PCG in S. Mindanao orders intensified patrols vs. illegal entry of travelers from Indonesia

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2021   •   89

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southern Mindanao recently ordered its station, sub-stations, floating assets, and operational control (OPCON) units to carry out intensified monitoring and regular border patrols in the region to prevent illegal entry of people from Indonesia.

The directive comes after reports of surge in Delta variant cases wreaking havoc in the said Asian country.

Indonesia was recently included by the national government in the list of countries with travel restrictions.

It shares borders with the Philippines in Southern Mindanao and its proximity poses a huge risk of virus importation.

In view of this, PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. directed all Coast Guard districts and units nationwide to step up monitoring of all vessels with crew or passengers who may be carriers of the COVID-19 Delta variant, most especially borders near Indonesia and Malaysia in the Southern part of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Captain Rejard Marfe, the acting commander of PCG District Southern Mindanao, also ordered all PCG units in the region to ensure that measures are in place, in coordination with local government units and other law enforcement agencies.

Metro Manila LGUs, naghahanda na sa posibleng paglobo ng COVID-19 cases dahil sa Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naglagay na ng dagdag na isolation facilities ang iba’t ibang local government units (LGU) sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagdami ng COVID-19 cases bunsod ng Delta variant.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, 83 isolation facilities na ang inihahanda sa iba’t ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila at maging sa mga hotel.

Ani Abalos, kailangang maihanda ang mas maraming facility beds para maiwasan na ang nangyaring siksikan sa mga ospital nang magkaroon ng surge ng COVID-19 cases sa unang bahagi ng taon.

“We’ve had this experience before eh remember nung South African and UK variant nung tumaas in just two weeks, kumalat kaagad. Yun talaga, nagsiksikan ang mga ospital, nagsiksikan ang isolation, pero in a way kinaya naman. Talagang naghanap tayo ng mga hotels,” ang pahayag ni Abalos.

Una nang nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) at ilang eksperto sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols at contact tracing upang maagapan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant lalo na sa Metro Manila.

Hinimok din ng DOH ang publiko na patuloy na sundin ang mga polisiya sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield at social distancing at iwasan ang mass gathering.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni Department of Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya na pinag-iisipan na ng Metro Manila mayors na ipagbawal ang home quarantine upang maiwasan ang hawahan ng COVID-19 sa isang pamilya.

“Home quarantine is no longer recommended especially dun sa mga areas na may Delta variant. Pag kayo ay nakahalubilo, kailangan dalhin kayo sa facility,” ani Malaya.

Pinaiigting na rin ang operasyon ng One Hospital Command Center upang agad matugunan ang mga kababayang mangangailangan ng atensiyong medical sa gitna ng pandemya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

AFP, PNP, PCG ink deal to boost operations vs terrorism, insurgency

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday signed a tripartite accord that seeks to further enhance interoperability during internal and external security operations.

In a statement, the PNP said the tripartite mechanism was officially adopted by the three agencies through Resolution Nr. 11-2021 which included the PCG in the Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center (JPSCC).

The move is in line with the government’s ‘whole-of-nation’ approach towards peace and security; engaging the PNP, AFP, and PCG to work together in keeping the country safe and secure.

AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana, PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar, and PCG commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. will serve as co-chairs of the National JPSCC.

As a new JPSCC member agency, the PCG will play a vital role in forming various concepts of operations that will address the country’s complex and evolving maritime threats.

“We look forward to future collaborative efforts among agency members in terms of maritime safety and security, maritime law enforcement, and the protection of the country’s marine environment,” Sobejana said in the same statement.

“The present challenges offer a great opportunity for us to enhance our coordination and interoperability. This has been a journey built from the ground by men in uniform service who selflessly serve for years and further stimulated and sustained at the policy side. For the PCG Team, we are so fortunate today that we are here to solidify the PCG as the third arm service in our lifetime,” Ursabia said.

Aside from the joint accord, the three agency heads also signed the JPSCC Letter Directive Nr. 03-2021, which called for the reorganization of the JPSCC.

In the revised structure, the National JPSCC will now be headed by the PNP Chief, AFP Chief, and PCG Commandant while PNP Directors for Integrated Police Operation, AFP Unified Commanders, and PCG Area Commanders will exercise supervision over the Regional and Provincial JPSCCs.

The accord also stipulates that cooperation and coordination among the AFP, PNP, and PCG complemented by collaboration and consultation with all stakeholders shall be the guiding principle in addressing peace and security concerns.

“Despite differences in our respective uniforms and in the scopes of our respective work and mandates, we are all bound together by our common oath to serve and protect the Filipino people and our country as well as safeguard the national interest,” Eleazar said.

“But most importantly, we all have the same faith and hope for humanity. That is, perhaps the most fundamental reason why we need to foster and strengthen our cooperation and collaboration – to promote the common good” he added.

The joint accord was signed in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Clusters of Delta variant cases seen in Northern Mindanao, Antique – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that clusters of Delta COVID-19 variant cases have been observed in Northern Mindanao and the province of Antique in Western Visayas.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cluster of infections in the Northern Mindanao was seen in a family while different clusters of infections were observed in Antique.

She said one family cluster may have stemmed from an individual who came home from work and infected the household.

“Ito pong ating cluster of infection na isa, dito sa may Delta variant, nakitaan natin na mayroon isang kapamilya na nagtratrabaho sa isang lugar at umuwi sa kanilang pwesto, at doon sila po ay nagkaroon ng pagkakahawa-hawa. There is a link,” Vergeire said in a press forum.

The DOH earlier confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious variant following the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units.

The number of Delta variant cases in the Philippines rose to 47 after 12 more local cases were detected. Of these cases, three died while eight remain active.

The DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to COVID-19 health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travels and gatherings.

They must also get vaccinated against COVID-19 when it is their turn.

The DOH likewise urged local government units to shorten the duration of case detection to isolation and immediately isolate symptomatic patients, and ramp up their vaccination and prioritize the senior citizens and people with underlying conditions.

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