Police arrests QC residents who staged protest to demand aid amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   April 1, 2020   •   1661

Some 20 residents of Quezon City who were among a group that staged a protest to demand food and other aid from the government were arrested on Wednesday.

According to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), the arrested individuals, who are residents of Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, were apparently part of dozens of protesters who staged a rally in Barangay San Roque along EDSA to appeal for assistance amid the COVID-19 community quarantine.

The group complained of not receiving any help from the local government although some residents in their area have already received food packs distributed by their barangay officials.

“Kaya nga nagagalit sila kasi bakit sa gilid lang nabigyan, bakit sa kanilang grupo hindi pa nabigyan. Ibig sabihin, doon lang daw nagtapos y’ong dala nila Kap, hindi sila nabalikan ulit,” Ligaya Sambayon, a personnel of Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, said.

The Quezon City government, however, denied the claims, stressing that there is continuous distribution of food packs both from local government and barangays.

The local government also said that based on guidelines, all recipients of food packs must be properly documented and the lists are available for scrutiny in the interest of transparency.

“Nevertheless, the Mayor (Joy Belmonte) has instructed city personnel to review the list to make sure nobody has been inadvertently left out,” the QC government said in a statement.

The local government also believes that the rally was instigated by a left-leaning group who allegedly told the residents to go to the area to get their relief packs.

“Yung mga tao akala po nila may bigayan talaga eh pagdating nila doon yung mga hard core ng Kadamay yun na po ang nagpainit at nag-instigate na wala daw pong ibinigay na relief goods ang atin pong lungsod ang atin pong barangay. Pero sa katotohanan po mayroon ng ibinigay ang barangay,” Ranulfo Rannie Ludovica, Action Officer of QC Task Force Disiplina, said.

QCPD members who responded to the incident said they tried to urge the residents to go home but they allegedly refused which prompted authorities to make arrests.

Police assured no one was hurt in the incident.

The residents are presently detained at the Camp Karingal.

The Philippine National Police said the residents will face charges for illegally holding a public assembly, and for violating the law on Response to Notifiable Diseases, Epidemics, and Health Events of Public Concern, Presidential Proclamation No. 922, Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and the Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience to persons in authority. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Filipinos are allowed to get vaccinated anywhere in PH — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos can get inoculated against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) anywhere in the country under the government’s “no wrong door policy” in its vaccination drive, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

 “Meron ho tayong tinatawag na no wrong door policy. Ibig sabihin, kung ikaw ay nagpunta sa Davao at ikaw ay puwede nang bakunahan, puwede ka bakunahan doon kahit hindi ka taga-Davao,” Health Undersecretary Mari Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.

“Hindi po natin sinasara ang ating mga pinto sa mga bakunahan dahil hindi ka taga doon na lugar,” she added.

The health official, however, stressed that the vaccination should be done through appointments and that walk-ins should be discouraged as this tends to result in crowding.

The DOH previously said that local government units may open separate walk-in lanes in their COVID-19 vaccination centers as walk-ins may be used as substitutes for those who are scheduled for inoculation but do no show up on a certain date.

The agency, however, said that the number of walk-ins that would be accommodated per day in jab sites should be limited.

The DOH earlier urged the public to pre-register for the vaccination and get inoculated when it’s their turn.

DOH says surge in COVID-19 cases in Visayas, Mindanao due to ‘multitude of factors’

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The rise in COVID-19 cases in the Visayas and Mindanao areas could be attributed to a “multitude of factors,” the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have noted some factors that have contributed to the spike in infections in the Visayas and Mindanao areas, including the complacency in enforcing and observing health protocols.

The DOH also observed the clustering of infections in workplaces and prisons in the said areas.

“Lagi po nating sinasabi na pag may tumataas po na kaso sa bawat lugar, we need to look at a multitude of factors because we know that there are these different factors which causes the transmission of the virus,” Vergeire said.

“Meron tayong pang-indibidwal at pang-komunidad na pagpapatupad po natin ng minimum health protocols at ‘pag tiningnan natin there are reports already coming to us from our different regional epidemiological and surveillance units na talagang mukhang nagkaroon ng complacency sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols,” she added.

Vergeire said the presence of coronavirus variants in some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao may also have contributed to the surge.

“Totoo po na meron na tayong na-detect na variants sa iba’t ibang lugar dito sa Visayas and Mindanao and these can also be drivers of the infection but let us not just rely or let us not just say that it’s just because of the variants, there are a multitude of factors,” she said.

“Kailangan po kapag tayo ay tumitingin sa response natin, it’s a continuum. So we will need to address, not just the variants, but also the other forms of response that we are having,” she added.

Data from the DOH showed that active COVID-19 cases in the Visayas stood at 13,313, and 14,426 in Mindanao as of June 20.

The DOH reiterated its call to the public to continue adhering to health protocols mandated by the government to help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.

DOH: Over 2.1 million persons in PH now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 2,153,942 people have completed their COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday.

Based on the vaccine statistics released by the government, a total of 8,407,342 doses have already been administered in the country as of June 20. Of this figure, 6,253,400 have received their first dose.

The agency said that in the A1 or first priority group, a total of 1,569,561 have received their first shot while 1,067,630 have completed 2 doses.

In the A2 or the second priority group, a total of 2,001,758 were given the first dose. On the other hand, 553,527 received their second dose.

In the A3 sector, 2,088,000 received their first jab while 524,699 were fully vaccinated.

In the A4 group, 526,896 got their first jab and 8,086 received their second dose.

Around 67,185 persons under the A5 group were given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The DOH also said that the total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the 16th week of the national vaccination reached a record high of 1,461,666 doses.

It also noted that the average daily administered doses in the last seven days were 208,809.

“The government is urging eligible populations belonging to priority groups A1 to A5 to register with their local government units, get vaccinated, and complete the required number of doses as scheduled,” the DOH said.

“Regardless of vaccination status, everyone is urged to continue practicing the minimum public health standards as you may still get infected with COVID-19 and infect other people,” it added.

The national government is eyeing to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to attain population protection against COVID-19.

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