#WalangPasok: Classes, gov’t work in Manila suspended ahead of Undas break

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2019   •   1232

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Manila on Wednesday announced the suspension of classes in all levels in private and public schools, and work in government offices on Oct. 31 ahead of the observance of Undas weekend.

“There is a need to give ample time to travel to and from the different regions nationwide to celebrate with their families,” read an executive order signed by Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

But workers in agencies whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health services are still required to continue operations and services during the long weekend.

“However, the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the Department of Engineering and Public Works, the Department of Public Services, the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, the Manila Health Department, the six City Hospitals, and agencies whose functions involve the delivery of basic and health services, preparedness and/or response to disasters and calamities, and/or the performance of other vital services shall continue operations and render the necessary services,” the order read.

Mayor Isko said the order is effective immediately.

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.

Mayor Isko wants deportation for 2 Chinese behind ‘Manila, province of China’ label

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso called on the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to deport the two Chinese nationals who allegedly operated the business establishment which sells cosmetic products with labels that tag Manila as a province of China.

Domagoso said these Chinese nationals, identified as Shi Zhong Xing and Shi Li Li, were behind the company Elegant Fumes Beauty Products Inc. selling products that showed “misrepresentation” for Manila.

The mayor said tagging Manila as a province of China on their product label is “unacceptable.”

“Dalawang Chinese nationals (ay nag-ooperate ng business establishment). Akin pong gagawin ay susulat sa Bureau of Immigration to deport and declare these two Chinese nationals as undesirable aliens,” Domagoso said during his mayoral address on Thursday.

“Hindi po ito katanggap-tanggap sa akin bilang Pilipino, bilang Manileño. Hindi po natin papayagan ito,” he added.

He further denounced the product’s owners for disrespecting the sovereignty of the Philippines.

“Ang Binondo ay bahagi po ng Maynila at ang Maynila ay bahagi Pilipinas. Ang Maynila ang kapitolyo ng bansa, hindi po ito probinsya ng China; at ni minsan, hindi ito naging bahagi ng Tsina sa anumang lathalain o kasaysayan na naitala sa panahon natin at panahon ng ninuno natin,” he said.

“Hindi natin hahayaan ang mga superpower na yan na parang tayo ay pinipitik-pitik lang tayo sa mata at binabalewala nila ang soberentiya ng ating bansa at dito pa gagawin sa Maynila,” he added.

Aside from misrepresentation, the city government also found that the establishment violated the Consumer Act of the Philippines for selling cosmetic products that are adulterated or mislabeled.

Authorities also found that the business establishment was violating rules and regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as their products do not contain any “batch/lot number” and “name and address of the company or person responsible for placing the product in the market.”

These information are required by the law to appear on the immediate and or outer packaging of a cosmetic product.

He said he has ordered the city’s Bureau of Permits to issue a closure order and revocation of permit to operate against their business establishment in Binondo.

“Hindi ito maliit na bagay dahil ito ay misrepresentation. Misrepresentation meaning you’re selling a product and mali yung information,” he said.

The city government said it will revoke the mayor’s permit of the corporation, adding that the FDA is also set to cancel the license to operate of the company due to various issues.

The local government said four more establishments were ordered closed for selling products bearing the same labels tagging Manila as a “province of China.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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