Proseso sa pamamahagi ng SAP 2nd tranche, isinasapinal pa ng IATF – DSWD

Robie de Guzman   •   May 26, 2020   •   1209

MANILA, Philippines – Inaasahang magpupulong ngayong linggo ang Technical Working Group ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) upang isapinal ang mga proseso sa pamamahagi ng ikalawang bugso ng cash aid sa ilalim ng social amelioration program (SAP) ng pamahalaan.

Ayon kay Department of Social Welfare Undersecretary Rene Paje, pinag-aaralang maigi ng IATF ang mga paraan upang mapabilis ang distribusyon ng ayuda lalo’t nadagdagan pa ng limang milyong pamilya ang mga benepisyaryo nito.

Labing-walong milyong low-income households ang inisyal na target beneficiaries ng programa ngunit dinagdagan ito matapos umapela ng tulong ang maraming mahihirap na pamilya na hindi sakop ng programa ngunit kuwalipikado sa inilatag na guidelines.

Sinabi rin ni Paje na target nilang simulan ang second tranche ng programa bago matapos ang buwan ng Mayo ngunit hindi pa tiyak kung anong petsa ito maisasagawa dahil naka-depende ito sa galaw ng local government units (LGU), partikular na sa pagsasagawa ng first tranche payout at pagsusumite ng liquidation report nito sa DSWD.

Sa huling tala ng ahensya, nasa 1,479 LGUs na sa bansa ang nakakumpleto ng pay-out sa kanilang mga benepisyaryo ngunit 44% lamang sa mga ito ang nakapagpasa ng liquidation report, na siya namang idadaan sa validation process ng DSWD.

“‘Yan po ay pina-facilitate natin sapagkat kung maari sana magawang buo, yung nationwide yung ating pagsasubmit ng beneficiaries na encoded na SAP forms sapagkat ito po dapat i-validate natin,” ani Paje.

“‘Yun po ang nasa memorandum circular at nasa procedure natin… Pero ‘yan po ay masusing pinag-aaralan ng DSWD upang mas mabilis natin at mapaaga ang distribution ng 2nd tranche,” dagdag pa niya.

Sinabi rin ni Paje na isinusulong ng DSWD na dapat mabigyang-prayoridad sa distribusyon ng SAP second tranche ang waitlisted o ‘yung mga kwalipikadong benepisyaryo ng programa ngunit hindi nakatanggap sa unang bugso ng ayuda.

 “Ang proposal po ay dapat makatanggap din sapagkat ang katumbas ng tatanggapin nila ngayon ay ‘yung first tranche, at kung sila po ay nanatili pa rin sa ECQ area, dapat makatangap sila ng para sa second tranche,” sabi ng opisyal.

Ayon kay Paje, kabilang sa mga paraang pinag-aaralan upang mapabilis ang SAP cash aid distribution ay ang paggamit ng digital payment scheme at mobile app na “Relief Agad.”

Ngunit para sa mga walang smartphones, papayagan pa rin naman aniya ang “big venue payout” o pagtitipon sa isang venue para ipamahagi ang SAP cash aid basta’t magpapatupad ng health at safety protocols.

Ayon naman sa tagapagsalita ng DSWD na si Irene Dumlao, kakatulungin nila ang pulisya at militar sa pamamahagi ng ayuda upang matiyak ang kaayusan.

Nanawagan rin siya ng pang-unawa sa publiko, lalo na ang mga higit na naapektuhan ng COVID-19 crisis.

“Tayo ay humihingi ng pang-unawa sa ating mga kababayan na naapektuhan ng krisis at naghihintay po ng tulong o ayuda mula sa ating pamahalaan,” ani Dumlao.
 
“Sinisikap po natin na bumuo ng mga polisiya o mga panuntunan that will ensure the distribution of aid in an expeditious and effective manner,” dagdag pa niya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

IATF approves uniform travel protocols for LGUs

Maris Federez   •   February 27, 2021

A security officer (C) with a trained dog inspects passenger luggage at a provincial bus terminal in Quezon City, Philippines, 29 October 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the uniform travel protocols for all local government units (LGUs).

An advisory released on Saturday (February 27) by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) crafted these uniform travel protocols for land, air and sea.

It is in close coordination with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, League of Provinces of the Philippines, League of Municipalities of the Philippines, and the League of Cities of the Philippines.

The uniform protocol provides that “travelers shall no longer be required to undergo COVID-19 testing except if the local government unit (LGU) of destination will make testing as a requirement prior to travel. Testing will be limited to RT-PCR test.”

