Duterte to meet with DILG, LGUs to tackle gov’t efforts vs. nCoV, ASF, other issues

Robie de Guzman   •   February 10, 2020   •   238

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will meet on Monday all local chief executives and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to discuss government efforts against the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD), African Swine fever (ASF), and other issues confronting the country.

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the president will meet with all 1,715 local chief executives and heads of national government agencies, including Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., among others.

Año said the chief executive called for a meeting “to call the attention of the local chief executives on various local governance concerns,” as they discuss the current public health and peace order issues in the country.

“The President will give direction on some pressing national issues such as the need for a strong local government response on the coronavirus and the recurring ASF in the country. We will hear all the answers directly from the President and the heads of national government agencies,” Año said.

The DILG chief added that the convention will also serve to synergize all efforts of the government in responding to the “most urgent predicaments on public health and peace and order” to ensure that every local government unit is in the loop with the latest steps undertaken by the national government.

He said a detailed discussion on the guidance on the proper protocol in dealing with the coronavirus as provided in the recently released DILG Memorandum Circulars 2020-018 and 023, as well as the latest update on the coronavirus are integrated into the one-day convention of local leaders.

“This is a good venue for the LCEs to raise their concerns sapagkat ang mga opisyal ng mga kagarawaran ay nandoon together with President Duterte. This is a much needed coming together of all LCEs lalo na ngayon,” he said.

The DILG chief said the meeting will also focus on the implementation of Executive Order 70 on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflicts (ELCAC).

Duterte ‘inclined to extend’ Luzon lockdown to April 30

Marje Pelayo   •   April 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Luzon residents may have to endure two more weeks at home as President Rodrigo Duterte considers extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

In his public address on Monday evening (April 6), the President asked the public for more patience and understanding and to be more cooperative with the national government in the face of a health crisis brought about by the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“We are inclined to extend the lockdown up to April 30,” the Chief Executive announced.

Tingnan natin after that [Let’s see after that]. In the meantime, double time kami,” he added.

The President, likewise, reiterated his call for the public to stay at home as the solution to this global pandemic is simply to “not get infected.”

He noted the sad reality of COVID-19 patients passing without having a funeral service as their remains go straight to cremation.

Duterte admitted that even the national government is getting ‘desperate’ as it has limited resources to distribute to millions of Filipinos affected by the crisis.

The President added that the P275-B budget that Congress authorized him to spend is not enough and would be gone in two months.

Thus, he asked the Department of Finance to find ways to generate revenues.

“We are finding ways to adjust the budget. We will prioritize the people, the stomach. If they have nothing to eat, a human being can become violent,” he added.

He appealed to those who have more to give to those in need and asked the Filipino people to pray for the country and the world in the face of this global pandemic.

“I am calling on the nation to come together and pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Filipino and unite in one prayer to God to fight our common enemy,” he concluded. MNP (with input from Rosalie Coz)

Mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps, hindi kailangang mag-fill-out ng SAC form – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi kailangang pumirma o mag-sumite ng Social Amelioration Card (SAC) forms ang mga benepisyaryo ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) upang makatanggap ng pinansyal na ayuda mula sa pamahalaan sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

Ayon kay Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, ito ay dahil direkta nang ipapasok sa kanilang account ang pinansyal na tulong para sa kanila sa ilalim ng Social Amelioration Program Bayanihan Fund.

“Hindi na kailangan pang magfill out ng SAC form ang 4Ps dahil sila ang pinrioritize ng pamahalaan at makukuha na nila ang kanilang cash subsidies sa kanilang ATM,” ani Año.

Dagdag ng opisyal, batay sa impormasyon mula sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), simula ngayong ika-6 ng Abril ay maaari nang makuha ng 4Ps beneficiaries sa Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ang ayuda mula sa kanilang cash cards.

Noong Abril 5 ay nakatanggap na rin ng ayuda ang 4Ps beneficiaries mula sa mga rehiyon ng CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Region 8, 10, 11, 12 at CARAGA.

Ang mga benepisyaryo naman ng programa sa Region 5, 6, 7 at 9 ay nakatanggap na rin ng tulong pinansyal mula sa pamahalaan noon pang April 4.

Ang unang bugso ng cash subsidy ay inilabas noong April 3 sa 4Ps beneficiaries sa Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 1, 2 at 3, ayon sa DILG.

“Patunay po ito ng pagkalinga at pagmamalasakit ng pamahalaan sa gitna ng public health emergency na dinaranas natin ngayon. Kaya kapit lang po at dalangin nating lahat na matapos na ang masamang panaginip ng COVID-19,” ayon kay Año.

Para sa 4Ps beneficiaries na wala pang cash card accounts, sinabi ni Año na naipasa na ang pondo sa tanggapan ng DSWD sa mga rehiyon na siyang mangangasiwa sa pamamahagi ng ayuda.

Nakikipag-ugnayan na sa ngayon ang DSWD sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na nakakasakop sa mga pamilyang ito na nakatakdang tumanggap ng emergency subsidy.

“The urgent matter now is to ensure that the other low-income families qualified under the SAP will be able to fill out the form and comply with the DSWD requirements so they too can avail of the government support intended for them,” Año said.

Sinabi ng DILG chief na mahigit sa P16 bilyong pisong halaga ng emergency subsidy ang ibinigay sa mahigit 3.7 milyong pamilya na nakikinabang sa 4Ps program.

Ang naturang pondo ay bahagi ng P200 bilyon na inilaan para sa COVID-19 response ng pamahalaan sa ilalim ng Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Bukod pa ito sa regular na ayuda na cash at rice allowance na ibinibigay ng pamahalaan sa mga mahihirap na pamilyang nakikinabang sa 4Ps.

LGUs urged to pass ordinance on mandatory use of face mask in public

Robie de Guzman   •   April 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday urged the local government units (LGU) to pass an ordinance requiring their constituents to wear face masks in public as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the issuance of a local policy will help combat the spread of the virus.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) earlier issued a resolution on the mandatory use of face mask in public to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Año said that with the surging number of infections in the country, LGUs must adapt and respond to challenges posed by the public health crisis, such as drafting of the said ordinance.

“We must be vigilant. Hindi biro ang coronavirus na ito kaya hinihikayat ko ang mga LGU na tiyakin na ang kanilang mga kababayan ay laging nakasuot ng face mask kapag sila ay lalabas sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabatas ng ordinansa ukol dito. This is our small way of ensuring that the virus will not spread,” Año said.

He also said that the government will accept home-made or improvised face masks as long as the people use it in public.

“Coupled with the other mechanisms currently existing in line with the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) such as physical distancing, usage of quarantine passes, and encouraging people to stay at home, among others, the mandatory wearing of face masks whenever people are outside is an additional measure that can be practiced within the community,” he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) initially recommended that community-level usage of face masks is not encouraged, noting that it should only be worn by health care workers and people who are ill.

Año however, noted reports that the WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are mulling on changing their stand on the usage of face masks in controlling coronavirus following a study which suggests that droplets from coughs and sneezes from an infected person could be projected further than originally thought.

“Despite the fact that people generally are staying at home, hindi pa rin naman natin maiiwasan na minsan ay lumabas sila para bumili ng pagkain at ibang essentials at maaari itong maging pagkakataon para maipasa ang virus kaya lubhang napakahalaga ng pagsusuot ng face masks,” he said.

The Philippine National Police echoed the DILG’s call to LGUs, saying police officers can only reprimand people who do not wear face masks in public in the absence of an ordinance.

“Sa ngayon, what we can do is to caution them, para sila ay pauwiin or deny them entry sa ating mga quarantine controlled points,” said Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar who heads the Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield.

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