PH gov’t eyes scaling up of COVID-19 vaccination by April and May – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   March 31, 2021   •   601

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to boost its vaccination drive against COVID-19 as part of its calibrated strategy to contain the virus and revive the economy, vaccine czar and National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte, Galvez said 2021 is intended for a “containment strategy with the government securing steady vaccine supply and scaling up its vaccination through the mobilization of the national government, LGUs, and the private sector.”

Under the strategy, the government will scale up vaccination in April and May, targeting to inoculate 500,000 to one million per week.

Galvez said that once the bulk of the vaccines arrive in June and July, the government eyes to increase vaccination up to three million per week. From August to December, three million to five million per week.

“Ang parang pinakatarget po natin is we will have a better Christmas sa 2021,” Galvez said in a televised briefing on Monday.

To achieve herd immunity, Galvez stressed that there is a need to maximize the vaccination drive, with the government administering more or less 450,000 to 500,000 doses a day.

“The main goal is to completely eliminate COVID-19,” Galvez said.

To achieve this, he said they are communicating with the different vaccine manufacturers developing booster vaccines that can neutralize new COVID-19 variants.

“The government will authorize local pharmaceuticals companies to directly communicate with their foreign counterparts in order for the country to attain vaccine security by 2022,” he added.

The vaccine czar said the Philippine government is looking at India’s self-sufficiency strategy, stressing that if the country can establish its own manufacturing capability, there is no need for the importation of vaccines and other medicines.

“So iyon po ang isang nakita po namin na magkaroon po tayo sana ng aside from the Universal Health Care Law, magkaroon po sana tayo ng Health Security Act na ‘yong ating DOH at ang ating health care system will be modernized,” he said.

“So to 2023, at least we can start ‘yong health self-sufficiency to next pandemic so that we can prepare just in case na magkaroon po ng next pandemic,” he added.

The government targets to inoculate 1.7 million health workers. So far, 668,018 healthcare workers have been vaccinated.

ALAMIN: Mga patakaran para sa isasagawang 3-day national vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Puspusan na ang ginagawang paghahanda ng mga lokal na pamahalaan sa Metro Manila para sa tatlong araw na national vaccination days sa darating na Nobyembre 29 hanggang Disyembre 1.

Kabilang sa mga inihahanda ay ang mga patakarang ipatutupad upang masiguro ang maayos na pagbabakuna sa bawat vaccination sites.

 

QUEZON CITY

Sa Quezon City, sinabi ni Mayor Joy Belmonte na 17 vaccination sites ang bubuksan sa lungsod.

Pero mahigpit na paalala sa mga nais magpabakuna, bawal pa rin ang walk-in at kailangan pa ring magpa-schedule sa QC vaccination portal para sa oras at lugar ng pagbabakuna.

“Bawal ang walk-in, bawal talaga at strictly forbidden pa rin ang walk-ins dito sa Quezon City but they can register na sa ating Vax Easy Plus that’s found in our Facebook page as well as in our website. They can book their schedule, the day, the time and the venue,” ani Belmonte.

Aniya, target ng lokal na pamahalaan na makapagbakuna ng nasa 50,000 indibidwal.

 

NAVOTAS CITY

Sa Navotas City, kailangan ring magparehistro sa covax.navotas.gov.ph ang mga nais magpabakuna sa 3-day vaccination drive. Ang schedule ay ipapaskil sa Facebook page ng lokal na pamahalaan.

Sa mga kabataang may edad 12 hanggang 17, obligado rin silang magparehistro at mag-set ng appointment sa vaccination sites na nakalaan para sa mga menor de edad

Sa mga magpapabakuna ng Pfizer, kailangan rin munang mag-set ng appointment sa vaccination portal, habang sa mga magpapabakuna naman ng ibang brand, maaari nang mag-walk in sa mga vaccination site na nagbibigay ng brand gaya ng Sinovac, Sinopharm, at AstraZeneca.

Pitong vaccination sites rin ang bubuksan sa Navotas City habang house-to-house naman ang gagawin para sa mga senior citizen.

 

PARAÑAQUE CITY

Samantala, ang mga taga-Parañaque City naman ay pinapayuhang bisitahin ang website ng lokal na pamahalaan para sa schedule at iba pang impormasyon hinggil sa vaccination drive.

