Supply ng COVID-19 vaccine sa Metro Manila LGUs, paubos na

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021   •   153

MANILA, Philippines – Paubos na ang supply ng bakuna kontra COVID-19 sa ilang lokal na pamahalaan sa Metro Manila.

Ayon sa mga alkalde, kinukulang na ang supply ng kanilang bakuna sa dami ng mga nagpaparehistro para makatanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine.

Sa Quezon City, hanggang sabado na lang ang schedule ng pagbabakuna sa mga indibidwal na maaaring tumanggap ng unang dose.

Sa mahigit 300,000 nagparehistro, mahigit sa 100,000 pa lang ang nababakunahan.

Ayon kay Joseph Juico, ang pinuno ng Quezon City Task Force on COVID-19, kakaunti na lang ang natitira nilang COVID-19 vaccine at hihintayin pa nila kung kailan ulit sila mabibigyan ng national government.

“As to the exact delivery of the vaccines, just like the national government, we are still waiting for the exact time and date,” ang wika ni Juico.

Sa lungsod naman ng Maynila, nasa 2,500 Sinovac vaccines na lang ang kanilang ginagamit ngayon. Sa 300,000 nagparehistro para sa vaccination, nasa 72,000 pa lang ang natuturukan.

Ang Malabon City naman ay mayroon pang nasa 6,000 vaccine doses ngunit kulang na ito para sa mahigit 13,000 pang kailangang mabigyan ng bakuna.

Ang lokal na pamahalaan naman ng Marikina, sa Lunes na inaasahang mauubos ang hawak nilang mga bakuna. Nasa 30 porsiyento pa lang din sa mga nagparehistro online ang natuturukan.

“Paunti-unti ang dating ng bakuna. Tulad ngayon, may dumating na bakuna. Pwede nating magamit hanggang Lunes para sa isang libong indibiduwal lamang. Kulang na. Kulang na. Kulang na talaga,” ang wika ni Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.

Una nang sinabi ng national government na ngayong buwan inaasahang darating sa bansa ang karagdagang supply ng bakuna.

Nagkakaroon umano ng delay sa delivery ng mga bakuna dahil sa isyu sa produksyon nito at pagkakaroon ng supply shortage sa ibang bansa. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Philippine GDP declines by 4.2% in first quarter of 2021 – PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine economy shrank by more than expected in the first quarter of the year, according to government data released on Tuesday, as prolonged community quarantines due to the pandemic hamper reopening efforts.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell -4.2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

This is the fifth consecutive quarter that the country has posted negative GDP growth due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The PSA said the main contributors to the decline were Construction (-24.2 percent), other Services, (-38.0 percent); and Real Estate and Ownership of Dwellings (-13.2 percent).

Among the major economic sectors, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AFF) declined by -1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Likewise, Services and Industry contracted by -4.4 percent and -4.7 percent, respectively during the period, the PSA noted.

“On the demand side, Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) declined by -4.8 percent, along with the following items: Gross Capital Formation (GCF), -18.3 percent; Exports, -9.0 percent; and Imports, -8.3 percent,” the agency said.

The net primary income (NPI) from the rest of the world continued to decline by -75.8 percent, bringing the Gross National Income (GNI) to drop by -10.9 percent during the period, it added.

On the other hand, the PSA said that government final consumption expenditure (GFCE) grew by 16.1 percent in the first quarter of 2021.

Contributors to growth were led by financial and insurance activities (5.2 percent), public administration and defense, compulsory social activities (7.5 percent), and human health and social work activities (11.7 percent).

Other industries that managed to grow during the period were information and communication, 6.3 percent; manufacturing, 0.5 percent; and electricity, steam, water, and waste management, 1.9 percent, the PSA said.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said the aversion to risk for most of 2020 has placed the country in a long period of quarantine, and that this came at a huge cost to the economy and the people.

It, however, observed some improvements as the rate of contraction has slowed, and that the country has time to catch up with on its growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent despite the pandemic-induced quarantine restrictions.

Duterte: I asked Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping for help on COVID-19 vaccines but no talks on WPS

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday disclosed that he asked help from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines but insisted that they did not discuss issues on the West Philippine Sea.

During his Talk to the People public address on Monday night, Duterte recalled how he called Xi when the Philippines had yet to get any supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Let me just also say na itong history na… for public consumption na ito. Tumawag ako kay President Xi Jinping, sinabi ko kasi noong kasagsagan ng walang dumating talaga, walang makapkap si Secretary (Carlito) Galvez (Jr.), tumawag ako, sabi ko, ‘Mr. President (Xi), I would like to ask for your help until now Philippines is at a loss on how to get vaccines,’” he said.

“Sabi niya, ‘it’s okay we will help you.’ Ganoon lang. Hindi naman sinabi na kalimutan mo yung Scarborough Shoal, bigyan kita… Sinabi niya lang as simple as that,” he added.

The Philippines first received 600,000 doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines that were donated by the Chinese government on February 28. The national government used this supply to roll out its vaccination program on March 1.

In total, the Philippines has received 1 million donated Sinovac vaccine doses from China, including the 400,000 doses that were delivered in March.

Duterte stood by his earlier statement that the Philippines owes a debt of gratitude to China for all its help but emphasized that there would be no compromise on the West Philippine Sea issue.

“It’s never, never wrong to say that I owe you a debt of gratitude. Totoo eh, binigyan tayo, tinanggap natin, ginamit natin,” he said.

“But it does not mean na tanggapin ko ang bakuna tapos sabihin ko kalimutan ko na yung claim diyan sa West Philippine sea, okay na yun dahil sa bakuna… It was never like that, the world does not operate like that,” he added.

He said there would be no compromise on the issue and that China knows it.

“Maski bahain tayo dito ng vaccine, gagamitin ko pa rin pero sabihin ko ‘hindi ito kabayaran’. Iba ito. This is a Philippine national interest, this is not a health issue that nagpasalamat ako,” he said.

Correction:
An earlier version of this article misstated that “they did discuss issues.” 

Manila distributes 4th tranche of food box assistance under COVID-19 Food Security Program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Local Government Unit (LGU) has begun the distribution of the fourth tranche of food box assistance under the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Food Security Program (FSP).

The distribution, through the joint efforts of the city’s Department of Public Services, Department of Engineering and Public Works, and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, began on May 8.

The target beneficiaries are about 700,000 families living in Manila. As of May 9 at 5:00 p.m., 139,000 food boxes have already been distributed to 122 barangays in District 1.

Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said the program aims to ease the public’s economic burden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ito ay iyong pinasa naming batas, sa tulong ni Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna at mga konsehal noong Disyembre, upang ibsan ang inyong mga tustusin buwan-buwan at para lumaki naman ang inyong savings. Dahil sa epekto ng inflation or hirap ng buhay ng tao, nagmamahal ang produkto, hindi naman tumataas ang sweldo (This is the law we enacted with the help of Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and the councilors in December to ease the monthly expenses and for families to increase their savings. Due to inflation or life’s difficulties, price of commodities increase but the salary is still the same),” he said.

Around P3-billion have already been allocated since the implementation of the FSP in February, wherein three kilos of rice, 16 pieces of canned goods, and eight sachets of coffee will be packed and distributed to Manila residents. The program will continue until July this year. AAC

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