QC gov’t installs CCTV cameras to help monitor physical distancing in markets

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2020   •   587

The local government of Quezon City on Tuesday said it is installing nine closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in several public markets in the city to ensure the safety of customers and to monitor if physical distancing rules against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are strictly observed.

Beginning Tuesday, April 21, the CCTVs will be put up in the following areas:

  • Commonwealth Avenue fronting Commonwealth Market (southbound)
  • Commonwealth Avenue corner IBP road and Litex
  • Quirino Highway corner Gen Luis St. and Susano Road,
  • Quirino Highway corner Ramirez St., Novaliches
  • Quirino Highway corner Don Julio Gregorio St in Brgy. Bagbag,
  • Samson Road-Balintawak
  • EDSA-Balintawak
  • EDSA corner Ermin Garcia St., Cubao
  • Tandang Sora corner Visayas Ave.

The QC government said the high precision CCTV cameras will be integrated into the QC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) command center.

Once running, these will have the capacity to monitor three neighboring markets simultaneously.

The CCTVs will monitor Commonwealth Market, Datu Tahil Market, Gatmaitan Market, and Litex Market; in the Novaliches area, these shall cover the following markets: Susano Market, Nova Plaza Market, Novaliches Market, Susano Arcade, Francisco Talipapa, and Bagbag Market.

Also covered by CCTVs are the Balintawak area: Cloverleaf Market, Riverview 1, Riverview 2, Pilson, MC Market, and North Diversion Market; Cubao area: Q-Mart market; and Tandang Sora area: Tandang Sora Bayan Palengke, Visayas Market, and Tandang Sora Livelihood Coop.

“The CCTV cameras would serve as an extra set of eyes for our authorities on the ground as they strictly implement social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” Mayor Joy Belmonte Belmonte said in a statement.

“It is important that we ensure that social distancing is properly implemented as we enter the crucial part of the enhanced community quarantine,” she added.

The wireless CCTV cameras are capable of 360-degree view, zoom-in and out and can be viewed by authorized personnel through mobile phone.

Aside from monitoring, the city government said the cameras will also give another layer of protection for shoppers against unscrupulous individuals who might take advantage of the situation.

Quezon City mayor cancels city hall parties, to donate funds

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2020

Parties for all offices under the Quezon City government during the holidays will no longer be held this year amid the continuing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Tuesday.

A statement released on Tuesday said Belmonte has issued a memorandum directing all offices under the city hall to cancel parties scheduled in December and instead ordered them to donate the funds to underprivileged groups.

“The money that would have been spent on office Christmas parties would do more good as donations to the underprivileged during this extraordinarily difficult time in our nation’s history,” Belmonte said in a statement.

The local chief executive stressed that “it would be inappropriate for offices of the city government to hold customary Christmas parties while many of its citizens are experiencing hardships due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Instead of holding parties, she urged city hall employees to adopt an underprivileged sector— such as the urban poor, displaced workers, jeepney drivers, street vendors, indigent children, and poor senior citizens— and to modestly celebrate the season in their homes.

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Batanes records first COVID-19 case

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The province of Batanes on Tuesday said it has recorded its first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since the start of the pandemic early this year.

According to Batanes Governor Marilou Cayco, the province reported its first COVID-19 case after a 29-year old resident who returned on Sept. 22 tested positive for the virus.

He has a travel history in Santa Rosa, Laguna. He returned to the province on board a Philippine Air Force plane with 18 others.

Cayco said the patient is asymptomatic and currently under isolation and monitoring of the provincial COVID-19 task force.

She added that all 18 individuals who had close contact with the patient have been subjected to swab test and are now strictly being monitored.

Batanes is currently under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) but the local government will recommend to place the province under a two-week GCQ to curb the spread of coronavirus disease.

Cayco said outpost checkpoints will also be set up in all municipalities to monitor and limit the movement of people.

Airport operations and commercial flights to and from the province will also be suspended.

“Medivac lang ang pwedeng pumunta dito in some emergency cases. Pero yung commercial flights pina-stop muna namin,” she said.

The local government reminds residents to follow health protocols such as the wearing of face masks and face shields and observe physical distancing. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dan Gersalia)

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DOH allows private companies to implement lockdown

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 29, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) will allow private companies to implement lockdown in their offices or health care facilities to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) exposure.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said aside from the minimum health protocols, private companies should also consider the mental health of their employees if they will implement a lockdown.

For example may mga ibang ospital (For example, there are hospitals) that would rather have their employees stay with them, they have their dormitory. Wala munang uuwi dito muna kasi kapag umuwi kayo sa community you go back at nadadala niyo ang mga impeksyon dito (No one will go home yet because, once you go home to your community and you come back, you might bring the infection here), she said.

According to the Health Department, the duration of the lockdown will depend on the agreement between the company and its employees. She also reminded employees that they can also decline being put into lockdown.

Hindi naman dapat pumayag din ang isang employee kung iyan ay labag sa kaniya. Mayroon naman silang ganoong karapatan kailangan lang po na naipapaliwang ng maayos (Employees don’t need to agree if they don’t want to. They have the right to do so. Things must be explained properly),Vergeire added.

The health official also reminded private companies to make sure that their employees understand the reason behind the lockdown, taking into account the difficulty of being away from their families especially during the pandemic.

Vergeire also said employees should also be able to talk to experts with regards to their mental health.

“It is okay not to be okay especially at this time during our situation in the pandemic. Okay lang po iyan lahat tayo nakakaramdam ng ganiyan (That’s okay, we all feel that). We just have to have that coping mechanism,” she said. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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