daily attack rate at two-week growth rate ng COVID-19 sa rehiyon.

Una nang sinabi ni Health Secretary Francisco Duque III na malaki ang posibilidad na luwagan sa Alert Level 2 ang NCR dahil sa downward trend ng coronavirus infections.

Ngunit para sa Philippine Medical Association (PMA), dapat manatili ang istriktong pagsunod ng publiko sa health protocols anuman ang maging antas ng COVID-19 restrictions na ipatupad sa NCR.

“Ang palagi naming ine-emphasize kahit anong alert level yan dapat yung minimum health protocols ang pagsikapan natin mapatupad… Importante pa rin is magpabakuna tayo,” ang pahayag ni Dr. Benito Atienza, ang pinuno ng PMA.

“Yun po sinasabi natin na sana hindi matulad po yung pagbaba ng alert bago po mag christmas at mag new year na talagang pag alert 2 po eh yung mga tao wala na sila pakundangan na makahawa at mahawa kasi dikit dikit ang mga tao kahit sinabi namin nung una pa na kahit anong alert level ang gawin natin kung hindi naman nasusunod ang patakaran eh ganun pa rin ang mangyayari,” dagdag pa niya.

Maliban sa NCR, tiniyak rin ng pandemic task force na nakatutok rin ito sa COVID-19 situation sa iba pang lungsod at lalawigan na nakakapagtala ngayon ng mataas na antas ng hawaan.

Partikular na binabantayan ay ang CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Ilocos Region, at Cordillera Administrative Region.

Ayon sa Malakanyang, inatasan na ng IATF ang regional task forces na dagdagan ang COVID-19 bed capacities sa kani-kanilang mga lugar upang matugunan ang pagtaas ng kaso.

Muli ring paalala ng mga otoridad na severe at critical cases lamang ang dapat i-admit sa ospital habang sa isolation facilities naman dapat mamalagi ang moderate at mild cases ng COVID-19.

Unvaxxed, partially vaxxed NCR workers allowed to use public transport for 30 days

Robie de Guzman   •   January 26, 2022

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated employees in industries and establishments allowed to operate in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be allowed to ride public transport for 30 days, starting January 26.

In a joint statement, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the decision was reached during their meeting last Friday, January 21, after considering the vaccination coverage in the capital region.

“Within the 30-day window, partially vaccinated workers are still allowed to board public transportation,” the statement read.

“However, since partially unvaccinated individuals are still at risk given that they do not have complete protection against the virus as clarified by the Health Department, they are also not allowed to use public transportation if vaccination remains incomplete within the 30-day window,” it added.

The DOTr is implementing a “no vaccination, no ride” policy in public transportation vehicles while the NCR is under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and up. The NCR and other areas with high infection rates have been placed under Alert Level 3 until January 31.

DOTr Undersecretary for Administrative Service and official representative to the IATF Artemio Tuazon Jr. said that 30 days following the announcement of the new protocol, only workers in the NCR who are fully vaccinated are allowed to use public transportation.

Fully vaccinated refers to those who have completed the 2-dose primary series vaccination such as for the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, or Moderna brands; or the one-dose vaccination such as for the Janssen brand.

Tuazon added that the joint decision made by the DOLE, DILG, and the DOTr supports the government’s ongoing thrust to ramp up vaccination efforts, especially amid the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

“This joint decision is also meant to support the vaccination drive of the entire government,” he said.

“We want our workers to get fully vaccinated especially now that there is no longer a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, and there is a threat of highly transmissible variants of the virus. We are giving our workers the time to get themselves vaccinated,” he added.

The DOTr official also maintained that the “no vaccination, no ride” policy is not discriminatory.

“As jointly decided by the DOLE, DILG, and DOTr, workers who will remain unvaccinated 30 days after the announcement are not being barred from their workplaces. They are simply not allowed to use public transportation, but can still use other means such as active transport, private vehicles, or company shuttle services,” said Tuazon.

