‘Slow start’: DSWD says only 8% of P22.9 billion ECQ aid distributed in NCR Plus

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2021   •   443

MANILA, Philippines – Only eight percent, or equivalent to more than P1 billion, of the fund allotted for government assistance has been distributed to low-income families affected by the 2-week enhanced community quarantine previously imposed in the NCR Plus areas, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People briefing on Monday night, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said that P1.7 billion of the total P22.9 billion government assistance aid has been disbursed to beneficiaries.

Citing data from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) covering the payouts from April 7 to 9, Bautista said around 1.7 million beneficiaries in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have already received their aid.

The government earlier said that each beneficiary will receive P1,000 or a maximum of P4,000 per family.

Bautista admitted that the rollout of the assistance was off to a “slow start” but assured that the process will speed up in the next few days.

“Makikita po natin dito na talagang may slow start but as experienced last year, na talagang start po talagang mabagal, after four to five days doon na po nag-start ng pag-distribute ng special assistance,” he said.

The DSWD chief also reported to Duterte that a joint monitoring and inspection committee has been set up for every local government to ensure that the aid is properly distributed.

Grievance committees were also created where recipients can raise their concerns on government assistance.

Metro Manila and four nearby provinces – called NCR Plus – were placed under ECQ from March 29 to April 11 in a bid to slow down the COVID-19 spread.

The said areas were reverted back to modified ECQ starting April 12 until April 30.

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Mga mahuhuling lumabag sa curfew, bawal saktan o ipahiya – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Muling pinaalalahanan ng pamunuan ng Philippine National Police (PNP) ang mga tauhan nito na hindi dapat saktan o ipahiya ang mga mahuhuling lumalabag sa curfew hours.

Ginawa ng PNP ang paalala ilang araw bago isailalim sa enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) ang Metro Manila upang mapigilan ang lubha pang pagdami ng mga kaso ng COVID-19.

Ang ECQ sa Metro Manila ay magsisimula sa Agosto 6 hanggang Agosto 20.

Sa panahong ito, tanging essential o mahahalagang biyahe at serbisyo lang ang papayagan. Pawang authorized persons outside of residence lang din ang maaaring makalusot sa border checkpoints.

Mas mahaba rin ang curfew sa ilalim ng ECQ dahil gagawin na itong alas-8 ng gabi hanggang alas-4 ng madaling araw mula sa dating alas-12 ng hatinggabi hanggang alas-4 ng madaling araw.

Ayon kay Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, ang commander ng Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield, dapat pagsasabihan lang sa unang paglabag ang mga mahuhuli ng mga otoridad.

“Sila po initially ay pagsasabihan at base sa instruction ni Chief PNP ay we will treat them humanely,“ ani Dickson.

“Kung pasaway pa rin sila ay dadalhin po sila sa mga dedicated areas na safe naman ang spaces na hindi nakakahawa or hindi rin sila mahahawa para maimbestigahan,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, nilinaw naman ni PNP Spokesperson BGen. Ronaldo Olay na nakabase sa umiiral na ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ang magiging multa sa mga paulit-ulit nang lumalabag sa curfew hours.

“Respect human rights, be courteous… Huwag silang parusahan, ‘wag silang pahiyain. Kung meron silang minor infractions bagkus ay pwede silang bigyan ng warning sa mga first time violators,” ani Olay.

“Sa mga second tine violators ay bigyan sila ng fine o multa, at yung pangatlo ay pwede community service at depende yan sa umiiral na ordinansa sa mga jurisdiction,” dagdag pa niya.

Una nang humingi ng kooperasyon sa publiko si PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar sa pagpapatupad ng curfew hours sa Metro Manila dahil isa sa layunin nito na mapigilan ang mass gathering sa mga komunidad at mapigil ang lalo pang pagtaas ng mga kaso ng COVID-19.

DOTr imposes stricter protocols in transportation in areas under ECQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation will impose stricter health protocols in public utility vehicles (PUVs) in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said only authorized persons outside residence (APORs) as identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will be accommodated by public transport services.

The department already retained the current public transport supply and capacity of 50% for areas under ECQ.

“APORs are reminded to be ready to present to transport marshals identification cards issued by the IATF or other documents or IDs as proof that they are authorized to travel,” Tugade said.

During the ECQ, public and private vehicles shall strictly observe the prescribed physical distancing and sanitary measures at all times.

For PUVs, such as buses and jeepneys are allowed to operate at 50% capacity on a “one-seat-apart” setup. Standing passengers will not be allowed, and only one passenger will be allowed at the driver’s row.

For tricycles, operations will depend on the approval of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the local government. If operations are allowed, tricycle passenger load shall not exceed one passenger in the sidecar.

All trains of the Philippine National Railways, LRT-1, LRT-2, and the MRT-3 will have transport marshals to enforce health protocols and to identify APORs. Trains will also be disinfected after every loop. Passengers showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board trains. Temperature checks will be done at station entrances.

Marshals would be strictly enforcing the seven commandments of public transport safety at the transport stations and terminals, and inside public transport vehicles.

The 7 Commandments for Public Transport, based on the recommendations of health experts, are:

1. Wear masks and face shields;
2. No talking and making phone calls;
3. No eating;
4. Keep public utility vehicles well-ventilated;
5. Conduct frequent disinfection;
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside public transportation; and
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing (“one-seat-apart”) rule

“We, therefore, remind the riding public of the importance of stringently observing the Public Transport Health Protocols, based on the recommendations of health experts, to protect and uphold the overall welfare of the passengers, and other transport stakeholders,” Tugade said. AAC

PPA to provide free snacks for vaccinated passengers at port terminals

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will provide free snacks to vaccinated passengers at port terminals.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade issued the directive to support the government’s anti-pandemic efforts and promote vaccination against COVID-19.

In a memorandum released on Tuesday (August 3), PPA General Manager Jay Santiago ordered all port managers to prepare free snacks at all PPA port terminals from August 3 to August 20. It will cover passengers who have received the required number of COVID-19 doses or partial doses.

“In support of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, and in consonance with the mandate of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to keep its ports safe, you are directed to make available free light snacks for all vaccinated passengers passing through terminals under your area of responsibility,” Santiago said.

The PPA memorandum was issued after Secretary Tugade ordered the Light Rail Transit 2 (LRT-2), Manila Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) and Philippine National Railways (PNR) to also provide free rides to vaccinated commuters and authorized persons outside the residence (APORs) starting August 3 until 20 August 2021. AAC



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