Duterte to give additional cash rewards to PH Olympians

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2021   •   346

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to grant additional cash incentives to Filipino athletes who successfully clinched medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Duterte made the announcement during the virtual courtesy call of the Philippine Boxing team shortly after their arrival from Japan on Monday.

The Philippine boxing team is composed of Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno. The Filipino boxers brought home three medals in different weight divisions.

Paalam and Petecio both finished with silver medals at the men’s flyweight and women’s featherweight divisions, respectively, while Marcial secured the bronze medal in the men’s middleweight division.

Duterte said Paalam and Petecio will both receive additional P2 million from the Office of the President. Marcial will receive an additional P1 million while Magno will get P200,000.

The cash incentives from the Office of the President will be on top of the P5 million government reward for silver medalist and P2 million for bronze medalist as provided by the law.

“It is not an everyday occurrence that we receive such an honor from our citizens of the Republic of the Philippines,” the president said.

“You went to Tokyo to fight and I, well, say that you did your best and the Filipino people appreciates it, especially bringing honor to the country. You all won in that,” he added.

All other Filipino athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics will receive P200,000 each from the Office of the President, he added.

The Olympic medalists will also be conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu and all those who competed in the Games will be given Presidential citations.

“That is [an] honor given by the Republic of the Philippines to those who have excelled in something and brought honor to the country,” Duterte said.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is so far the most successful campaign for the Philippines, garnering the most number of medals since participating in the Games.

Aside from the medals brought by the Filipino boxers, Hidilyn Diaz produced the country’s first-ever gold in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting category.

NTF tells LGUs to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination to reach 1.5M target daily jab rate

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 has renewed its push for local government units (LGU) to further increase their COVID-19 vaccination output to help achieve the country’s target of 1 million to 1.5 million daily jab rate.

“Our goal is for LGUs to inoculate 70% of their eligible population with at least one dose by November. We cannot scale up our national vaccination output if we just settle with our current jab rate,” NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.

Galvez issued the statement during a meeting with local chief executives last Friday.

The NTF said it has identified highly-urbanized cities (HUCs) and regions that would lead the push in increasing the country’s daily vaccination output to 1.5 million doses.

This follows the influx of vaccine supplies from various manufacturers and the opening of the vaccine rollout to the general population including minors.

“With the steady arrival of bigger COVID-19 vaccine shipments, our LGUs must work double time to realize President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive, and that is, to continue to ramp up their vaccination rollout,” Galvez said.

“Nagpla-plateau tayo noong mga nakaraang araw to just 400,000 to 500,000 jabs daily. If this will continue, hindi natin makukuha ang 50 million [fully vaccinated individuals] by year-end,” he added.

Last Friday, the government recorded 724,294 COVID-19 jabs administered.

To date, the Philippines has received a total of 94,678,340 doses of COVID 19 vaccines since February.

Of these shipments, more than 58.7 million doses were procured by the government, 24.3 million doses were donations from the COVAX facility, 7.9 million were purchased by LGUs and the private sector, and 3.6 million doses were donations from bilateral partners, the NTF said.

PH to give third COVID-19 vaccine shot, boosters to health workers, elderly– DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021


MANILA, Philippines –
The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has green lighted the administration of booster and additional shots of COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with co-morbidities.

The DOH said that the move was upon the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) and was later approved by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The booster and third jab may be given within the year, and by 2022 for eligible priority groups, it added.

Based on the recommendation, the booster shots should be given within the fourth quarter of the year to health workers, the elderly, and persons with health risks who received the jabs at least six months after the primary series.

The HTAC also recommended that the boosters should be based on the vaccine brands received by the individuals in the primary series.

If they received Pfizer-BioNTech, then they should also be given the same as a booster shot.

For those who got AstraZeneca, they may be given the same or preferably Pfizer-made jab for their booster shot.

Those who completed the Moderna primary series should also be given Moderna or Pfizer dose, while those inoculated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot may get Prizer or CoronaVac booster shot.

The HATC also pushed for the implementation of boosters for other eligible population in 2022 only if the A1 to A5 priority groups reach 50 percent in the primary series.

For the implementation of additional shots, particularly for immunocompromised individuals, the HTAC recommended that the dose will be given at least 18 days after they completed the initial COVID-19 vaccine series.

The third shot is recommended to be the same as those received in the primary series.

Based on data from the DOH, the Philippines has so far administered a total of   55,506,176 vaccine doses — 29,891,810 of which were given as first dose while 25,614,366 individuals were fully vaccinated.

Australia donates more oxygen concentrators to PH for COVID-19 patients

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has received another batch of oxygen concentrators from the Australian government as part of its continuing support to the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

In a statement, the NTF said the 100 oxygen concentrators arrived in Manila on Thursday.

The first batch of oxygen concentrators were delivered last August 28.

“Australia is increasing its commitment to the Philippines in terms of COVID-19 support, and we’re increasing our commitment by further [to] P433 million to make a grand total of P1.8 billion that Australia is donating to the Philippines,” Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson said during a press conference following the turn-over.

The NTF said the first batch of the medical equipment was distributed to 27 hospitals across the country.

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the donation is vital to the country’s clinical management of the country’s severe and critical COVID cases.

“This will go a long way in improving the quality of care that we provide our patients in the several hospitals that have been benefited by these pieces of equipment,” Duque added.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. thanked Australia for its compassion and generosity to the Filipino people.

“This life-saving oxygen concentrator will go a long way and a lot of people will be saved, thousands of them because of these concentrators,” Galvez said.

Aside from its donation of medical equipment and contribution to the COVAX facility, Australia, in partnership with UNICEF, will also provide over 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines.

The said vaccine donations are expected to arrive in the country by the fourth quarter of this year.

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