Robredo has always been willing to help in Duterte’s drug war — OVP spokesman

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 2, 2019   •   495

Vice President Leni Robredo has always been open to helping the Duterte administration in its war against illegal drugs, according to the Office of the Vice President (OVP) Spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez.

In a statement, Gutierrez said that as early as 2016, Robredo had engaged with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other agencies to suggest ways to improve the country’s anti-drug campaign.

“Her inputs were not acted on, and the admin excluded her from further discussions soon after,” he said.

Gutierrez also said, President Rodrigo Duterte should just talk to the vice president properly if he is seeking assistance with curbing the illegal drug problem in the country.

“Kung humihingi na ng saklolo ang Pangulo sa usapin ng ‘drug war’, daanin lang sana sa maayos na usapan—hindi sa text, hindi sa palabas sa media, (If the president is asking for help with the “drug war” he should do so through proper discussion—not through text or media),”he added.

The OVP spokesperson reiterated that what the vice president will not stand for is being made a “scapegoat” for all the alleged shortcomings of the administrations’ drug war.—AAC

OVP to provide free shuttle service for Cebu City frontliners

Maris Federez   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Vice President (OVP) will be providing free shuttle service for frontliners and healthcare workers in Cebu City, a statement released on Sunday (July 5) said.

The statement read that the OVP Free Shuttle Service for Cebu health workers and frontliners will start Monday, July 6, as part of #BayanihanSugbuanon — the Vice President’s COVID-19 Response Operations in Cebu.

“Our pilot run will have initial three routes, with two trips each for morning and afternoon. Kindly refer to the individual cards for the full schedule for AM, AM reverse, PM, and PM reverse trips,” the statement further read.

“We are grateful to our partners, UBE Express, Seaoil, and Genergex Petroleum, whose support made this initiative possible,” it added.

The schedules and routes may be subject to adjustments, based on the needs that will be seen during the pilot run.  

Meanwhile, the OVP and its partners will also start opening free dormitories for Cebu frontliners.

The first dormitory is located at Brgy. Banilad, Cebu City, near the North General Hospital. 

The statement said that the dorm is open for health workers, medical practitioners, and other frontliners involved in offering essential services amid the COVID-19 crisis on a first come, first served basis. —/mbmf

OVP purchases P14-M worth of COVID-19 test kits developed by UP scientists

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 24, 2020

The office of Vice President (OVP) Leni Robredo has purchased P14 million worth of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test kits developed by the scientists from the University of the Philippines (UP).

In a statement, the OVP said the test kits will be delivered to hospitals certified as laboratories for COVID-19 testing. These include San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, V. Luna Hospital, and Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory.

The testing kits will help in conducting a total of 10,000 tests.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) previously said the UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and Philippine Genome Center aim to increase test kit production as well as increase COVID-19 testing capacity per day.

“With the deployment of the test kits, UP-NIH will increase its capacity to run more tests per day, as each unit of the GENAMPLIFY™ COVID-19 test kit can run 25 tests at once and provide results within two hours,” the DOST said in the statement.

Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center Dr. Raul Destura said there is 8,000 to 10,000 tests produced daily and they aim to increase it by 16,000 tests per day by May 1. AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Palace: No decision yet on extension of Luzon-wide ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide on whether to continue or modify the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine which will lapse on April 30.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said despite Monday’s discussions with health experts, congressional leaders and members of the Cabinet on the current state of the country in light of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the President did not give any final decision on the matter.

Roque said none of them recommended a total lockdown nor total lifting of the ECQ.

Ang opsyon na lumabas kahapon, ipagpatuloy o hindi naman kaya i-relax, hindi naman kaya completely itigil ang ECQ sa iba’t ibang lugar ng bansa. Depende sa dami ng kaso ng COVID-19,” explained Roque.

[Among the options that were raised yesterday were either to continue, to relax or to completely lift ECQ in different parts of the country. It will depend on the number of COVID-19 cases.]

Among the personalities who attended the meeting in Malacañang were former Health Secretaries Dr. Esperanza Cabral and Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan together with public health experts Dr. Susan Mercado, Dr. Antony Leachon, and Dr. Mahar Lagmay, among others.

In the Philippines, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Metro Manila and in nearby areas like Bulacan, Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON).

Metro cities like Cebu and Davao were also affected.

These major cities are also the country’s center of commerce and transportation, according.

Roque said the President is likely to decide once he received the complete recommendations of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in collaboration with public health experts, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with the Luzon-wide ECQ. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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