QC records 66% increase in violence against women and children

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 27, 2021   •   303

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) reported a 66.67% increase in violence against women and children (VAWC) cases and a 21.54% increase in rape cases.

QCPD Director BGen. Antonio Yarra reported an increase in VAWC and rape cases in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period last year.

He also noted that the pandemic played a significant role in the upward trend, as most families are at home.

This was compounded by the financial difficulties experienced by many families, resulting in domestic conflict.

Most of the recorded cases were of physical abuse, with psychological abuse a distant second.

“We have launched a campaign to make women aware of their rights and make them advocates so they will be encouraged to report abuses,” he said.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed concern on the issue and rallied victims or their relatives and friends to report such abuses through the QC Protection Center Hotline 122, or to the barangay and QCPD women’s desk.

She also directed concerned local authorities to closely monitor and act swiftly on calls and reports pertaining to VAWC and other gender-based incidents.

“We cannot let any QCitizen suffer from gender-based violence in Quezon City especially during the pandemic,” she said.

Belmonte reported that the Quezon City government together with the QCPD are set to launch a unified information management system to facilitate the monitoring and hasten the investigation of VAWC cases. –AAC

Quezon City hires more contact tracers amid rise in NCR COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2022

The Quezon City government on Thursday said it has hired 350 more contact tracers to help combat the surge in COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR).

In a statement, the city government said the additional contact tracers were employed under the emergency employment program of the Public Emergency and Services Office (PESO).

The contact tracers were previously part of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) contact tracers program.

“The additional contact tracers were already part of our contact tracing army until December 31 of last year under contract with the DILG. But since we still need their services, especially during this surge, we hired them under our emergency employment program so as to continue the important task of contact tracing among many other responsibilities borne out of the rapid spread of Covid-19,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Aside from the additional hires, the city government said 360 contact tracers from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) got renewed for an additional 30 days from January 17 to February 19.

QC Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) Head Dr. Rolando Cruz said the city government currently has more than 1,000 contact tracers whose tasks include  the conduct of community case monitoring, data collecting and encoding, validating reported cases, assisting in vaccination and monitoring the implementation of minimum public health standards.

“Contact tracing is one of the key strategies that the city government has employed since the COVID-19 outbreak in order to contain the spread of cases,” Cruz said.

“We were able to reach the ideal ratio of individuals traced per positive patient then, and we are still doing our best to reach the ideal numbers now despite the volume of cases,” he added.

Quezon City to set up online registration for COVID-19 vaccination of minors aged 5-11

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

The Quezon City government announced it will soon open online registration for the vaccination of minors aged 5 to 11 years old.

In a statement, the city government said it has started preparations for its online registration system where parents can sign up their children for vaccination at the time and place of their choice.

The online registration shall be posted on the website of the QCVaxEasy Portal once available.

The move follows the approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be used for 5 to 11-year old children.

Dr. Maria Lourdes Eleria, coordinator of QC Task Force Vax to Normal, said that the city government is also closely working with barangays, and both public and private schools in the city to consolidate a master list of children in the said age group.

“We are now synchronizing the list of children enrolled in our schools and those included in the census of our barangays so we can identify the number of children eligible for this round of pediatric vaccinations,” Eleria said.

However, she clarified that the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) and the Department of Health (DOH) has yet to issue additional guidelines to aid the city towards properly implementing the vaccination program.

“We need to abide by the guidelines of the national government especially concerning issues such as the amount of doses, requirements pertaining to eligible vaccination sites, protocols in administering the vaccines, and other special instructions for the safe implementation of the vaccine program for this younger population,” she said.

In the same statement, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the city government is “anxiously anticipating” this pediatric vaccination roll-out amid high COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Finally our younger children will be given the opportunity to receive the protection they so badly need in order to experience some kind of normalcy in their lives after having been cooped up for so long inside their houses to prevent the risk of infection,” she said.

The national government earlier said that the vaccination against COVID-19 for children aged 5 to 11 may begin in February as they expect more supply of vaccines formulated by Pfizer-BioNTech for this age bracket to arrive in the country in the coming weeks.

 

Quezon City bans processions, other religious events amid COVID-19 spread

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

The Quezon City government on Friday announced the implementation of restrictions on traditional mass gatherings, in anticipation of various festivals that will be celebrated by various barangays in the coming months.

In a statement, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the move seeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Dahil inaasahan na natin ang mga pagtitipon sa mga piyesta, Chinese New Year at iba pang pagdiriwang sa mga susunod na buwan, minabuti na nating kumilos agad upang maiwasan na ang mass gatherings na posibleng pag-ugatan ng pagkalat ng COVID-19,” she said.

Belmonte issued Memorandum No. 02-22, prohibiting activities such as processions, parades, Santacruzan and the like during barangay fiestas, religious festivals and services, the Chinese New Year or other community celebrations.

Other public celebrations involving mass gatherings, including fairs, perya, variety shows, fireworks displays, ati-atihan or other public performances are also banned.

“Public games and contests, such as pageants, singing or band contests, bingo, pabitin, paluan ng palayok, agawan, or tug of war are also prohibited,” Belmonte said, adding that tournaments, group contact sports such as basketball, public buffets and boodle fights are also not allowed.

The mayor also banned public drinking sessions, including drinking outdoors or on sidewalks, group videoke or other celebratory gatherings that violate social distancing, noise pollution or other noise nuisances due to excessive merrymaking and co-mingling of multiple households through large parties or traditional “open door” fiesta celebrations.

The city government only allowed the following activities for full vaccinated individuals, subject to social distancing and other applicable health protocols:

  • modest celebrations conducted within the home and among the immediate household
  • masses and other religious solemnities
  • religious or traditional rituals for purposes of blessing buildings or establishments
  • celebrations conducted primarily for an online audience, with very limited physical attendance.

Belmonte also allowed the conduct of dragon dance or lion dance activities of the Chinese Community, provided they will be held in one designated area only and cordoned off from the general public. Participants must likewise be fully vaccinated.

The City’s Law and Order Cluster, regulatory departments, barangays, and the Quezon City Police District are mandated to enforce the latest guidelines.

 

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