Two more years for Zamboanga City full recovery from 2013 siege — local officials

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2019   •   1312

REUTERS FILE PHOTO: These members of Philippine Army wait for an opportunity to shoot against the MNLF forces on the ongoing siege in Zamboanga City.

Local officials in Zamboanga City said it will take two years for the full recovery of Zamboanga City after the 2013 siege.

There are still over 1,000 unfinished housing for the victims. Local officials said there was difficulty in getting land which delayed construction.

According to Rodrigo Pagotaisidro, Officer-in-charge, Housing and Land Management Division, full recovery in Zamboanga city would take two more years.

“In the next two years it has to be completed not only the housing construction but also the power, water, the sewer, and the footbridges,” he said.

Among the unfinished projects under the Zamboanga City Road Map include the reconstruction and recovery of the bridge in Barangay Rio Hondo.

“All wooden footbridges needing immediate repair has been recommended for repair or rehabilitation by converting to more permanent and concrete footbridges,” Pagotaisidro adds.

Based on the data of the city government there are 6,341 fully constructed housing, 5,112 were already turned over to the beneficiaries while 1,229 are still under construction.(with reports from Dante Amento)

IATF places Zamboanga City under MECQ, Tacloban City under MGCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government’s task force for COVID-19 response has placed Zamboanga City under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), Malacañang announced Friday.

In an announcement aired over state-run PTV, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the new quarantine classification for Zamboanga City is effective immediately until May 14.

Tacloban City will also shift to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until May 31, he added.

Roque said the quarantine classification for the two areas was approved on Thursday by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) and is contained in the IATF Resolution No. 114.

Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco earlier issued an executive order declaring her city under MECQ starting May 8 due to an “overwhelming” rise in active COVID-19 cases.

Medical frontliners in Zamboanga City call for a ‘time out’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 28, 2021

Medical frontliners in Zamboanga City are calling for a ‘time out’ due to fatigue amid the increasing cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the region.

According to Department of Health (DOH) Region 9 Director Dr. Joshua Brillantes, several medical frontliners are experiencing extreme tiredness and have recommended them to put Zamboanga City under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). This, they said, would give health workers in the city a break.

“We’re already complaining. We’re already asking kung pwede may break tayo kasi nakakaawa din naman ang mga health care workers natin. Personally, kung ako ang tatanungin (if possible, let’s have a break because the state of our health workers has become pitiful. Personally, if you will ask me), I will go for MECQ, he said.

Brillantes also urged private hospitals to increase the bed capacity of COVID-19 patients to 50% from 30%.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco wants to expedite the construction of a 700-bed mega-quarantine facility as an additional facility. The local government is also preparing the Pasonanca Convention Center for this purpose.

From 55 cases on March 22, cases in Zamboanga City have reached 1,357. AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

Local officials upgraded in COVID-19 vaccine priority list but inoculation not just yet – Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   March 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The national government said that it has included local chief executives in its COVID-19 vaccine priority list from B3 category to A-4 which includes governors, mayors, and heads of barangays.

However, Malacañang told these local officials to still wait for their turn and do not interrupt the vaccination line as such would cause the Philippines its COVID vaccine supply.

“Mga mayor, tama na po iyan. Kapag iyan po ay nagpatuloy, 44 million ang doses ng COVAX facility vaccines ang pwedeng mawala sa atin so please we ask for your indulgence,” appealed Presidential Spokesperson

Roque clarified that though local officials have been placed under A4 category in the COVID vaccine priority line, the current mass vaccination is still ongoing among those belonging to the A-1 category.

“Sinabi na po namin na naitaas ang priority ng mga mayor to A4 kasama na po sila ng economic frontliners at mga sundalo,” he said.

“Pero A-1 pa lang po ang pinapabakunahan natin at huwag po kayong mag-cut ng line,” he added.

Roque again defended President Rodrigo Duterte saying the Chief Executive cannot be accused of lapse in command responsibility even when members of his Presidential Security Group (PSG) have been first inoculated in 2020.

“Wala pong application ng command responsibility kung wala po tayong digmaan, yan po ay umiiral lang, yung konsepto ng command responsibility kapag mayroong digmaan dahil mayroon po tayong batas na umiiral,” Roque noted.

Last year, some members of the PSG received COVID vaccination using the unauthorized vaccine Sinopharm.

But in February, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the Chinese vaccine company Sinopharm a compassionate special permit for the use of the PSG. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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