Gov’t launches 8888 text service platform

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 26, 2020   •   316

Citizens can now report anomalies in any government agency through the 8888 text service platform launched by the Office of the President.

The new platform is part of the 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Center (8888 CCC) which aims to give a boost to the good governance drive of the government.

The public may send in details of their concerns, request, or complaints to 8888 free of charge on any mobile network.

“Those who are corrupt, lazy, incompetent in the government, be forewarned. You are now one text away,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Gov’t hopes stricter protocols can help address rising COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — With the surge of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country, the national government hopes that implementing stricter protocols can prevent the further spread of the disease.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. reported that the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF-COVID-19) already implemented travel restrictions for most foreign nationals from March 22 to April 21.

Roque added that beginning Friday (March 19), operations in several establishments are temporarily suspended until April 4.

These establishments include driving schools, traditional cinemas, videos and interactive game arcades, libraries, and museums in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

Dine-in restaurants, cafes, and personal care services will be limited to 50% capacity, while venue capacity in essential and religious gatherings will be at 30%.

Meanwhile, Roque said local government units (LGU) have the authority to implement age restrictions.

Sinusubukan po nating ipababa ang numero ng COVID-19 cases nang hindi po nagsasarado nang malawakan ang ating ekonomiya. So ang inaasahan po natin ay kooperasyon ng lahat at sa pamamagitan nitong latest decision ng IATF ay baka naman po mapababa natin (We are trying to lower the number of COVID-19 cases without widely closing our economy. We are expecting the cooperation of everyone. Through this latest decision of the IATF, we may be able to lower [the cases]),” Roque said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Health groups urge better health care system for COVID-19 response

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Various health groups are urging the national government to boost its health care system, especially for its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response.

Coalition for People’s Right to Health (CPRH) Co-convenor Dr. Joshua San Pedro said the country should not only rely on vaccines as a way to fight the virus. The group has also called on the national government to provide assistance to far-flung areas that have limited access to health services.

“States are making mistakes kung vaccination lang ang kanyang aasahan. Talagang kailangang kailangan na mapalakas pa rin ang public health measures ensuring na umaabot sa kumonidad ang usaping pangkalusugan at serbiyong pangkalusugan (States are making mistakes if they will only rely on vaccines. We really need to boost our public health measures, ensuring it will reach communities),” he said.

Mass testing, San Pedro added, is key in preventing the spread of COVID-19. He also lamented that the national government-imposed travel restrictions a bit late.

Meanwhile, Filipino Nurses United has also called on the government to hire more nurses as several COVID-19 hospitals are at their full capacity, which increases the workload of nurses.

“We have received a report from our members that one nurse cares for at least 12 patients and now they are positive for COVID-19. Ideally, one nurse will care for at least three patients in a COVID-19 Ward. One nurse and one patient for critical and severe cases of COVID,” according to Maristela Abenajor of Filipino Nurses United. AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

United Nations expressed readiness to provide assistance to storm-hit areas in the Philippines

UNTV News   •   December 26, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Search and rescue operations continue for the 171 individuals still missing due to the onslaught of Tropical Storm Vinta in the Philippines.

Based on the report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 164 were confirmed dead, most of them due to flashfloods or landslides.

The NDRRMC is still determining why there are many casualties despite forced evacuations implemented in the affected areas.

“There are many policemen and soldiers who assisted us during the evacuation. I could not descriptively say what transpire in the evacuation but they were asked to evacuate,” NDRRMC Spokesperson Mina Marasigan said.

More than 115,000  families have been affected by the storm, 21,000 families remain in evacuation centers while more than 16,500 families are now staying with their relatives.

These are recorded in regions of MIMAROPA, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, ARMM and Caraga.

The most affected by the storm are Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

In the cellphone video of Gnil Andingan Nassah posted on her Facebook page, flashfloods could be seen in Salvador Lanao del Norte while residents were trying to cross using a rope.

Prior to Tropical Storm Vinta, Tropical Depression Urduja also left 50 people dead and 21 others missing in Central Philippines.

The United Nations has extended its sympathy to the losses caused by the storms along with its expression to help in the disaster.

Based on the statement of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the United Nations will support local and national authorities in helping those who are affected by the calamities in addition to the support provided by its humanitarian partners.

Malacañang has already assured the government’s help to the victims

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the national government will continue to provide assistance to affected communities. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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