COVID-19 cases sa NCR, bumababa na pero hawaan sa mga probinsiya, tumataas – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Bumababa na ang kaso ng COVID-19 cases sa National Capital Region (NCR), batay sa obserbasyon ng Department of Health (DOH).

Ayon kay DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, kapansin-pansin ang bumabagal na ngayong hawaan ng COVID-19 sa NCR kahit may umiiral na transmission o hawaan ng Omicron variant, kumpara sa nakalipas na linggo.

“Base naman sa obserbasyon na ito, atin namang sinasabi na, oo bumabagal po ang pagtaas ng mga kaso, mayroon po tayong nakikita na parang nagpa-plateau dito sa National Capital Region,” ani Vergeire.

“But we do not look only sa number of cases kapag tayo ay nag-aanalisa ng ating sitwasyon. Tinitignan pa po natin ang ibang mga metrics na gingamit gaya ng positivity rate,” dagdag pa niya.

Ayon sa DOH, nakatulong ang mataas na vaccination coverage sa NCR kaya naman kahit tumaas ang kaso ay hindi ganoon kadami ang na-ospital at nakaranas ng severe infection.

Ngunit sa labas ng NCR, napansin rin ng DOH na tumataas naman ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa mga lalawigan, dahilan upang ilagay sa COVID-19 Alert Level 4 ang ilang lugar.

Kabilang sa mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng Alert Level 4 hanggang Enero 31 ay ang Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, at Northern Samar.

Sa ilalim ng Alert Level 4, hanggang 10% indoor capacity lang ang papayagan sa operasyon ng mga establisiymento para sa fully vaccinated individual habang 30% naman ang outdoor capacity.

Bawal namang mag-operate ang amusement parks, casinos, mga sinehan, pati na ang pagsasagawa ng contact sports at face-to-face classes.

“Bagamat mataas na po talaga ang kanilang mga kaso ang kanilang healthcare utilization ay pumalo na po more than 70%. Now there are areas in the country na pumalo na rin po sa more than 70% ang kanilang healthcare utilization pero hindi po natin inescalate so bakit po? Dahil tinitihgnan din po natin kung magkano po ba or how much they have allocated for their ICUs and wards,” ang paliwanag ni Vergeire.

“Nakikita po natin na medyo nahihirapan na po ang mga lugar na ito that’s why the decision to escalate them compared to other areas,” dagdag pa niya.

Ganito rin ang obserbasyon ng OCTA Research group sa sitwasyon ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Ayon kay OCTA Research fellow Guido David, inaasahang sa pagpasok ng Pebrero ay mas mababa pa ang maitatalang kaso ng COVID-19 kada araw sa NCR,

“Even by the end of the month we are projecting just a little over 2000 cases per day in the NCR it peaked at around 18,000,” ani David.

“By Valentine’s Day, it could be at less than 1,000 cases and by the end of February it could be at around less than 500 cases. Again these are very rough projections we hope that it could guide our friends in the business sector and in the government,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa obserbasyon ng OCTA, ang pagbaba ng kaso sa NCR ay gaya ng pattern na naobserbahan sa South Africa pagkatapos ng mabilis na pagkalat ng Omicron variant.

Pero babala ng grupo, hindi dapat maging kampante ang publiko dahil tumataas pa rin ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa ibang lugar gaya sa Central Luzon, CALABARZON at sa Cebu City.

Dapat rin umanong panatilihin muna ang alert level sa NCR dahil mahigit pa sa 1 ang reproduction number ng rehiyon at hindi pa rin naman napuputol ang hawaan ng Omicron at Delta variant.

“Downgrading to alert level at this time might not be advisable until the NCR reaches the moderate risk just to sustain the rapid decrease that we’re seeing so that we could see those good numbers later in the moths of February,” ani David.

“Last year we almost reach a baseline of about less than 100 cases per day in the NCR,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, muli namang nagpaalala ang mga otoridad sa publiko na sumunod sa health protocols at magpabakuna o booster upang magkaroon ng proteksyon laban sa COVID-19.

 

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