IATF: Selected senior citizens allowed to go out under ECQ, GCQ
Marje Pelayo • May 1, 2020 • 2953
MANILA, Philippines — The national government has further relaxed quarantine measures to consider selected senior citizens after several advocates pitched for them in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1.
Initially, the Omnibus Guidelines on the implementation of GCQ restricted senior citizens from going out especially those with immunodeficiency, comorbidity and other pre-existing conditions which make them high risks for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
But following discussions, IATF and Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the government is allowing older people, or those 60 years old and above, to go out for essential work in authorized sectors, for medical consultations and for buying essential goods.
“Hindi po kayo pinipigilan, basta po allowed na ang inyong trabaho. Puwede po kayong mag-trabaho mga seniors [You are not being restricted as long as your sector is allowed to operate. Senior citizens are allowed to work],” Roque explained.
Several lawmakers aired concerns regarding senior citizens who are still able to go to work or those who own and manage their own business which requires outdoor transactions.
In a follow-up interview with UNTV Serbisyong Kasangbahay on Friday (May 1), Roque reiterated that elder citizens who are fit and authorized may go out provided that they have the necessary passes.
“Fake news po iyan na pinagbabawalan ang lahat ng senior [It’s not true that senior citizens are restricted from going out],” Roque said.
Roque cited as example the composition of the national government where most officials are senior citizens including President Rodrigo Duterte, the members of his Cabinet and the officials of the IATF.
He said even under the ECQ, senior citizens may still go out.
“Kahit walang kasama ang seniors para kumuha ng kanilang essentials pwede silang lumabas [They may go out to get what they need even without a companion],” he stressed provided that the senior citizen has an authorized quarantine pass.
“Kapag may trabaho, ipakita lang po ang kanilang work ID, wala namang problema doon, [If the senior citizen has work or is employed, just present their work ID, that’s not a problem],” the official concluded. MNP (With inputs from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to extend the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City until July 15, 2020.
The President noted the “stubbornness” of its residents despite strict government protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19. He cited the situation in Talisay City where people tend to ignore social distancing protocols, with some even engaging in drinking sprees and gambling.
“Ayaw ninyo maniwala, bakit marami? One of the reasons — even without consulting the Body— because you did not follow rules,” President Duterte said.
“You have the highest. Cebu is now the new hotspot for COVID-19. Bakit? Marami sa inyo ay hindi sumusunod,” he added.
The President expressed concern over the situations in Cebu City which he hopes will improve through the supervision of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila and the following areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15:
Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion Municipalities in Cebu Province
The President commended the response of residents in the said areas to the government-imposed protocols which helped slow down the rate of COVID-19 infection.
“You know Manila, maraming tao but because sumunod nila — with few violations thereabout— we here in Manila have a good chance of at least avoiding it,” he said.
To save the economy, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguz recommended to the President the further relaxing of quarantine measures in Metro Manila and the CALABARZON region.
The rest of the country, meanwhile, will remain under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) specifically those identified as moderate and low risk areas where localized community quarantine and minimum health standards may strictly be observed. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced that the national government is allowing mass gatherings in ‘higher education institutions’ in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) across the country.
The decision was announced by Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque as approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19.
Higher education institutions include universities and colleges.
However, government-imposed health protocols must be strictly observed at all times, Roque said.
“Pinayagan na rin ang mass gathering sa higher educational institutions ngunit kailangan silang sumunod sa existing guidelines sa ilalim ng MGCQ, (Mass gathering in higher educational institutions will be allowed but they have to abide by the existing guidelines under MGCQ),” Roque said.
Likewise, Roque added that the task force has allowed Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to continue its face-to-face technical vocational education training (TVET) in MGCQ areas and in general community quarantine (GCQ) areas provided attendees are limited to 50 percent of the site’s capacity, subject to compliance with minimum public health standards and TESDA guidelines as well as proper consultation with local government units. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday expressed confidence that the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation into the alleged irregularities in the Department of Health’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis won’t affect the credibility of the agency and the government task force.
In a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that at this point, health officials and other personalities involved in the probe are “presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
“Kung mapapansin ninyo naman po ang IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) po talaga, lahat po ng departamento, it’s a whole government approach, it’s not just the DOH although the DOH po has the position of leadership,” Roque said.
The Palace official also relayed that President Rodrigo Duterte believes that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III will be able to respond to the allegations being investigated by the Ombudsman.
“Kampante po ang president na masasagot po ni Secretary Duque lahat po ‘yang alegasyon sa Ombudsman,” he said.
He added that the president “has time and again expressed his continuing trust and confidence” in Duque whose leadership at the health agency has been beset by controversies.
The Office of the Ombudsman earlier said it will launch an investigation into the supposed irregularities in the DOH’s response against COVID-19.
The probe would cover the purchase of coronavirus disease test kits, delayed procurement of personal protective equipment and other supplies for healthcare workers and the rising number of fatalities among medical workers amid the public health crisis, as well as the delay in the release of financial assistance to healthcare workers who have fallen severely ill and died due to coronavirus disease.
Duque earlier said he is ready to face the Ombudsman probe. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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