QC gov’t eyes cutting ties with firm behind eZConsult over vaccination booking woes

Robie de Guzman   •   June 16, 2021   •   472

The Quezon City government on Wednesday said it is “seriously considering” terminating its contract with Zuellig Pharma Corporation, the firm behind eZConsult, after some residents complained of difficulty booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said she has issued an ultimatum to Zuellig Pharma Corporation to upgrade its system and provide all the deliverables by Friday, June 18, as agreed in a meeting held last week.

“If not, we have no other choice but to contract another company that can do the job quickly and efficiently,” Belmonte said in a statement.

Belmonte made the pronouncement after residents reported problems in accessing eZConsult services since March 27.

“Kaya natin kinuha ang serbisyo ng eZConsult ay para mapadali ang proseso ng pagpapatala ngunit ano ang gagawin natin kung ang sistema nila mismo ang ugat ng problema,” she said.

“We have already improved our system in vaccination centers where people no longer have to fall in line and go through the entire vaccination process within a maximum of 45 mins. Dapat kahit virtual pila wala din sa QC as long as vaccine supply is stable. Yet eZconsult is putting all our efforts down the drain,” she added.

In addition to terminating its deal with Zuellig, the Quezon City government is also mulling suing the company for damages if it fails to meet its contractual obligations to the local government by Friday.

The local government said City Attorney Orlando Casimiro already wrote Zuellig Pharma Corporation, through its general manager Danilo Cahoy, demanding liquidated damages in connection with the technical failures of eZConsult.

“If the improvements promised to the city are not honored as is contained in the contract, we will initiate contract termination proceedings and file appropriate charges against them as deemed appropriate by our city legal counsel to enforce and protect our rights and the interests of QCitizens,” Belmonte said.

QC gov’t sets limits on purchase of goods, tells barangays to issue pass during ECQ

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021

The government of Quezon City announced it will impose a cap on the number of items or goods that a person can purchase during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

In a statement on Wednesday, the city government said it has set some limits on the purchase of goods to avoid hoarding and panic buying.

In the latest ECQ guidelines issued by the city government, the Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) has been mandated to implement Ordinance No. SP-2948 S-2020 or “Regulating the Selling of Basic Necessities During Calamities.”

“We have to impose limits to avoid panic buying and hoarding that may lead to supply problems and could prevent other citizens from purchasing the needs of their families during the ECQ,” Belmonte said.

“Mas mabuti na ngayon pa lang ay nakalatag na ang polisiyang ito upang magkaroon ng pagkakataon ang lahat na makabili ng kanilang pangangailangan,” she added.

Under the said ordinance, a customer may only purchase five cans per brand of sardines while the purchase of other canned goods such as meat loaf and corned beef is limited to 10 cans per brand, among other goods.

Belmonte, however, assured residents that there is enough food supply in Quezon City while the delivery of goods will remain unhampered during the ECQ.

The local policy will take effect on midnight of August 6.

Metro Manila will be placed under ECQ from August 6 to 20. During this period, curfew hours will start from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. as agreed earlier by the Metro Manila Council.

Under the ECQ protocol, only persons going to and from work, authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) and those who have confirmed vaccination schedules are allowed to go out.

Dine-in, whether indoor or outdoor, is not allowed but restaurants and other food establishments may provide take-out or delivery services.

Belmonte also ordered the revival of quarantine passes issued by the barangay to no more than one person per household, preferably to a person who is fully-vaccinated and otherwise does not have a company ID or other APOR ID.

A ban on the selling of liquor and the operation of personal care services such as barbershops, nail spas, parlors and salons will also be implemented.

The mayor also mandated essential businesses that operate indoor facilities, such as supermarkets, palengkes and the like, to limit their capacity to ensure at least a two-meter distance among customers and ensure sufficient ventilation.

Business establishments allowed to operate should strictly implement the Kyusi Pass digital contact tracing method.

“A lessee inside a larger establishment (such as individual stores inside a mall) should also have its own KyusiPass contact tracing log. All establishments, institutions and facilities are required to provide their QR code scanners as mandated under the City’s Kyusi Pass Ordinance,” the city government said.

Quezon City gov’t to launch first online birth registration portal

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021

The Quezon City government is looking to launch this year an online birth registration portal as part of the digitalization program of the city’s public services.

The project, which will be first in the country once it goes online, offers a more convenient and efficient birth registration process, where the requirements can be sent thru the website and be verified by the City Civil Registry Department (CCRD).

“Tulad ng business at occupational permits natin na pwedeng mag-apply online, bubuksan na rin natin itong online portal for birth registration para ma-address natin ‘yung problema natin sa mga late at unregistered birth registration sa lungsod,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement.

The local government said the automation of the services will also save the residents from the hassle of physically going to city hall to transact and from the possible risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

“Through this initiative, pwede nang mai-submit ang requirements at mai-check online para hindi na magpabalik-balik pa sa city hall,” Belmonte said.

“Hopefully, we can have the portal up and running before the year ends,” she added.

According to City Civil Registrar Salvador Cariňo Jr., they are currently in talks with the City Administrator’s Office and Information Technology Development Department to include the initiative in the city’s QC E-Services portal, which streamlines all city government programs.

“After sending the documents needed, our staff will review and verify these and will advise the applicant if their certificate is ready for pick-up,” Cariňo added.

Aside from birth registration, other Civil Registry Department programs such as marriage registration, and death registration, will soon be available online as well.

The city will also ensure that the portal will have real-time tracking and email notification system for the applicants. High-end equipment will also be utilized to support the system’s needs.

Once formally launched, the portal will be accepting applications from QC residents 24/7, the city government said.

Nearly 10 million people in PH now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19 — NTF

Robie de Guzman   •   August 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The number of individuals who have completed their COVID-19 vaccine doses has climbed to nearly 10 million, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said Wednesday.

In a televised public briefing, NTF deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said authorities on Tuesday have administered more than 680,000 COVID-19 shots, the most jabs given in a day since the vaccination drive started in March.

This pushed the total number of vaccine doses administered in the country to 21,891,012.

A total of 12,064,649 individuals have received their first shot, while 9,826,663 people have been fully vaccinated.

Dizon expressed confidence that the country will reach 10 million administered doses before Metro Manila goes on stricter lockdown starting August 6 to 20.

“Kampante tayo, bukas na bukas, lagpas na pong 10 million ang kumpleto ang bakuna sa Pilipinas,” he said.

The government has been eyeing to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to achieve population protection against COVID-19.

The Philippines has so far recorded over 1.6 million coronavirus infections with 28,000 deaths.

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