Lambanog producers seek gov’t support to convert products into disinfectants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 27, 2020   •   583

Lambanog producers in Tayabas City, Quezon Province are seeking government support to convert their products into rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants.

The industry is experiencing a huge drop in sales brought by the enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

Distilled coconut wine producers are now thinking of ways on how to help with the depleting supply of disinfectants in the country.

Isabelita Capistrano, owner of the Capistrano Distillery, is calling out to concerned government agencies to coordinate with them to make sure that their process will fit health standards and would be legal.

Capistrano said they are willing to cooperate with whatever plan the government deems necessary with the industry.

“The DTI [Department of Trade and Industry], DOST [Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Agriculture, kung iyan ay magtutulong-tulong, palagay ko ay anuman ang mapagplanuhan […] ay talagang makakaigi, (if they will help together, I think whatever they plan is, it would be for the better)” she said.

Quezon Province health officer Dr. Grace Santiago previously said the use of lambanog is a good alternative disinfectant to prevent spread of the coronavirus. AAC (with reports from Japhet Cablaida)

Quezon LGU ensures physical distancing at Typhoon Ambo evacuation centers

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2020

LUCENA CITY, Philippines – The Quezon provincial government on Thursday assured that physical distancing will be observed in evacuation centers in areas affected by Typhoon ‘Ambo’ (international name: Vongfong).

The Quezon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that the physical distancing measure will be implemented on a per-family basis to ensure that the dreaded novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will not spread among the evacuees.

The Quezon Province is among the areas that are on the track of Typhoon ‘Ambo’.

According to the 5 p.m. severe weather bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the southernmost part of Quezon Province, including Tagkawayan, Calauag, Lopez, Macalelon, General Luna, Catanauan, Buenavista, Guinayangan, Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, and San Francisco have been placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 3.

Other areas under signal no. 3 are:

  • Sorsogon
  • Albay
  • Masbate including Tucao and Burias Islands
  • Catanduanes
  • Camarines Sur
  • Camarines Norte
  • Northern Samar
  • The northern portion of Eastern Samar (Jipapad, Arteche, Maslog, Dolores, Oras, San Policarpio, Can-avid, Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Borongan City, Maydolong)
  • The northern portion of Samar (Calbayog City, Sta. Margarita, Gandara, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, Matuguinao, San Jose de Buan, Catbalogan, Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, Tarangnan, San Sebastian, Hinabangan)
  • Biliran

Meanwhile, signal no. 2 was hoisted over:

  • Southern portion of Quezon (Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban, Tayabas, Dolores, Candelaria, Sariaya, Tiaong, San Antonio, Lucena, Pagbilao, Atimonan, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Unisan, Plaridel, Gumaca, Pitogo, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Real)
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Laguna
  • Southeastern portion of Batangas (Padre Garcia, Ibaan, Batangas City, Taysan, Rosario, Lobo, San Juan)
  • Northernmost portion of Leyte (Calubian, San Isidro, Tabango, Leyte, Capoocan, Carigara, Barugo, San Miguel, Babatngon, Tunga, Alangalang, Sta. Fe, Tacloban City, Jaro)
  • The rest of Samar
  • The rest of Eastern Samar

Signal no. 1 was raised over the following areas:

  • Aurora
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Bulacan
  • Metro Manila
  • Cavite
  • Rizal
  • Bataan
  • Pampanga
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Eastern portion of Pangasinan (Lingayen, Bugallon, Aguilar, Mangatarem, Binmaley, San Carlos, Urbiztondo, Basista, Bayambang, Bautista, Calasiao, Alcala, Malasiqui, Sta. Barbara, Dagupan, Mangaldan, San Jacinto, Mapandan, Manaoag, Urdaneta, Villasins, Sto. Tomas, Rosalies, Balungao, Umingan, San Quintin, Sta. Maria, Natividad, Tayug, Asingan, San Nicolas, San Manuel, Binalonan, Laoac, Pozorrubio, Sison, San Fabian)
  • The rest of Quezon
  • The rest of Batangas
  • Rest of northern portion of Leyte (Villaba, Kananga, Matag-ob, Palompon, Ormoc, Merica, Isabel, Albuena, Pastrana, Dagami, Tanauan, Tabontabon, Tolosa, Barauen, Julita, Dulag)
  • Northeastern portion of Capiz (Pilar)
  • Northeastern portion of Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, Estancia, Batad)
  • Northern Cebu (Medelin, Daanbantayan, Bantayan, Santa Fe)

The PDRRMO assured they are ready to help and that there are enough relief goods for all families evacuated from their homes.

As of posting time, heavy rains and strong winds brought about by Typhoon Ambo have begun lashing parts of Quezon.

PAGASA said Typhoon Ambo is packing maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers per hour (kph) with gustiness of up to 255 kph. It is moving west at the speed of 15 kph.

The state weather bureau warned that the typhoon may bring heavy to at times intense rains that may induce flooding and landslides.

Storm surges of up to 4.0 meters may be experienced over the coastal areas of Northern Samar, Samar (west coast), Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Quezon, and Aurora.

PAGASA said that along with large swells, this storm surge may cause potentially life-threatening coastal inundation. – RRD (from the report of Correspondent Japhet Cablaida)

P5-M worth of overpriced PPE, alcohol seized in Binondo, Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   March 27, 2020

P5-M worth of overpriced PPE, alcohol seized in Binondo, Manila

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday (March 28) announced the confiscation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and alcohol worth P5-M in a store in San Nicolas, Binondo, Manila.

Information from a concerned citizen of Barangay 281-26 in the area prompted the raid launched by BOC in coordination with the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) assisted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Manila Police District (MPD) on March 26.

Initial investigation revealed that the store was selling overpriced essential medical items which include face masks, gloves, goggles, alcohols, thermal scanners, test tubes and syringes.

Specifically, the store’s online operation charge buyers almost four times the suggested retail price of the items.

The owners of the shop were not around during the raid. They have only 15 days to provide the authorities importation documents to prove that said items were legally procured.

Otherwise, the owners shall face charges for smuggling in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The operation was in line with the BOC’s commitment to border security and its relentless campaign to curb smuggling despite the health risk due to COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA allows pharmacies to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizers amid shortage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 26, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed pharmacies to produce their own alcohol-based hand sanitizers to cope with the supply shortage.

According to the FDA, there has been an increase in the demand for alcohol-based products amid the increasing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Based on FDA Circular No. 2020-11, licensed drug stores, hospital pharmacies, institutional pharmacies, and other stakeholders will be allowed to produce their own alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer and health care personnel use.

The FDA also provided several guidelines to ensure pharmacies will produce safe, effective, and acceptable quality alcohol-based products for public use.

Several of the guidelines include: the compounding should be done by a duly registered and licensed pharmacist. They would also have to follow strict hygiene and personal protective equipment requirements.

The location for the compounding, including all the equipment should also be properly sanitized and maintained.

“This Circular is hereby issued as an interim guideline for the pharmacy compounding of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in response to the need for increased production of these products in the Philippines,” the circular reads. AAC

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