No plans yet for expansion of enhanced community quarantine to Visayas, Mindanao — IATF

Marje Pelayo   •   March 26, 2020   •   1166

MANILA, Philippines – The national government has enhanced the implementation of community quarantine from Metro Manila to the entire island of Luzon after the region recorded majority of the country’s COVID-19 cases.

A number of cases have also been detected outside of Luzon which raises the possible extension of enhanced community quarantine to the Visayas and Mindanao.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) clarified, however, they see no reason to recommend such action though several local government units (LGUs) in these major islands are implementing community quarantine in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) based on the number of COVID-19 cases in their localities.

“Sa ngayon, hindi pa naman kailangang buong Visayas at Mindanao para tuloy-tuloy pa rin naman ang kanilang normal na buhay lalo ang nasa trabaho at food production, (For now, the inclusion of Visayas and Mindanao is not necessary, so that they can continue with their normal lives especially those in food production),” explained DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.

“But if there is a necessity and depending on the development, the IATF will assess that,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Año believes that the enhanced community quarantine will be shortened or lifted depending on the cooperation of various sectors in the implementation of government guidelines in their areas.

One of these is the strict observation and practice of physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is until April 13 but it can be lifted or extended depending on the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Metro Manila to likely transition to GCQ after May 31 —Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2020

Metro Manila has a possibility to transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) after May 31, according to the Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is a chance that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions might ease in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) held a meeting on Wednesday (May 27) to determine if the MECQ should continue after May 31.

“Chances are we will, in fact, be transitioning to GCQ in Metro Manila, according to the chief implementer and the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] Secretary,” Roque said in a statement.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) is also recommending to the IATF to put the National Capital Region under GCQ.

Once Metro Manila transitioned to GCQ, Roque said public transportation will resume operations but will have limited capacity.

He also appealed to the private and public sectors to finalize their work scheme where 50% will resume in worksites and 50% will work from home.

“We are appealing to both private and public sectors to ensure at least 50-50 workforce,” he said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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)

ECQ areas might downgrade to GCQ by June —DILG

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 26, 2020

Areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) might be put under General Community Quarantine by June, according to the Deparment of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday (May 26), DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said they are looking into implementin lockdowns in specific areas with high coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

“Kahit iyan ay naka-GCQ, pwede pa rin mag-declare ang mga local chief executive ng critical areas. Ito iyong mga lugar na mayroong 20 or plus na cases, (Even if [the area] is under GCQ, local chief executives can still declare critical areas. These are areas with 20 or plus cases)” he said.

There will also be lesser number of checkpoints by June, the DILG secretary added. From checkpoints situated in every boundaries of cities, it will be limited to specific areas.

“Mayroon tayong tinatawag na modified checkpoints para hindi na masyadong magbuhol-buhol ang trapiko, (We have something that we call modified checkpoints to ease the traffic)” Año said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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