Ayon kay Parañaque Public Information Office head Mar Jimenez, nakikipagtulungan rin sila sa mga opisyal ng barangay upang hikayatin ang iba pang residente na magpabakuna na laban sa COVID-19.

“Ang atin pong pamahalaang lungsod ay lubos ang paghahandang ginagawa po ngayon para dun sa sinasabi nating national vaccination day kaya po yung pagkakataon na yan amin pong laging pinananawagan sa tulong ng ating mga butihing kapitan na kumbinsihin ang ating mga kababayan na hindi pa bakunado,” ani Jimenez.

 

Para sa mga nasasakop ng iba pang local government unit, maaaring bisitahin ang opisyal na social media accounts at websites ng kani-kanilang lugar para malaman ang detalye at proseso para sa pagpapabakuna. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Janice Ingente)

Airline companies rehiring laid-off crew as flights increase

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines ­– Some airline companies have started the gradual rehiring of their flight and ground crew that were laid-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the number of flights continues to increase.

AirAsia said they will slowly reactivate over 400 former employees as domestic flights to some tourist destinations resume.

These workers include cabin crews, pilot ground staff and engineering personnel.

“Ngayon, we’re activating starting December. Mag-a-undergo na ng training yung at least 15 percent and then effective January 1, 2022, laha nitong mga All-Stars natin na nag-hibernate ay gradual na ring ire-reintegrate sa ating linya,” AirAsia spokesperson Steve Dailisan said.

AirAsia said it will also double the flights to several local destinations such as in Caticlan, which is the gateway to the world-renowned Boracay Island.

Airliner Cebu Pacific also announced it will be rehiring staff who were furloughed during the pandemic to prepare for the anticipated increase in domestic and international flights.

“Right now, we’re very prepared definitely. Our staff are fully-trained and are actually fully-vaccinated also—yung active flying crew natin. So, additional safety yan for our passengers,” said Michelle Lim, Cebu Pacific Corporate Communications Manager.

Cebu Pacific said it will also increase flights to six local destinations including Boracay Island via the Caticlan Airport, Bohol, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and General Santos City.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) also announced it will operate more domestic and international flights amid increasing flight frequencies and booking.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said they are also planning to reactivate furloughed workers, but clarified they are yet to rehire laid-off workers as operations remain limited.

“By December, it will be one 1,350 in terms of cabin crew count that will be assigned to serve our flights because the number of cabin crews this year and at present and previous year was very much less because of the number of flights,” she.

Airline companies reminded passengers to be at the airport at least three hours before their scheduled flight and ensure they bring with them all travel documents required for their trip. (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

PH to allow entry of select vaccinated foreign travelers starting Dec. 1 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to reopen its doors to select travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Malacañang announced Friday.

In a Palace briefing, acting Presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that starting December 1 to 15, fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa required countries will be allowed entry to the Philippines.

The new policy was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) under Resolution No. 150-A.

The list of countries whose nationals are allowed to enter the Philippines without visa for a period of stay of 30 days may be view here.

Nograles, however, noted that these travelers should satisfy the following conditions:

  • Their passport should be valid for at least 6 months at the time of arrival
  • They should have a return or outbound ticket to their country of origin or next destination
  • Prior to arrival in Philippines, they should have stayed exclusively for 14 days in a Green List area with low COVID-19 cases
  • They must have proof of vaccination against COVID-19

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals bound for the Philippines shall present a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure from the country of origin.

Upon arrival in the Philippines, they will not go to a facility-based quarantine and no on-arrival RT-PCR test will be required.

However, passengers will be asked to self-monitor for any symptom until the 14th day with the first day being the date of arrival, Nograles said.

Travelers merely transiting through Green List areas shall not be deemed as having come from these territories if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry.

The testing and quarantine protocols of minors shall follow the testing and quarantine protocol of the parent/guardian traveling with them.

For those vaccinated but failed to comply with the test-before-travel requirements, Nograles said they shall be governed by the protocols for unvaccinated individuals coming from Green List areas.

They will also be required to undergo facility-based quarantine until the release of their negative RT-PCR test taken on the 5th day; and self-monitor until the 14th day with the date of arrival being the first day.

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