“Travelers shall no longer undergo quarantine unless they exhibit symptoms upon arrival at the LGU of destination,” the advisory further read.

Minimum public health standards, such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and wearing of face masks and face shields across all settings shall continue to be strictly implemented by authorities concerned.

Ports of entry and exit personnel shall strictly implement clinical and exposure assessment as health assessment of passengers shall also be mandatory upon entry in the port/terminal and exit at point of destination.

Meanwhile, the travel authority issued by the Joint Task Force COVID Shield and health certificates shall no longer be required.

However, authorized persons outside of residence (APORS) from national government agencies and their attached agencies must provide their identification card, travel order, and travel itinerary. They must likewise pass symptom-screening at the ports of entry and exit.

The PCOO media release further read that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)’s Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage (S-PaSS) Travel Management System will now be institutionalized as the one-stop-shop application/ communication for travelers.

“The StaySafe.ph System shall be utilized as the primary contact tracing system. Other existing contact tracing applications, such as Traze App, must be integrated with the StaySafe.ph System,” it added.

Ports and terminals must have sufficient quarantine or isolation facilities, as well as a workable referral system wherein symptomatic travelers shall be immediately transferred to quarantine or isolation facilities to enable the Bureau of Quarantine for airports, or local health officials for LGUs, to take over.

All buses in Metro Manila bound for the provinces, on the other hand, shall be required to use the Integrated Terminal Exchange as the central hub for transportation.

“At the option of the LGUs, they may provide transportation for all travelers who are transiting from one LGU to another in cases of arrivals at air and seaports to their end-point destinations,” the IATF said.

The DILG, the DOST, the Department of Health, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Transportation, and the Philippine National Police, as well as the LGUs, shall jointly ensure that these protocols are smoothly implemented.

IATF OKs use of Sinovac COVID-19 vax for healthcare workers

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has agreed with the recommendation of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) to use Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare workers, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said NITAG experts have concluded that the vaccine will be beneficial and is sufficient to be used for healthcare workers despite its lower efficacy rate of 50.4% for those frequently exposed to COVID-19 patients.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on Monday, issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Sinovac but did not recommend its use for health workers caring for COVID-19 patients due to its lower efficacy rate based on clinical trials conducted in Brazil.

Vergeire stressed that the FDA’s recommendation on Sinovac was not a contraindication and that this does not prohibit healthcare workers from getting the Sinovac jab.

“Ultimately, the EUA of FDA establishes the safety and efficacy of Sinovac and our experts have ruled that SINOVAC’s 100% efficacy rate in preventing moderate and severe cases is indeed sufficient to meet the goal of reducing deaths — protections which we want to afford first and foremost to our healthcare workers,” she said.

Experts from NITAG also emphasized that the vaccine is safe and that they themselves are prepared to receive a shot.

“In our deliberations what we looked at it is safety to ensure the vaccine is safe that has been borne out by the review of the trials,” Dr. Marissa Alejandira, DOH-TAG member, said.

“As for myself, as a healthcare worker who sees COVID-19 patients, I am willing to take this vaccine,” Dr. Edsel Salvana, also a DOH TAG member, said.

They, however, stressed that medical frontliners will not be forced to take the shot and that they will not lose their priority status if they chose to decline the Sinovac vaccine shot.

The DOH said it is now finalizing details on how to allocate the 600,000 Sinovac vaccine doses expected to arrive on Sunday, February 28. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

DSWD assures assistance to bereaved family of staff who was found dead in Bulacan

Freema Gloria   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has extended its condolences to the family of its employee who went missing and was later found dead in Bulacan.

The agency assured the bereaved family of necessary assistance to cope with their situation.

Justine Charles Accad, an employee of the DSWD-Field Office National Capital Region, went missing on February 19 and was found dead two days later, his body stuffed inside a sack and abandoned in a grassy lot in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

The department is currently coordinating with the proper authorities for the investigation of the case, allaying fears of agency personnel —especially disbursing officers — that it continues to put a premium on their safety and interest.

The DSWD said, it recognizes the efforts of field workers to deliver the necessary assistance to program beneficiaries despite threats to their health and safety and vows to provide more protection for their employees to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Meanwhile, the field office has processed the burial and financial assistance for the family, as well as the transportation assistance for the mother of Accad who will be travelling from Zamboanga City to Manila.

The department has promised to continue providing assistance to Accad’s family as they go through this difficult period.

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