IATF pushes for importation of 300,000 MT of rice to ensure supply amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   March 31, 2020   •   348

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is recommending to President Rodrigo Duterte the importation of 300,000 metric tons of rice amid the ongoing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

“Nirerekomenda ng IATF sa Office of the President ang proposal ng DA [Department of Agriculture] na mag-import ng 300,000 metric tons ng bigas para matiyak na hindi po tayo maubusan ng supply,” IATF Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Nograles said the importation will be done through government-to-government agreement, to be led by the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC).

The Philippine government will also work with its trading partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region to encourage them not to impose trade-restrictive measures. This is to ensure that existing supply contracts will be prioritized.

In line with this, the IATF stressed that the movement of cargo and food supplies will remain unhampered, as well as work in food and agriculture sectors will continue during the enhanced community quarantine period.

Inuulit po ng IATF na dapat hayaan ang tuloy-tuloy na daloy ng mga kargamento at pagpasok ng mga manggagawa sa sektor ng agrikultura at food production,” Nograles said.

The IATF earlier issued guidelines that allow all farming and fishing activities to continue, provided that they operate on skeleton force, and observe social distancing measures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

DSWD calls on LGUs to speed up liquidation report for release of SAP second tranche

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday urged local government units (LGU) to expedite the encoding and transmittal of their liquidation reports on the distribution of the first tranche of the government’s social amelioration project (SAP).

The DSWD said the liquidation reports from LGUs are necessary as this would be used for the validation of beneficiaries and checking of the disbursement for the release of SAP’s second tranche.

The SAP is part of the government’s efforts to assist families heavily affected by the community quarantines due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The liquidation report is vital in the process of validation as it includes the report of the disbursement (containing the photos of the recipients, Social Amelioration Card Forms, and amount of cash received); Report of Checks Issued and Report of Disbursements certified by the LGU accountant and approved by the Local Chief Executive; and a copy of the Official Receipt for the refund/return of unutilized SAP funds,” the department said in a statement.

The DSWD explained that the validation and vetting process by its field offices can only be done when the data per LGU have been submitted in its entirety.

The department noted that the process will take approximately 15 days since validation on municipal, provincial, and regional levels takes place at the field office levels.

The DSWD Central Office will then conduct cross-matching with other government agencies’ lists of beneficiaries to avoid duplicity and ineligibility. The process will take another seven days in order to ensure that the recipients are indeed among the SAP’s target beneficiaries.

“The DSWD is exhausting all means to shorten the vetting and validation process, however, we need the full cooperation of the LGUs in order to effect this,” it said.

The department said that of the 1,479 LGUs that have completed the first tranche of SAP, only 659 had submitted liquidation reports as of Wednesday.

The DSWD earlier said it is still awaiting guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for the distribution of the second tranche.

Proseso sa pamamahagi ng SAP 2nd tranche, isinasapinal pa ng IATF – DSWD

Robie de Guzman   •   May 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Inaasahang magpupulong ngayong linggo ang Technical Working Group ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) upang isapinal ang mga proseso sa pamamahagi ng ikalawang bugso ng cash aid sa ilalim ng social amelioration program (SAP) ng pamahalaan.

Ayon kay Department of Social Welfare Undersecretary Rene Paje, pinag-aaralang maigi ng IATF ang mga paraan upang mapabilis ang distribusyon ng ayuda lalo’t nadagdagan pa ng limang milyong pamilya ang mga benepisyaryo nito.

Labing-walong milyong low-income households ang inisyal na target beneficiaries ng programa ngunit dinagdagan ito matapos umapela ng tulong ang maraming mahihirap na pamilya na hindi sakop ng programa ngunit kuwalipikado sa inilatag na guidelines.

Sinabi rin ni Paje na target nilang simulan ang second tranche ng programa bago matapos ang buwan ng Mayo ngunit hindi pa tiyak kung anong petsa ito maisasagawa dahil naka-depende ito sa galaw ng local government units (LGU), partikular na sa pagsasagawa ng first tranche payout at pagsusumite ng liquidation report nito sa DSWD.

