Trump signs immigration order curbing green cards

UNTV News   •   April 23, 2020   •   316

United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday (April 22) signed an order to temporarily block some foreigners from permanent residence in the United States, saying he was doing so in order to protect American workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The order is to last for 60 days and then will be reviewed and possibly extended. Some critics saw Republican Trump’s announcement as a move to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis to implement a long-sought policy goal of barring more immigrants ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

“In order to protect our great American workers I have just signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States. This will ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens,” Trump said at his daily news conference about the coronavirus at the White House.

He also said it will “preserve our healthcare resources for American patients” afflicted by the coronavirus.

White House lawyers worked all day to craft the language for the order, prompting some officials to say the signing might have to wait for Thursday. But aides described Trump as eager to sign the document.

Trump won the White House in 2016 in part on a promise to crack down on immigration and has made the issue central to his presidency. But many of his major moves trying to curb immigration have been challenged in court and legal experts said this executive order could also face lawsuits.

One U.S. Department of Homeland Security official who requested anonymity said the order would only apply to people applying for permanent residence from outside the United States, not those already in the country seeking to adjust their status.

Trump said the order initially would last for 60 days and could be renewed for the same period or longer, and that a second immigration-focused order was under consideration. (Reuters)

(Production: Njuwa Maina / Katharine Jackson)

Mayor Isko discourages public from visiting Manila Bay Sands area amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday called on the public to refrain from visiting the Manila Bay Sands area amid the continuing threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Domagoso made the appeal after incidents of overcrowding during the opening of the Manila Bay Sands over the weekend.

A number of people who wanted to get a peek of the beach during its opening failed to observe physical distancing and many were seen not wearing face mask and face shield.

While understanding the excitement of the people for the project, Domagoso said the public should keep in mind that the threat of COVID-19 is still present.

“Alam ko po marami sa inyo nasisiyahan, nagagalak sapagkat ito’y kakaibang pangyayari. ‘Yong imposible naging posible. Ngunit, paalala ko pa rin na meron pang pandemya. Mayroong pa pong pangamba, panganib sa lungsod ng Maynila,” Mayor Isko said.

Moreno said that since the project has yet to be completed, the area will be closed to the public.

He also asked the city police to ramp up the security in the Manila Bay Sands and to stop people from staying or taking photos and videos of the area.

According to Manila Police Station 5 officer-in-charge Lt. Col. Alex Daniel, they have barricaded the entry points and posted at least 20 policemen to guard the area 24/7.

“Sa ngayong kino-close po natin itong lugar kung saan may proyekto po itong sa white sand so katulad kahapon medyo nalabag po sa ngayon iniiwasan po natin sa ngayon na magkaroon ulit ng ganun so may ginagawa po tayong guildelines sa pagbubukas po ulit nitong proyekto na ito para maayos po natin sa mga susunod na araw kung magbubukas po,” Daniel said.

Ermita Police station commander Police Lt. Col. Ariel Caramoan has been relieved from his post following the local police’s failure to maintain social distancing measures during the event.

Physical distancing is among the health protocols being implemented by authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

US donates hygiene kits, handwashing stations to Manila City gov’t

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government of the United States on Thursday donated hygiene kits and handwashing stations to the city government of Manila in support of the Philippine capital’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, US Ambassador Sung Kim said he visited the Delpan Quarantine Facility in Tondo to handover 5,000 hygiene kits and 16 handwashing stations to Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Kim said the hygiene kits could provide additional protection against COVID-19 through the provision of items essential to practicing good personal hygiene.

The kits contain face masks, soap, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, and toothbrushes.

“The U.S. government is a friend, partner, and ally of the Manileños in facing this pandemic. The American people are pleased to support the City of Manila’s efforts to fight COVID-19,” Kim said.

To complement the donation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said it will continue to collaborate with the Manila City Health Office to help ensure that citizens can access quality tuberculosis services during the pandemic as well as to support the rollout of the Department of Health’s “Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE)” strategy to contain the pandemic.

USAID recently donated two ventilators to the Tondo Medical Center as part of the 100 ventilators that the U.S. government handed over last August 28 to the Philippine government.

To date, the U.S. government has donated over P1 billion ($22.6 million) to support the Philippines’ COVID-19 response.

Duterte orders gov’t agencies to produce, distribute free face masks to poor Filipinos

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has directed several government agencies to coordinate and pool their resources for the production and distribution of face masks amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under Memorandum Order No. 49 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and issued Wednesday, Duterte directed the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to lead other government agencies for the initiative.

These agencies include the Department of Health (DOH), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).

Among the tasks of the DTI is to consolidate the efforts of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) as well as cooperatives and community organizations for the production of face masks.

The DTI is also directed to support TESDA in gaining access to production networks and supplier markets for raw materials and finished products.

The DTI will also coordinate with the DOH to determine the minimum, most cost-efficient and good quality specifications to ensure that the face masks are effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

The DBM will help in the procurement of face masks while the DSWD will be tapped to identify beneficiaries and distribute the government-procured masks to financially disadvantaged and persons with disability, as well as those enrolled under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program.

The PMS will monitor the distribution and consolidate a report to be submitted to the president.

Other government agencies and state-run companies were also directed to cooperate and support the program.

“It is imperative to reinforce non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as minimizing face-to-face interaction, wearing of face masks and face shields, and observing social distancing to complement our healthcare facilities and support our health workers in containing the further spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the memorandum read. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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