Sa huling tala ng ahensya, nasa 1,479 LGUs na sa bansa ang nakakumpleto ng pay-out sa kanilang mga benepisyaryo ngunit 44% lamang sa mga ito ang nakapagpasa ng liquidation report, na siya namang idadaan sa validation process ng DSWD.

“‘Yan po ay pina-facilitate natin sapagkat kung maari sana magawang buo, yung nationwide yung ating pagsasubmit ng beneficiaries na encoded na SAP forms sapagkat ito po dapat i-validate natin,” ani Paje.

“‘Yun po ang nasa memorandum circular at nasa procedure natin… Pero ‘yan po ay masusing pinag-aaralan ng DSWD upang mas mabilis natin at mapaaga ang distribution ng 2nd tranche,” dagdag pa niya.

Sinabi rin ni Paje na isinusulong ng DSWD na dapat mabigyang-prayoridad sa distribusyon ng SAP second tranche ang waitlisted o ‘yung mga kwalipikadong benepisyaryo ng programa ngunit hindi nakatanggap sa unang bugso ng ayuda.

 “Ang proposal po ay dapat makatanggap din sapagkat ang katumbas ng tatanggapin nila ngayon ay ‘yung first tranche, at kung sila po ay nanatili pa rin sa ECQ area, dapat makatangap sila ng para sa second tranche,” sabi ng opisyal.

Ayon kay Paje, kabilang sa mga paraang pinag-aaralan upang mapabilis ang SAP cash aid distribution ay ang paggamit ng digital payment scheme at mobile app na “Relief Agad.”

Ngunit para sa mga walang smartphones, papayagan pa rin naman aniya ang “big venue payout” o pagtitipon sa isang venue para ipamahagi ang SAP cash aid basta’t magpapatupad ng health at safety protocols.

Ayon naman sa tagapagsalita ng DSWD na si Irene Dumlao, kakatulungin nila ang pulisya at militar sa pamamahagi ng ayuda upang matiyak ang kaayusan.

Nanawagan rin siya ng pang-unawa sa publiko, lalo na ang mga higit na naapektuhan ng COVID-19 crisis.

“Tayo ay humihingi ng pang-unawa sa ating mga kababayan na naapektuhan ng krisis at naghihintay po ng tulong o ayuda mula sa ating pamahalaan,” ani Dumlao.
 
“Sinisikap po natin na bumuo ng mga polisiya o mga panuntunan that will ensure the distribution of aid in an expeditious and effective manner,” dagdag pa niya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Pagtitipon upang makakuha ng serbisyong pang-gobyerno at ilang sports, pinahihintulutan na — IATF

Marje Pelayo   •   May 25, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Pinahihintulutan na ng Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 ang mga pagkakatipon na may kinalaman sa pagkuha ng serbisyong pang-gobyerno.

Pinahihintulutan na rin ang mga otorisadong humanitarian activity sa mga lugar na umiiral ang mahigpit na community quarantine.

Ito ay ayon sa Resolution No. 38 na pinagtibay ng IATF noong Biernes (May 22) kung saan nagkaroon ng pagbabago sa panuntunan ng pamahalaan kaugnay sa pagkakaroon ng mass gatherings. 

Kinakailangan lamang na sundin ang health protocol guidelines gaya ng pagsusuot ng masks at ang marapat na distansya o social distancing.

Gayunman, mahigpit pa ring ipinagbabawal ang mga pagkakatipong gaya ng panunuod ng sine, concert, sporting events, entertainment activities, community assemblies, religious gatherings, non-essential work gatherings at mga katulad nito. 

Nadagdagan rin ang non-contact sports na pinahihintulutan sa mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng general community quarantine (GCQ) at modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Ito ay ang:

  • walking
  • jogging
  • running
  • biking
  • golf
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • badminton
  • equestrian
  • skateboarding

Ipinapaalala lamang ng IATF na bawal ang sharing ng sports equipment habang ang pagbubukas ng mga clubhouse at katulad na pasilidad ay limitado lamang sa basic operations. 

Ipinapaalala sa publiko ang mahigpit na pagpapatupad ng health standards sa lahat ng pagkakataon. MNP (sa ulat ni Rosalie Coz)

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